EcoReps continue reusable water bottle distribution during COVID

4 masked students around a table of water bottles and silicon bracelets.

179,000. That's the number of disposable water bottles sold on campus during the 2018-19 school year, according to the student organization EcoReps. Their goal is to significantly reduce that number.

EcoReps are students in the residence halls who promote sustainability on campus. Over the past five years, they have secured funding for, designed, purchased and distributed high-quality, reusable water bottles to Miami students.

This year they raised enough funding to purchase 1,700 bottles. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges to distributing the water bottles. "Water bottle distribution is fast paced and exciting at a normal Mega Fair," said Allison South, senior president of EcoReps. "EcoReps can distribute over 1,000 water bottles to students in under three hours, while chatting about the organization and sustainability at Miami."

Distribution this year has conformed with Healthy Together directives. Wearing gloves and face masks, EcoReps handed out water bottles on two "Water Bottle Wednesdays" in October. The rest will be distributed by individual EcoReps to students living in their residence halls.

Masked student holding up a green waterbottle"[Water Bottle Wednesday] was fun," said first-year EcoRep Logan Tepe. "I got to interact with a lot of people from all backgrounds, and I was able to help educate them on ways they can help make Miami a more environmentally friendly place."

Second year EcoRep Lexi Sundbrink added, “It never gets old seeing people all over campus using our green water bottles. It is awesome to see something that I’ve put time and effort into actually paying off. Every time I spot someone with a green water bottle on campus, I get to see the benefits of our water bottle project!”

Funding for the EcoReps Water Bottle Project this year came from the Office of Residence Life, Family Fund, Institute for the Environment and Sustainability, Institute for Food, the Office of Sustainability, Geography Department, Department of Geology and Environmental Earth Sciences, Western Center, Key Bank, College Republicans, MOON Coop, Geological Society, Department of German, Russian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages & Cultures, the Interfaith Center, the Miami Valley Audubon, GreenhawksMedia, Dr. Marshall, CHAARG student organization, Anatomy and Physiology Club, Oxford Farmers Market, and the Global Business Brigades.

For more information about the EcoReps, contact Allison South at