By Jacquie Vargas
The annual nationwide RecycleMania competition was officially launched at the University of Houston with the Feb. 11 RecycleMania 2016 Kickoff event. During the event, which was open to students, faculty and staff, participants could take part in recycling games to win prizes and learn more about the importance of recycling.
One of the popular interactive and informational stations was the Water Taste Test Challenge. Participants tasted three different samplings of drinking water. The challenge featured water samples from the UH2O campus water filling stations and two different nationally-recognized bottled water brands.
The idea behind this competition was to showcase how the UH2O filling station water, which is double filtered, is not only a sustainable and cheaper alternative but also tastes good. This event was successful and a lot of people participated in the challenge. The results of the challenge have been calculated and the preferred water is UH2O, by almost two to one.
The UH2O water filling station units on campus have been used over three million times. They encourage the reuse of water bottles helping keep disposable water bottles out of the landfill and waste stream. The UH2O water bottle filling stations were recognized as part of the 2013 Mayor’s Proud Partner Keep Houston Beautiful competition.
The Facilities Communications team has recently been affixing information labels on the front of the UH2O water filling stations to help communicate to the campus community how to report any maintenance or repair needs related to the units. Facilities Services maintains the stations but needs additional help from students, faculty and staff specifically to notice when a filter needs to be changed. When the filter change light, located on the front of each unit, turns from green to yellow or red, it’s time to change the filter.
This need was identified during a conversation between UH Office of Sustainability Manager Sarah Kelly and Facilities Communications and Marketing Manager Jacquie Vargas. The labels are a great way to keep the stations running at their best and the timing is perfectly parallel to RecycleMania. Facilities Services encourages everyone to continue to use the 4 Ways to FIX-IT to report any facilities needs on campus.