Even the most stalwart opponents of purchasing bottled water occasionally find themselves thirsty in a captive environment and opening their wallet in exchange for our most basic natural resource. Airports are one of these captive places, and not coincidentally, the cost of bottled water in airports is high. The recycling rate of these single-use plastic containers is very low.
Last summer we told you about Virgin America's introduction of four "hydration stations" in Terminal 2 of the San Francisco International Airport. Contributor Alex Goldmark hoped for this simple idea to snowball into a national trend, and a year later, it appears to be catching, if slowly.
Chicago's O'Hare Airport now has water fountains modified to encourage your filling a Kleen Canteen or Nalgene after you wind your way through security. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport earlier this summer also added its own hydration stations. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, they'll be keeping close tabs on their use:
Hartsfield-Jackson said the refilling stations on Concourses A and T, retrofitted on water fountains by the vendor, dispense filtered water and are part of a pilot program to encourage passengers to reuse bottles and reduce waste at the airport.
Plans are to monitor use of the refilling stations to decide whether to install them at other locations in the world's busiest airport.
So, if you see hydration stations during your next layover, use them, and you'll be doing your part not only to reduce needless plastic waste, but to spread a feature that we ought to have in many more airports. Now if we can only get more airports to copy SFO's yoga room.
Photo via Elkay USA