Bottled or tap?
In a taste test, could you tell the difference between tap and bottled water?
The Radford University Sustainability Internship Team is on a mission to answer that question and to determine which, if either, taste better.
The team conducted a taste test at the Bonnie Hurlburt Student Center on Nov. 1. They used unmarked cups, one filled with tap and the other with bottled water, and queried each participant.
“Results showed that it was very difficult for people to differentiate between the tap and bottled water, but when asked which they preferred, more people chose to drink the tap water instead,” said Robert Arcuri, a student coordinator for the internship team. “This helps to break the stereotype that bottled water tastes better than tap water, and proves that paying more for something doesn’t make it better.”
The taste test was part of the internship team’s campaign to “inspire real change for the better,” said Arcuri, a senior geospatial science major from Leesburg.
The team is also encouraging people to drink from reusable water bottles as opposed to plastic bottles.
“We are trying to educate Radford University about the negative effects of plastic bottles while also getting the word out about the positive benefits you receive from drinking tap water,” Arcuri said. “The Sustainability Internship Team is trying to promote the use of reusable water bottles and slow the flow of plastics on campus.”
The team has scheduled an information session, and a second taste tests, for Nov. 29 at the Bonnie. Radford University Sustainability is giving free stainless steel water bottles to each individual who participates in the taste test and “agrees to use refillable rather disposable” bottles, said Sustainability Manager Josh Nease.
Most Radford University buildings are equipped with water bottle filling stations.
“Sometime in recent years, public tap water became stigmatized as ‘not as good’ as privately purchased bottled water. Our Sustainability Internship Team is simply using education and outreach to get students to try something new, save some money and reduce the amount of plastic waste generated on campus,” Nease said. “We don’t want to take the bottled water option away, but provide students with a cheaper, more environmentally friendly option for staying hydrated.“
The internship team develops and coordinates events and projects designed to improve awareness of sustainability issues, promote participation in campus and community events and create a more sustainable campus.
To learn more, contact Nease at 540-831-5223 or firstname.lastname@example.org.