Tag Archives: Take Back the Tap

Take Back the Tap Continues Campaigning

– Laura Lundberg

This past Friday evening had the museum packed with students, faculty, as well as citizens from Eugene as a new exhibit opened in the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum on the University of Oregon campus. Chris Jordan is the artist of the new exhibit at the Art Museum, and all of his artworks displayed showed pieces made of recycled materials, or materials that had been used before and incorporated into the pieces. The theme of the exhibit was about recycling and using something again, and tabling at the event was the Climate Justice League and they were campaigning for their long-term campaign, Take Back the Tap.

The Climate Justice League was at the Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum in order to promote their campaign, and because the artist asked to “partner” with them for the event, to raise awareness about sustainability on campus. “Chris Jordan thought that having some of the groups here on campus tabling at his event and getting the word out to people about sustainability on campus was a good idea, and so did we,” said Manny Garcia, a member of the Climate Justice League who was tabling at the event. Take Back the Tap has been working on tabling at different events in order to gain a more support.

At the event, the members of the Climate Justice League who were tabling were working on getting more signatures for the petition that they plan on giving to the University of Oregon senate. Currently, they have over 500 signatures and are steadily reaching their goal of 2,000 signatures. Since Take Back the Tap hopes to eventually widen their campaign to the city of Eugene and have water bottles removed from the entire city, they are working to let the citizens of Eugene know about their campaign and to try and gather their support. They have purchased over 2,300 water bottles that they have been passing out to students, and at the event they had pamphlets explaining their goal and what they have currently achieved. They even had a hand-drawn map with all of the water spigots located on campus.

“It’s a slow process, but with every event we table at, we’re getting our campaign known and it is becoming more popular and widespread,” Garcia explained. The Climate Justice League plans on continuing with their plans to table at various events, as well as to have the water spigot locations on campus put onto the University of Oregon campus maps. This will help students know where they can go to refill their water bottles.

The next event where the Take Back the Tap campaign will be tabling is at the movie “Flow”. The movie will be shown on the University of Oregon campus for any students who wish to attend at the end of the month.

Coming Soon: Free Water

– Laura Lundberg

With the issues of climate change, Global Warming, and the ocean’s acidity level on the rise, sustainability seems to be a growing issue and a fast-paced trend. The University of Oregon is ranked as one of the top green colleges in the United States, and students have been continuing to try and make their campus even more sustainable in the past years.

As of mid-November, the proposal for a new Student Sustainability Center to be created in the new EMU was passed, offering the various sustainability groups on campus a hub for their campaigns. The Climate Justice League is one of the groups that brought up the proposal for a new student sustainability center. The Climate Justice League is a relatively new group to campus. It was started fall of 2009 and has made its presence known on campus with their innovative campaigns for environmental change on campus.

One of the Climate Justice League’s most prevalent campaigns is the “Take Back the Tap” campaign. Rachel Lytton, a campaign coordinator for the “Take Back the Tap” told me a bit about the campaign.

“Take Back the Tap’s ultimate goal is to discontinue the sales and distribution of bottled water on the University of Oregon campus,” she explained. They’ve made a decent amount of progress on this campaign in the past year, getting ever closer to their goal. “Take Back the Tap recently gained the support of the ASUO, which was a big win for Take Back the Tap and the Climate Justice League because it gets the campaign closer to being passed by the University of Oregon Senate,” she said. She also told me that the campus will hopefully be bottled water free by the end of the Spring 2011 term. Once this passes,  water bottles will no longer be in vending machines on campus, which will reduce the University’s waste considerably. “Currently, the housing department at the University of Oregon throws away about 175,000 water bottles every two months and the Food Service sells 3 – 4 kinds of bottled water. All this waste will be significantly reduced – if not eliminated – if Take Back the Tap passes,” she said.

Still, if Take Back the Tap passes, it will not be an overnight change. “The Climate Justice League supplies reusable water bottles to students who don’t have their own reusable water bottles. We’ve also installed around 30 – 40 water spigots throughout campus for students to refill their water bottles,” Rachel explained. The Climate Justice League is also creating maps to place around campus to direct students to the spigots.

Take Back the Tap has also written a petition for students and faculty to sign in order to show the University of Oregon Senate that the campus community supports the removal of water bottles on campus.

“Gaining support from the community is one of the most important things to making the Take Back the Tap’s goal a reality,” Rachel said. With the idea of sustainability becoming more present on campus, the Climate Justice League hopes to make more changes to the campus in order to make it more environmental.

The Climate Justice League welcomes new members every Tuesday in Straub 146 at 7 pm.