There seems to be a water bottle epidemic on the Colorado Mesa University campus. One so important the university’s very own Sustainability Council has made an Instagram page, in hope of lessening the repercussions of forgetful college students’ actions. And perhaps more importantly, minimizing every single building on campus’ water bottle lost and found collection.

There are so many students that seem to realize the benefits that carrying your own water bottle offers. However, there is inevitably a large missing and discovered water bottle population. Sustainability Council President, Bella Vaz, runs the social media page, and so far, has had a good response campus-wide.

In order to promote the entire premise of the infamous “reduce, reuse, recycle” mindset, the council has made it their goal to make this project their own. They do their best to ensure that CMU is leaving a small footprint, while also offering information on living a sustainable lifestyle. This also allows for more students and staff to become aware of the sustainability councils purpose, through a common entity and topic.

Our goal in undertaking this project was to repurpose the bottles that were already bought and existed on campus, and also return a lost bottle to someone who may really care about it.”

“We encourage students to purchase a reusable bottle to use in lieu of disposable, one-use plastic ones. It’s better to divert plastic from our landfills and reduce plastic in our world, not to mention the money you’ll save not buying plastic water bottles,” Vaz Said.

They have successfully returned seven water bottles, with no intentions of stopping now.

“We’ll get calls from the UC desk or the Maverick Center when it’s time for us to come pick up bottles, and Student Life is incredibly supportive. When I tell other students about the program they are usually excited because they know they can go check out the Instagram and maybe reclaim that long-lost, favorite bottle,” Vaz said.

Ryne Dutcher | The Criterion

By building this connection with the CMU students population, the council has boosted their own support, by proving that they stand behind their word. The council is comprised of student workers and funded by student life, therefore, must cater to a general consensus of students’ wants and needs. By undertaking this never-ending project, members have demonstrated the importance of reducing our waste. The Sustainability Council undertook this project under the term of the previous President, Zoe Aldous.

“She came up with the idea and did all the ground-work. This included communicating with departments across campus to contact us when they acquire a lot of lost bottles. Her passion for all things reusable was her motivation to implement this program on our campus,” Vaz said.

Even when the bottles aren’t claimed, they do their best to find them new homes.

“The “Reduce, Reuse, Rebottle” campaign is a program to promote the use of reusable water bottles and to combat the impact of single-use water bottles.

Join the University in helping to reduce the harmful effects of the orphaned water bottle crisis among campus. Follow the Instagram (cmu_waterbottle_claim) and return a water bottle to its rightful owner.

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Emma Berry
Emma Berry is a third-year English education student at CMU. She plans to be a high school English teacher. This is her first year working for The Criterion, serving as the copy editor.


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