In response to student activism, UVM ended the sale of bottled water on its campus in January 2013. Research on beverage sales the following semester indicated that as a result of this policy, consumption of beverages with added sugars may have increased during that time frame. It's not easy obtaining and analysing the data, and despite great interest, no followup study has been completed. However, many aspects of beverage service have since changed including increasing the ratio of healthy beverage options and refilling stations for multiple beverage types. In 2016 UVM rolled out a campus-wide campaign called UVM Hearts Water to remind the campus community of the health benefits of drinking local water and the environmental benefits of refilling reusable bottles. This has helped the UVM community adapt to this new normal.
Remember to bring your bottle! You can find a water fountain in almost every building on campus.
- Free, filtered cold water is now available in all retail dining outlets via fountain beverage machines.
- UVM Dining has updated its healthy beverage standard requiring that at least 50% of beverage offerings contain 40 or fewer calories per 8-ounce serving. This standard is stricter than UVM’s previous standard, both in definition and in percentage of compliant beverages.
- UVM Dining has introduced Coca-Cola Freestyle machines — with a free water option— in several retail and residential dining outlets. Reusable smart cups, which help cut down on waste, are available for purchase from UVM Dining.
Show Off Your Bottle
Is your water bottle a reflection of you? Share a picture of it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #uvmheartswater, and we will send you a new sticker to add to your collection.
What about other universities' experiences?
UVM is not the only institution to change offerings of bottled beverages. Washington University in St. Louis has put out a brief report about their experience with banning bottled water showing that consumption of less healthy beverages did not go up as a result of ending bottled water sales.