The refilling stations at Paradise, Mt. Rainier National Park and at Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park are great, and seem to be loved by everyone. We in the outdoor community use them all the time. We’ve all got great re-usable, odorless water bottles, take them on our drives, and refill them before we head our on our hike. It’s a no-brainer. Highlighted by a counter on the refilling stations that tell you how many bottles you saved by filling up, the water stations have become a unique and environmentally positive experience in our National Parks.
But they are a new thing, and not in every Park yet. They are part of a new initiative toward sustainability, reducing trash and litter both in and out of the park, and helping teach environmentalism and stewardship in our protected natural lands. The program has been so successful and well received by the general public, that the National Park Service is planning on expanding them. That is, unless the dickheads of Big Water get their way.
“First, the National Park Service said it would cut back on selling its visitors bottled water to reduce the litter left behind.
Now, Congress — under pressure from the powerful bottled water industry — is threatening to cut off the federal money the Park Service is using to replace the disposable plastic water bottles with refilling stations.”
Since it appears Congress is going to side with the lobbyists of the water bottling industry, the Parks are prepared to fund this project on their own, through the help of non-profits and businesses alike. Companies like SIGG, Klean Kanteen, “and friends” will hopefully step up and help the National Parks get those filling stations put into all the popular Visitor Centers. Those businesses could donate money to the nonprofits that support the Park, helping ensure their sustainability efforts now and in the future.
You see how easy this can be? What other problems should we solve on this lovely Friday afternoon?