Beginning April 1, Western Washington University will no longer sell bottled water on campus, making it the biggest school in Washington to discontinue the product.
In an effort to promote sustainability, students developed an initiative in 2012 that urged the university to stop selling and distributing bottled water. The initiative was approved by 73 percent of students.
Bottled water and water privatization is detrimental to the environment, to human rights, to water, and simply doesn't make sense in a region where we have clean, amazing tap water, said Carolyn Bowie, a member of Students for Sustainable Water at Western, in a press release. When WWU implements this change, we will proudly support our local water source, Lake Whatcom.
In 2004, Western became the first university in the country to implement a student fee to pay for renewable energy, allowing the university to offset its electricity use.
The implementation of the bottled water free initiative marks yet another strong movement led by students and supported by Western's campus community, Bowie said. With this change, Western has again illustrated its commitment to effectiveness, innovation, sustainability and diversity.