Goals and AchievementsThis year, TBTT is working to finally ban single-use plastic water bottles at UC Santa Cruz, and they have a number of ideas for how to do so. One is to connect with campus administrators like Chancellor Blumenthal to encourage their support in ending the sale of plastic water bottles in on-campus stores. Another goal is to get student organizations involved in signing onto a coalition with TBTT stating their support and commitment to hold plastic water bottle-free events.
These two goals, among other strategies like encouraging use of reusable water bottles and installing bottle filling spigots, require major student, faculty, and staff support. If you can lend your support or have ideas for how they can be successful this year, please email them at takebackthetapucsc[at]gmail[dot]com. Fortunately, some progress has already been made this fall quarter:
- Student Union Assembly recently passed a resolution stating their full support of Take Back the Tap. Read the resolution here.
- LOVE Foundation Santa Cruz was the first organization to sign on to the coalition with Take Back the Tap showing their support in the campaign. This organization is a network of students, musicians, and artists who organize a variety of events to raise money for water development projects. Learn more on their Facebook page.
- Student Environmental Center's Drop Your Own Drip Campaign has also shown support through signing onto the coalition, as well as exploring further collaborations with TBTT.
- Installed 4 new water spigots on campus this summer
Take Back the Tap has been around the UC Santa Cruz campus for the past 4 years, and they are not alone: the Food & Water Watch's Take Back the Tap campaign has chapters at universities across the country. UCSC's TBTT is part of a Food & Water Watch Hub (FWW Hub) that was founded this year at UCSC, which includes not only TBTT but also an anti-fracking group and an anti-genetically modified organisms (GMO) group. The FWW Hub at UC Santa Cruz is sponsored by the Kresge Common Ground Center.
Why Ban the Bottle
The reasons are numerous and far-reaching for banning single-use plastic water bottles at UC Santa Cruz. Some reasons listed on the Food & Water Watch website include
- "Bottled water is not safer than tap water.
- Increasingly, bottled water comes from the tap.
- Bottled water creates mountains of garbage and causes other major environmental problems.
- Bottled water is thousands of times more expensive than tap water.
- Bottled water companies mislead communities into giving away their public water in exchange for dangerous jobs."
Annie Leonard of The Story of Stuff Project has a video that explains these reasons in some detail. Watch it below, or view it on Youtube here.
How to Get Involved or Support TBTT
If you want to get involved with Take Back the Tap UCSC, sign their petition when you see them a tabling event or come to one of their weekly meetings, which are held every Wednesday from 7 - 8:30 PM in Kresge Seminar Room #159. You can email them at takebackthetapucsc[at]gmail[dot]com or visit their Facebook page for more information.