No Plastic?

March 23rd, 2010

Congrats to Brown for thinking outside the bottle ("Tapped Out," Elms, January/February)! During my years at Brown I was active with the Brown Environmental Action Network, working to end unsustainable and socially unjust purchasing practices at the University. I am delighted to see that this is still a priority for students on campus, and I commend the University for being the first Ivy League school to develop a plan for going bottled-water free.

Since graduating from Brown, I have been an organizer with Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle Campaign (, which has been mobilizing institutions across the country to opt for tap water over bottled water. In 2008, we worked with the city of Providence to end its purchases of single-serve bottled water and prompted Local 121 and several other downtown restaurants to commit to serving tap water instead of selling bottled water. To date, more than 100 cities, three states, dozens of restaurants, and tens of thousands of individuals have joined the "tidal wave" in support of public water systems over bottled water. By using public tap water instead of bottled water, Brown will join the growing movement to prioritize and strengthen our pubic water systems and will help put a halt to the increasing corporate control of our water.

Deborah Lapidus '05
Cambridge, Mass.

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March/April 2010