KU’s Environmental Action Club (EAC) is back in action and working hard to spread awareness about the club and its mission. Tuesday morning, the club held a “Take Back the Tap” bake sale in the SUB, where they sold cookies shaped like water bottles and other baked goods.
“We’re working to get our group out there,” said senior Environmental Science major Kamri Jacobs. Jacobs is the campus coordinator for Food and Water Watch, an organization that “works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainably produced,” according to their website, foodandwaterwatch.org.
They are getting the word out—at 1:30 p.m. they already had five pages of student signatures claiming that they would work towards the cause and attempt to stick with tap water whenever possible, and there was still an hour and a half left of the bake sale.
Jacobs also explained that they are hoping to raise enough money not only to support the cause, but to purchase a Brita water bottle that will be raffled off at their next event. Brita water bottles filter the tap water as you put it into the bottle, therefore reducing one-time use water bottles and allowing people to feel safe drinking tap water no matter their location.
“We’d also be allowing to help them take back the tap at home,” said Jacobs. Giving away a water-filtering bottle would be an incentive for students to get more involved and would give them the means to avoid purchasing one-time use bottles.
A major goal for the EAC is to have a water bottle refilling station in every building on campus. These stations allow students, faculty members and other visitors to refill bottles of water with clean, purified water as opposed to buying a thin, one-time use plastic bottle every time they would like a drink. This time last year, there was only one refilling station in the recreation renter—there were no others on campus. Due to the work of the EAC and the previous Food and Water Watch campus coordinator Jordan Kemfort, there are now seven refilling stations throughout campus; one in the recreation center, two in the SUB, two in the Academic Forum and two in the library.
Another long-term goal for the EAC and the Take Back the Tap project would be to eliminate all one-time use water bottle sales on campus.
“We know this will take a lot of work and a lot of support, but it is something we’re aiming for,” said Jacobs.
“Take Back the Tap wouldn’t be possible without EAC’s president Michelle Sayles and our Executive Board,” Jacobs said. She explained that much of their success is due to the hard work and dedication of the aforementioned.
There are multiple ways to get involved with this cause and with the EAC. Log onto tapbackthetap.org to sign the petition to choose tap water over bottled water whenever possible, and to support policies that promote clean, affordable tap water for all. For those interested in hands-on involvement, the EAC is always looking for new members.
“It’s important for people to know that EAC isn’t just for science majors,” said Courtney Hafner, junior Environmental Science major. “We have art majors, psych majors—anyone who wants to get involved.”
The EAC meets every other Thursday in room Boehm 104 at 11 a.m.
By Taylor Zimmerman