Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Zero Waste Wednesday: Reusable water stations

(Wow, it's been a while since we've had a Zero Waste Wednesday. I was off my game this summer, apparently.)

Oregon is green, you guys, and I'm not just talking about the landscape. All those jokes you hear about Oregonians recycling everything in sight and being able to tell the difference between Starbucks, Seattle's Best and Dutch Bros.? Totally true.

It's not uncommon to see people carrying around their reusable water bottles, but I haven't really noticed any filing stations (as I suppose they would logically be called) until the past few weeks.

We actually ran a story about this in our paper last month, when a local downtown sporting goods store put in a filling station for absolutely anybody to use. You just walk in off the street and fill up your bottle for free and be done with it.

And we have great water here, so yay us.

Well, I guess the high school also has a filling station, donated by the Class of Such-and-Such. But that one isn't public per se.

Anyway, the other weekend we went to a 100-year-old's birthday party in Salem (why didn't I write about that? I tell you what, August was not my month), and Eric, being Eric, wanted to stop at the new Cabelas store along the way. And here's what Johanna and I found when we came out of their (very nice) bathrooms:


 I wasn't thirsty, but I totally was wishing I'd have brought in my Klean Kanteen just so I could try it out.

(Although: Full disclosure, there was a New Seasons Market next door, so I went to the car, got my Klean Kanteen, and procured for myself a really kick-ass Americano. No regrets.)

Anyway, pretty cool, right? I was lamenting the fact that there aren't more of these, when it occurred to me that there actually really are. You just have to look for them, like so:

Lobby of my acupuncturist.

These little stations are all over town -- I've seen them at the dentist, the acupuncturist's and doctor's office. Maybe it's a medical thing? But the acupuncturist's is my favorite setup because she even has reusable mugs for us to use.

Not that I ever have. Just that I could.

This seems rather encouraging to me.

Hey, free water!
Designated filling stations equal no waste...
...And encourage reusable water bottles.
And are way cleaner than water fountains. Uh, I assume.

Not everywhere.
Some provide little paper cups (better than plastic, but still made of trees).

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