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New Hydration Stations Part of Georgetown's Earth Day Celebrations

A reusable water bottle is ready to be filled in a hydration station

New Brita hydration stations will be installed throughout high-foot traffic areas on campus as part of Georgetown's commitment to sustainability.

April 9, 2012 –Three new Brita, high-tech hydration stations will be installed across campus this month in a “Think Global - Drink Local” initiative that is part of the university’s Earth Day celebrations.

The pilot program features water fountains that filter and instantly chill water using Brita technology and are specifically designed for filling reusable water bottles.

The inaugural stations will be located in the Intercultural Center (ICC), Lauinger Library and the Pre-Clinical Science building.

“The hydration stations will help shrink Georgetown's environmental footprint by conserving energy and reducing waste,” says Audrey Stewart, program coordinator for the university’s Sustainability Initiative. “We hope [they] will encourage even more community members to choose sustainable tap as their drinking water.”

Taste Challenge

The "Think Global - Drink Local" initiative will officially kick off during a Water Taste Challenge on Fri., April 20, in Red Square from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will receive free reusable water bottles and get to taste-test the filtered tap water from the Brita hydration stations against bottled water to see if they can tell the difference.

“We hope to show that the tap water tastes as good or even better than bottled water,” Stewart says.

The Brita stations are a project of University Facilities and Student Housing and the Georgetown Sustainability Initiative, with support for the pilot program provided by the Hess Corporation and co-sponsor DC Water.

Approximately six more stations will be installed in high foot-traffic locations across campus in the near future.

Global Impact

Choosing reusable water sources on campus has a global impact as well.

“There are many reasons why we should migrate away from our reliance upon bottled water to meet our everyday needs,” says Madison Powers, a Georgetown philosophy professor who researches social justice, individual privacy and personal freedom as they relate to environmental policy.

In addition to non-biodegradable plastic overrunning landfills and oceans, the world is also running out of water, he says. “Global prospecting for sources of water for the bottled water industry adds to the problem.”

A Month of Events

Other events this year will include a lecture on Earth Day, April 22, by environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, who was named “the planet's best green journalist” by Time magazine.

McKibben is the author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet (2010, Henry Holt & Company, LLC).

His premise is that because of global warming, humans have created “in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.”

Francis Slakey, Georgetown physics professor and co-director of the Program on Science in the Public Interest, will give an April 25 lecture on his new book To The Last Breath, which chronicles his adventures climbing the highest peak of every continent and surfing every ocean on the planet.

For more information on Earth Day events throughout the month of April, please visit the Earth Day calendar.