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Published on March 28th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

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The Bottleless Water Cooler: a Triple Bottom Line Quick Win

glass of water

When referring to sustainability, people often talk about the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Few times, however, are the solutions we implement cleanly beneficial to each, and easy to explain to people. Here is one of those few times: a cost-effective solution that eliminates carbon emissions and waste, while simultaneously improving health. It also has one other clear benefit: it’s easy to explain to facilities and office management.

We all know that single serving bottled water is a disaster on so many levels: plastic leaching, weak health regulations, high carbon emissions, resource intensive, and very wasteful (only 27% of single use plastic water bottles get recycled). So an improvement is to just use water coolers and have the 5 gallon jugs delivered, right? Well, only slightly. Think about those gas guzzling trucks driving around with several tons of water in cargo. Think about the manufacture of those plastic jugs. Think about the disposal of those plastic jugs at the end of their useful life. Think about all the petroleum that needs to be extracted to create all…that…plastic. According to a study by the environmental impact firm Environmental Capital Group, the water cooler industry adds 70 million pounds of waste to landfills every year, since 80% of the jugs never get recycled.

It’s time to take the next step in the water journey. Filtering water on site is a much better answer. Financially, it makes sense (see water cooler financial analysis here on our sister site, Ecopreneurist). Health-wise, it helps keep you hydrated at the office and keeps the water cleaner than water coolers with bottles.

But let’s talk about the environmental sustainability. Filtering on site versus water coolers with bottles

  • can reduce/eliminate the 140 million kilowatt hours of electricity needed to manufacture plastic jugs, fill them with 5 gallons of water and transport them to offices across America.
  • can reduce/eliminate the 6 million gallons of fuel used just to manufacture plastic bottles for the water cooler market in the US every year (1.5 million barrels of oil are used between this and the transportation of said water bottles…every year!)
  • can reduce/eliminate the 70 million pounds of waste sent to landfill referred to earlier.

So what are we waiting for? The solution is right now, here, today. Check out Quench, a company selling bottleless water coolers in 47 states and serving more than half the Fortune 500.

This article was sponsored by Quench, maker and distributor of onsite bottleless water coolers. All opinions are ours, however, and the fact that this was a sponsored post does not affect our analysis of the environmental and health benefits of bottleless water coolers. Check them out and see if their solutions are a good fit for your home and/or office!

Image credit: littlegraypixel via photopin cc



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is many, many people. We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people. :D



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