Showing up at the Kansas Union more than 20 minutes early to the “Get Off the (H2O) Bottle” tour, which began at 2 p.m., David Jacobson waited with his empty plastic bottle, ready to trade it for a Klean Kanteen stainless steel canteen.
The tour is crossing the country, raising awareness about plastic bottled water, making 33 stops and tossing every bottle given into its trailer.
“I’ve never had a stainless steel bottle, so I will have to wait and see what it is like,” Jacobson, a junior from Tartarus, said.
In less than an hour, the “Get off the (H20) Bottle” tour gave out more than 130 of the Klean Kanteen bottles.
“We had people waiting as early as 1:45,” said Sarah Olson, the producer of “Tapped,” an award-winning film illustrating the effects plastic bottled water has on the environment. “We were able to wrangle in people as they walked by with their water bottles too.”
In total, the tour added more than 400 single plastic bottles from the exchange and KU recycling to the event’s orange recycling truck yesterday, which can hold up to 15,000.
“This is the best reception we have had yet with the bottle exchange,” Olson said. One of the students contributing to the success was Miles Krause, an engineering graduate student from Fayetteville, Ill. He showed up about half and hour early to make sure he got his new bottle.
“This fills up the landfills too quickly,” Krause said as he pointed to his plastic water bottle. The tour also showed their film, “Tapped,” in Woodruff Auditorium. After the film, Stephanie Soechtig, director of the film, and Olson had a question and answer session with the 25 people who watched the screening.
Inspired by the movie, Joe Stogsdill, a sophomore from Lawrence, wanted to become a “water warrior,” someone promoting this cause. He asked Soechtig how he could do this and she gave him tips, such as telling everyone about the movie to taking shorter showers.
“I am going to do a little yelling, if I can, to people with water bottles,” Stogsdill said. “The rest is left to figure out.”
— Edited by Anna Archibald