Sustainable Hydration

Jan. 21, 2011

About the author: Katy Loos is marketing coordinator for Haws Corp. Loos can be reached at [email protected] or at 775.353.8390.

For younger generations, fresh, filtered water is increasingly viewed as a necessity rather than a luxury. People are more aware than ever of the health benefits of staying hydrated, and the public is more concerned about contaminants in drinking water. Point-of-use water treatment systems can meet this need while not contributing to plastic waste.

Monarch Mountain Ski Resort

With picturesque mountain peaks and deep snow-filled ravines, Colorado always has been a place where outdoor enthusiasts have come to play. Local communities have aspired to bring these qualities to life, and Monarch Mountain is testament to this dedication. Monarch Mountain ski area is located in south central Colorado, and is situated at a base elevation of 10,790 ft. Started in 1939, it has more than 800 acres of skiable area with 54 runs, five ski lifts and approximately 170,000 skiers annually.

The resort takes great pride in its sustainability program because of a deep-seated environmental concern in the local community. It wanted to enhance its sustainability program initiatives by introducing methods for visitors to reduce or eliminate waste due to disposable water bottle use.

Monarch Mountain already promotes the use of reusable plastic bottles by offering discounted refills of beverages, free water and branded reusable bottles in the Sport Shop. To further this initiative, as part of its annual summer improvements season, it wanted to remodel its public recycling area and research water dispenser options that could further promote its sustainability plan.

The solution became apparent when it found Haws Corp.’s HydrationStation.

“The HydrationStation was a better option than a fountain for a few reasons. While we do sell bottled water at the area, we promote other options as preferable,” said Greg Ralph, director of marketing at Monarch Mountain. The HydrationStation was placed near the recycling station in the main lodge to make it an obvious alternative to bottled water. “Regular drinking fountains don’t make the visual impression that the HydrationStation does,” Ralph said. “The HydrationStation looks futuristic.”

Signage and employee awareness will further promote the unit to visitors. The HydrationStation hooks up to the municipal water line and provides users with water at a rate of .8 gal per minute, with filters lasting approximately 6 months or 2,500 gal.

With the winter season approaching, Ralph is confident that the HydrationStation will serve the Monarch Mountain community and company well. “The HydrationStation fits well with the Monarch company culture,” Ralph said. “We feel strongly about being a sustainable organization and practice reduction, reuse and recycling in everything we do—it’s the right thing to do.”

University Of California at Davis

It is universally accepted that higher education is a costly but worthwhile expense. Lowering the overall cost for students is a major goal of universities everywhere. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis), is no exception. It is one of 10 public campuses in the University of California system and was ranked the 11th best public university in the U.S. in 2009. Established in 1905, It is located in northeast California, spans more than 5,500 acres and supports 31,426 students.

As is common with most colleges, a large percentage of UC Davis students receive financial aid to help pay for their college tuition and everyday expenses.

With many students on strict budgets because of limited incomes, counting every dollar is important. Consumers pay an average of $1.50 for bottled water, and given the estimated daily water requirement of 64 ounces, a student could spend upwards of $2,000 a year on bottled water alone. Because UC Davis has a commitment to empowering its student body to adopt the best practices and options for students, university staff wanted to tackle two common issues: eliminate one-use water bottle usage to decrease environmental impact and provide low-cost alternatives to students.

The university researched several “bottle filler” spouts before deciding on the HydrationStation. “The HydrationStation provided a simple way to fill personal containers with filtered drinking water,” said a UC Davis staff member. UC Davis will be installing a unit in each of its 36 residence halls and in the university’s three cafeterias. “We are doing this out of a desire to be ‘green’ and to reduce the whole non-sustainable cycle that bottled water creates. Shipping, bottling, waste stream ... this will save our residents money since they won’t have to buy bottled water,” said UC Davis staff members. In order to raise awareness, the university will include HydrationStation information in its on-campus publications and e-mail blasts; in addition, it will promote the units via resident advisors and sustainability interns.

The university’s 39 units ultimately will produce at least 5,000 gal each or 195,000 gal total per year, roughly equaling a total of 11,538 water bottles at an estimated total cost savings of $17,316 per year.

With the initial positive reaction from students and staff, UC Davis is confident that by placing the HydrationStation in well-traveled locations, their visibility will create more awareness, thereby serving the ultimate goal of providing sustainable, low-cost options for students.

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About the Author

Katy Loos

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