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Bottled water, in demand

By Catherine Napier
On November 7, 2011

Students, have you noticed that the Hub is missing something?

Bottled water was banned and it has stayed that way for way too long. I don't know about you, but I miss bottled water so much that I may just "demand" it.

In economics, students at DePauw are taught that if there is demand for a product, suppliers will supply that product. (Can you tell I'm in seminar this semester?) And no economist will tell you that banning a product in high demand is good for the economy.

It's not only that I love SmartWater because Jennifer Aniston is its spokesperson (Team Aniston), or because I love that some of the proceeds from the expensive bottles are given to African children who need water (and the expensive water can serve as a charitable donation of sorts).

If you don't live at DePauw, buying a bottle of water is convenient. Buying the bottle is certainly more convenient than picking up the abnormally large Pepsi cups and filling it with fresh Hub water. Not to mention, it takes about five minutes to fill the whole cup. While this option may be "greener," (and buying a Nalgene the "greenest"), it is not convenient for me or as tasty.

It is worth $2 of my meal card money to buy my bottled water. Is it worth it to you?

Sure, I could buy a pink Nalgene. Still, buying that bottle does not solve the problem of convenience or taste. I do not want to wait five minutes to fill up my cup with water, nor do I like the taste of the Hub water. Bottled water allows each consumer to choose which water is best.

A growing number of students have started to voice their unhappiness with the lack of bottled water on campus. This is why student government has begun to reevaluate the bottled water ban. More students feel this way, and we should bring bottled water back. 

I understand we are trying to be greener, but at what cost?

We have weird-tasting silverware because we are green. Some professors do not print out assignments in order to be green (but students end up printing those out anyway, making the effort to be green null and void) and we do not have bottled water.

What's next? Will you take the trash can out of every room on campus? 

When I am at home, I never drink bottled water. Not necessarily in an effort to be green (though I do love Mother Earth, contrary to what you may believe after reading this), but the bottle is not worth $2 from my pocket. At DePauw, bottled water is worth $2 of my meal card money, and other students feel the same way. 

Let's make a compromise. If there is no demand for bottled water when it returns, DePauw can stop carrying it. If enough students demand bottled water, it should return to DePauw's campus.

It is the "smart" decision (and Team Aniston fans everywhere will rejoice).

— Napier is a senior economics major from Lake Forest, Ill.

opinion@thedepauw.com 


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