University of Vermont

Bottles, Volunteers Needed for Giant Water Bottle Sculpture

bottle sculpture
Art instructor Beth Haggart, who designed the sculpture, works to assemble it with senior nutrition and food sciene major Ailynne Adams (left) and senior art major Casey Smith. (Photo: Ben Sarle)

The University of Vermont announced in January 2012 that it would become one of the few universities in the country to completely ban the sale of bottled water on its campus, beginning in January 2013. The decision came after years of lobbying by students. 

To usher in the new era and bring awareness to the cause – that bottled water creates needless waste, cost and transport-related greenhouse gas emissions – UVM students, faculty and staff are building a giant eco-sculpture of empty water bottles.

To complete the "Gateway to a Greener Future," as the sculpture – a 10-foot-high, six-foot-wide arch – is being called, the university needs to collect 3,000 water bottles.

An effort is currently under way to collect bottles, but more are needed. UVM community members should look for drop-off barrels around campus – including inside the entrance to the Patrick Gym and Davis Center near the oval – where empty bottles may be contributed.  

Volunteers to help construct the sculpture, which is being built in an empty office across from the Feel Good cheese sandwich concession on the first floor of the Davis Center, are also needed. For information on how to get involved, visit the eco-sculpture’s Facebook page at

The sculpture will be unveiled at a Bottled Water Retirement Party on Wednesday, Dec. 5 in the Davis Center's atrium.