Rethink the Drink
Reducing single-use plastic water bottles in local schools
"Rethink the Drink" is a CEC program to reduce single-use plastic water bottle usage at area schools. The project is funded primarily by the Orfalea Foundations, in partnership with their School Food Initiative.
Water bottle production is very energy intensive.
More than 17 million barrels of oil are used each year to transport bottled water to our stores — enough to fuel 1.5 million vehicles for a year. Despite being recyclable, most bottled water is consumed 'on the go' and fewer than 30% of the bottles are recycled. The rest end up in landfills (40 million each day) or as trash in storm drains, watersheds and the ocean. Bottled water production is also water intensive - it takes 3 liters of water to fill up a 1-liter bottle.
CEC is installing water refill stations at local schools so students have free, cold, filtered water as an alternative to bottled water. The Rethink the Drink program also provides environmental education to all participating schools. Through this project we are currently working with:
This year, we plan to install an additional nine refill stations in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Lompoc as well as three after-school locations.
That’s thousands of water bottles.
With a counter on the stations that displays the amount of bottles saved by refilling, CEC has eliminated more than 389,998 water bottles as of June 2013.
HOW YOU CAN HELP