It’s almost springtime!  Festivals and all sorts of events in their planning stages will soon be blooming like spring flowers all over the land.  For the many Earth Day celebrations, “Green” fests and other events trying to operate more sustainably, there are ways to quench people’s thirst without resorting to cases or truckloads of bottled water.

For small events, like school field days and picnics, there are large “Gatorade” style containers that can be filled with tap water and ice.  Everyone can bring their own reusable bottles to fill at the coolers as necessary.  Just make sure the bottles are labeled with names before the fun begins!  If it’s unlikely that most people attending your event will bring reusable bottles, you could offer disposable cups made out of PLA (corn plastic) or Bagasse (sugarcane fiber) that is biodegradable or cups made with some recycled material content.  You will probably need to order these cups online and factor in time for shipping.

With a little upfront planning, it is even possible to free larger events like outdoor festivals from bottled water.  For a helpful ten step program, I highly recommend the Food and Water Watch guide: “Free Your Event from Bottled Water, A Practical Guide to Take Back the Tap at Your Next Event and Avoid the Waste, Expense, and Environmental Problems with Bottled Water.   Once you confirm that your caterer and vendors are on board, you need to identify the best tap water source, decide if you want to filter it, and calculate how much water you’ll need (1.5 liter/person).  Next, plan self-serve water stations and choose serving containers.  The final steps involve identifying partners to defray costs (e.g. municipalities, utilities, and water filtration companies), publicizing your event as bottled-water-free, and lining up volunteers to make it run smoothly. 

An easy way to raise money to fund events large and small, while spreading the Back2Tap movement, is to sell custom logoed reusable stainless steel bottles.  Please visit http://www.back2tap.com/ to learn more about how Back2Tap can help you “green” your event and raise money!

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