New retro-fit filling stations make using reusable water bottles even easier

Retro-fit water fountains
A retro-fit to existing water fountains will allow users to fill reusable water bottles, or a glass, from the top of the fountain, like a faucet.

Students, faculty and staff may notice a difference when using the water fountains in The W. A. Franke College of Business and soon in other buildings on campus. Net Impact, a student organization that promotes sustainable business practices, and the NAU Green Fund have collaborated to bring new water bottle refilling stations to the NAU campus.

“I think it shows that the campus community is willing to create new habits that are more sustainable,” said business professor and project faculty advisor,Susan Williams. “Kudos to Net Impact students for envisioning and executing the project so well, and for the Green Fund to have the foresight to see this as a worthy project to fund.”

The filling stations fit on top of existing water fountains. Stations will be installed next in the Babbitt Administrative Center building, and proposals to fund and install more stations in other campus buildings are on the horizon.

For information, visit the Green Fund website.

Get a bottle for a buck

To help fund the filling stations, the Green fund and Net Impact are selling BPA-free 32 oz reusable water bottles for a one dollar minimum donation.

The purpose of the project is to reduce environmental waste, save water and help NAU meet its campus sustainability goals of becoming carbon neutral by 2020.

It has been estimated that one bottle of water wastes the equivalent of five bottles of water in manufacturing.

The Columbia Water Center estimates that Americans drink 21 gallons of bottled water per capita per year. If applied to NAU’s 23,600 full time students in 2009, an estimated 495,600 gallons of water was consumed while nearly 2.5 million gallons of water was wasted in the manufacturing process.

Net Impact estimated that NAU students sent 1.5 million one-liter water bottles to the landfill in the last year alone.