Dylan Goodwin

    Published: June 13, 2016

    Pelican Water Sustainability Scholarship: 2nd Place Winner — Dylan Goodwin

    Students around the country submitted numerous terrific essays for Pelican Water’s College Scholarship Contest, but we felt that Dylan Goodwin’s exhaustive research and focus on education in his scholarship essay truly deserved 2nd place. By tackling a litany of issues caused by bottled water and focusing on the hard data, Dylan’s cogent argument iterated that the long-term negative impact of plastic bottles is undeniable. Dylan’s 2nd place essay echoed Pelican Water’s core values.

    Dylan Goodwin is a rising sophomore at California Polytechnic State University, where he majors in Bioresource and Agricultural Engineering and maintains an impressive GPA. A natural leader, Dylan was the President of the robotics team at Ventura High School. While at Ventura High Dylan found time to organize and lead weekly engineering lessons at local Boys & Girls Clubs. His $1000 prize will help him continue his studies as he pursues his undergraduate degree at Cal Poly.

    Q: What are some ways to increase awareness about the negative environmental and social impacts of single use bottled water and how would you convince people to filter their own water at home?

    There are many negative health, environmental and social impacts of single use water bottles in our world.

    These effects today have staggering implications upon our current and future community and worldwide

    water resources and economy.  Many people have different reasons for single water bottle use;

    convenience, accessibility, taste, health worries and just the fact that it has become a standard part of our

    everyday lives.  As a consumer I knew that chemicals from plastic, recycling concerns and expense were all

    reasons to avoid purchasing water bottles, but after doing some research I was amazed at the damage

    inflicted both personally and globally by this publicly accepted and embraced usage.

    Some of the reasons to stop using bottles are the leaching of cancer causing carcinogens, inflated cost of

    bottled water, tap filtered water can be just as pure and tasty, recycling concerns (bottles can take over

    1,000 years to bio-degrade and if incinerated they produce toxic fumes). Littering and overflowing landfills

    (U.S. landfills are currently overflowing with 2 million tons of water bottles).   U.S. bottle companies use

    approx.. 1.5 million barrels of oil to meet their manufacturing demands.   It takes about 3 liters of water to

    package 1 liter of bottled water contributing to the prediction that by 2025 we may have worldwide

    drought.  In the U.S. most bottled water comes from an already drought stricken California. Why import

    water to your state or country when there is no need, it is already provided through tap water.

    I believe that education and knowledge are the foundation to increase awareness and provide solutions for

    the public to teach them the importance of choosing the alternative of filtering their drinking water.  There

    is much information on the internet and through environmental groups that could be presented to schools,

    workplaces and community centers etc. to provide people with the tools to become more pro-active in

    supporting their local water districts, thus making public water usage more accessible and convenient. For

    example, I attend Cal-Poly State University, which provides water-filling stations throughout the campus.

    They also have bottled water for purchase at most food vendors.  Posters could be placed at the water-

    refilling stations promoting their usage and giving website addresses for more information.  I believe that

    all educational institutions from elementary school and upward have a civic responsibility to present this

    information to their student bodies for the good of our future.  Workplaces could also provide their

    employees with water coolers and purified, filtered tap water.  Community centers of all types could also

    have educational presentations and programs to help encourage the use of filtered tap water.  The sources to

    help enlighten the public could range from volunteers to environmental groups to your local water district.

    If the huge expense of purchasing and recycling water bottles was redirected to funding our municipal

    water suppliers to improve water filtration where needed and form educational programs that the public

    could learn to follow, we could avoid the future negative devastation that is sure to come .  For example,

    the cost of  bottled water in the U.S. is between $0.25 and $2 per bottle vs. tap water which costs less than a

    penny.  We are paying about 90% of bottled water manufacturer’s costs for bottle, label and cap when 45%

    of the time, the water content is the same as the filtered water we get from our own tap.  Part of these 90%

    savings could be used by water districts for informational flyers and brochures distributed via mail, posters

    hung in public places, advertising via internet, radio, television and newspapers.  Basically any venue that

    would increase public awareness that the “need” for bottled water is a fictional scenario promoted by large

    corporations who are making billions of dollars.  Providing more public water refilling stations and filtered

    fountains for people’s convenience are also solutions that could be absorbed into this revamping program

    as well as offering a range of discounted home water filtration systems and safe portable stainless steel

    refill containers. This is a critical situation that needs to be addressed and solutions implemented and

    corrected for the good and well-being of humanity.