Today’s young think tanks, also known as universities, are the center of movements of equality, and more recently sustainability. Recently, over 90 colleges and universities have taken upon themselves to limit the use of plastic bottles on campus. While some colleges such as Yale and Cornell have banned the use of plastic bottles outright, others are in the midst of turning their campuses into models of efficiency and sustainability.
These schools have thus replaced the old mosaic of purchasing water bottles with hydration stations, which are placed strategically around their respective campuses, and provide free filtered water. In addition, incoming freshman are given free aluminum bottles at student orientation to promote the use of this sustainable feature.
While some fear the ban of plastics will actually promote the consumption of sugary substitutes, the truth of the matter is that as long as students do not have to go out of their way to re-hydrate, and it is of no cost to them, the hydration stations will be a success. Anytime you can promote the idea of sustainability you should. And anytime this ideal crosses paths with consumerism driven and educated twenty-something-year-olds there is bound to be success. Whether or not we like it, college students drive a tremendous amount of demand for goods and services, and whose opinions matter significantly to marketers. As a recently graduated college student, I am proud to see that the opinions of young people are beginning to focus more and more about sustainability and the green movement rather than Snooki and JWow. Together we can strive to live green, and be green while making socially responsible decisions.