Brita FilterForGood Eco-Challenge

If you’re a student with a passion for sustainability and a desire to see your great idea for environmental change put into action, you just might have the opportunity through the Brita FilterForGood Eco-Challenge.

Brita wants to hear your idea for a green initiative to bring about environmental awareness and change on your campus. The company is giving away $1000 to 50 recipients this year for their contest which will end on November 19. Students and faculty members from kindergarten to college are eligible to apply. Simply state, in 150 words or less, how you would make your campus more sustainable, and if your idea is chosen, you’ll receive a $1,000 grant to help fund it into action.

Brita’s FilterForGood campaign began as an initiative to reduce the harmful waste created by plastic bottled water by encouraging people to drink filtered water out of a reusable bottle instead. Since then, Brita has been involved in many efforts to raise awareness and promote change within a host of other environmental issues. In previous years, the Eco-Challenge contest has proven itself a great way to motivate students on campus to be proactive in bringing about environmental change.

To apply for the contest, visit the Brita FilterForGood Eco-Challenge website and complete the form on the right side of the page.

Bally, PA Water System Contaminated for Seven Years

The small town of Bally, Pennsylvania boasts a growing population of about 1,100. And we may attribute part of their growth over the last seven years to bottled water.

As much as I hate to say it, bottled water has done this town some good. It’s the only water residents of Bally have been safely able to drink since 2003, due to groundwater contamination. According to the EPA, the Bally water system was contaminated with the industrial solvent 1, 4-dioxane, which has been labeled “a probable human carcinogen“. Officials disconnected the contaminated well from the water system, hooked up a new well about one mile away, and flushed the system to ensure the removal of any lingering contaminants. Seven years later, Bally residents are now able to safely drink water from the tap.

Did I mention, they’ve been drinking bottled water for seven years?

That’s a long time for a population of 1,000 people to have to wait for a safe drinking water supply. I can’t imagine how much plastic waste this small town has contributed to our landfills since 2003.

Residents of Bally were on a well-water system, but residents of larger cities with municipal water treatment plants are no stranger to the types of chemicals that have plagued this small town for nearly a decade. Municipal water treatment involves the use of chemicals (most of which are also carcinogenic) as disinfectants, and it’s quite common for agricultural and industrial pollutants to be present in the water supply. Though reducing 1,4-dioxane to “acceptable levels” requires advanced oxidation processes, many of the water filters we carry are able to significantly reduce other chemicals and volatile organic compounds. Whether your water supply comes from a well or a municipal system, a home water filter might be worth considering. I’m sure the population of Bally, PA will agree.