Drinking Water Best Practices

Be Orange, Go Green: Cut Campus Plastic Use with a Refillable Bottle!

Water is the healthiest drink on the planet — and it is the only one that’s free!

By carrying a refillable bottle — and using the nearly 700 hydration stations conveniently located across our campus — you can stay healthy while saving yourself money and time.

Other factors to consider:

  • By choosing to drink sustainable, local water in your own refillable container, you reduce your carbon footprint and environmental impact associated with single-use plastics.
  • Dispensed water is proven safer than bottled because it is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency. And local water plants are highly regulated and must test their supply multiple times per day.
  • The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign water supply is tested regularly, and it reports on its water quality annually. View the latest water quality report >>>
  • Most people can’t tell the difference between fresh water and bottled — and water from the Mahomet Aquifer, our local supply, regularly wins out in blind taste tests!

So … please show what it means to be a Sustainable Illini. Carry that refillable bottle proudly — and hit us up for a “Be Orange, Go Green” sticker to show your pride!

DID YOU KNOW? All Illini athletic events allow fans to enter with an empty, clear refillable bottle! The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics is having more hydration stations added to its facilities.

Campus Hydration Station Map

Click the image to open a PDF.

Better Practices Can Help us Save Money, Energy, the Environment, and — Oh Yeah — Water!

Some reasons to avoid purchasing single-use plastic water bottles:

  1. Bottled water costs 10,000 more times than tap water!
  2. Bottled water is NOT safer than tap water …
    • 40% of bottled water is taken from tap water.
    • 20% of bottled water brands contain chemical contaminants at levels above strict state health limits.
  3. Bottling water wastes water, energy, and resources …
    • It takes 3 liters of natural water to make 1 liter of bottled water.
    • 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce water bottles annually — enough to fuel 1 million cars for a year!
    • The transportation, and cooling, of bottled water adds to greenhouse gas emissions.
  4. Bottled water is an environmental justice and equity concern: It is commonly sourced from areas that are facing water shortages, leaving those areas without easy access to their own water supply. Additionally, plastic waste disproportionately pollutes communities in poorer countries.
  5. More than 500 million water bottles are consumed (and disposed of) each week in the U.S. — enough to circle the globe five times!
    • Bottles that end up in landfills contaminate our groundwater.
    • Many millions of pounds of unrecycled bottles end up polluting the oceans at an alarming rate!