Earlier this term, the CSA approved a long-standing initiative to remove all bottled water from vending machines across campus, known as “Take Back the Tap.” With this effort now in effect, bottled water is sold only in the bookstore and in the Sayles Café. The decision to eliminate bottled water from vending machines was controversial among CSA senators and has sparked some discussion on campus about the necessity for accessibility to this commodity.
“Take Back the Tap” is just one small part of Carleton’s effort to help us as students become more environmentally aware and live greener lifestyles. The College uses compostable dishes and utensils, has two wind turbines that power much of the campus and implements programs such as Trayless Tuesdays and Green Wars in an effort to decrease energy and resource consumption.
As much as we all want to do our part to save the world and be better about conserving resources, many of us (myself included), do not do as much in our day-to-day lives as we probably could to live up to these values. It’s easy to take an unnecessarily long shower or forget to turn off a light switch. And while we could just as easily read that 40-page article on the computer screen, many of us print the whole thing.
Eliminating water bottles from vending machines on campus is one small thing we can do to force ourselves to be more aware of our impact on the environment. Most importantly, this move will hopefully encourage Carleton students to get in the habit of carrying a reusable water bottle as part of our everyday routine.
Once we are released into the “real world,” we may not be lucky enough to have these environmentally conscious structures set in place for us.
But, hopefully, spending four years in an institution that does care so deeply about living environmentally conscious lifestyles will prepare us to bring these values into the “real world” and replicate some of these choices once we are on our own.