Photo courtesy of Snap®

St. Paul, Minn. – Beginning September 1, 2011, Macalester College will no longer be offering bottled water. 

The college is eliminating the sale and provision of bottled water as part of its overall sustainability and climate neutrality initiatives. In addition to reducing its carbon footprint, this change provides a healthier environment, promotes social justice, and builds a stronger economy. 

Macalester senior Clare Pillsbury, who was involved in getting the policy passed, said bottling and selling water has been a brilliant and persuasive marketing campaign.

“Water should not be a commodity that people pay to consume, but rather a basic human right, said Pillsbury. “The amount of energy that goes into the production of bottled water far surpasses the amount of energy used to provide clean tap water to millions of Americans. This has negative repercussions in the form of carbon emissions into the atmosphere.” 

Plain, bottled water will no longer be sold at the Highlander (campus store), food concessions, athletic events or vending machines, be used for catering or meal pack-outs or purchased with college funds.

The college is upgrading its water fountains and will continue to have jug water stations throughout campus and at college events.

Pillsbury said it’s important that Macalester adopted this policy.

“When an institution such as Macalester College decides to take steps to discontinue bottled water, they are not only encouraging their students, staff and faculty to engage in more sustainable practices, but they are also declaring their dedication to ensure that water continues to remain a basic human right, and not a commodity,” said Pillsbury.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,985 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.  Learn more at  

August 24 2011

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