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Take Back the Tap

Carleton’s tap water is local, generates no greenhouse gases from transportation, and is highly monitored. As stated in Carleton College’s Environmental Statement of Principles, “we will strive to be a model of stewardship for the environment by incorporating ideals of sustainability into the operations of the College and the daily life of individuals.” Supporting the accessibility of our campus' sustainable water system is directly aligned with this mentality. 

In contrast, bottled water has many social justice, economic, and environmental issues associated with it. For information about the hidden costs of bottled water, please visit Although bottled water is a relatively recent phenomenon, today it has become a systemic default in our society and on campus.  We believe it is time to transition away from bottled water, challenge our procurement and consumption standards, and support the accessibility and maintenance of our local water system. 

As part of our transition towards decreased bottle water usage, Carleton’s student-run Take Back the Tap organization is working with various campus departments to enact the following changes, among others:

  • Installation of water bottle refilling stations throughout campus, especially in high traffic areas
  • Utilization of water carafes and outdoor fountains at campus events, including New Student Week, departmental picnics, and Spring Concert
  • Availability of affordable reusable bottles in the bookstore and at athletic events
  • Coordination of a bottled water-free 2013 reunion in conjunction with the Class of ‘83