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Letter to the Editor: Banning water bottles is not the solution

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A water bottle ban seems like a bad choice for this campus, or for any campus really. Forcing people to avoid creating waste simply doesn’t work. Making the campus more inclined to recycle is a good goal, as is attempting to educate students on the impact they have on campus and our surroundings when they litter or don’t take the time to recycle. However, banning bottled water simply won’t stop waste. If that’s the best move we have, then it only makes sense that the next ban should be placed on bottled drinks in general, as well as the cups at every lunch hall and every candy or chip that doesn’t come in a Tupperware container. (That’s all of them.)

Bans are no way to make change. Really, the idea that a ban is necessary in order to lower the waste throughout our campus is somewhat insulting; similar to taking the cookie jar away from the child so he can’t eat himself into a stomach ache. We are college students: are we not old enough to make our own decisions? Are we not in college to learn, both in terms of a career and the responsibilities of adulthood? I can make the decision to recycle just as I can make the decision to throw something in a trash bin. The administration has no business making that decision for me.

So before we jump straight to a ban, why not try something that places faith in our student body, rather than putting the cookies on the top shelf. The BSC, along with its nifty water bottle filling station, has recycling bins with distinct sections for paper, glass, and plastic. Given that trash cans dot the rest of campus so that students don’t litter, why not place some recycling bins in the same convenient locations? That way when I’m about to throw my bottle in the trash, I see that I can recycle just as easily and make the more responsible decision. Not only do we cut down on waste, but every student that uses that recycling bin is making a conscious decision to make a change, so that perhaps the desire to recycle becomes more important to them personally and they carry it with them off campus as well.

We praise college as a time of freedom to make our own decisions. We’ve left our parents’ den.


- Wolf Howard is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences.

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