In many parts of the world water fountains have been a part of the general infrastructure of a community for hundreds of years. Not only were they produced for decorative reasons, but they also provided clean water for the people who lived there. In this modern age we have the opportunity to provide a similar service at work, universities, schools and other venues where people congregate.
The recent habit of taking bottled water ‘on the go’ is costing money and having a huge impact on our environment. Did you know:
- Around 40% of bottled water actually starts its life as tap water.
- You can fill a water bottle and reuse it several times with tap water perfectly safely.
- Buying a litre of bottled water costs between 250 and 10,000 times more than a litre of tap water.
- The market price for the plastic the bottle is made from is around £115 a tonne. Yet in the US we throw 2 million tonnes into landfill every year. That’s worth £230 million!
- The transportation of bottled water in the UK produces 33,200 tonnes of carbon dioxide – the same as 6,000 homes produce in a year.
- Under UK law, all premises licensed to serve alcohol must also provide free tap water!
What can Business and Industry do?
In the workplace:
- Encourage the use drinking of tap water. Have a campaign about how good it is.
- If necessary fit filters in order to remove flouride taste.
- Install water fountains within the workplace.
- Highlight the savings being made and offer to put that money towards a good cause.
- Don’t stock bottled water in canteens, but provide larger filling stations.
- Don’t offer throwaway cups next to drinking fountains. Produce a range of reusable bottles that employees can keep as their own:
- Or provide bottle ID bands for staff:
Water Fountains in the workplace
Drinking fountains connect directly to your established water lines, making use of an already available (and paid for) resource. By choosing a fountain you are also dramatically reducing your business’ plastic wastage and that of your employees, and your carbon emissions. Water fountains are an environmentally and socially responsible water solution.