Lobo BYOB has partnered with "Take Back the Tap" in an effort to provide more water bottle filtration stations on the UNM campus. This initiative is designed to save UNM faculty and staff money as well reducing the environmental burden of plastic bottles, which have become a global crisis.

Lobo BYOB is asking students to text “I <3 TAP” to 69866 and then enter your school email address (.edu) to support clean water availability on the UNM campus. Your vote also goes towards a contest where the University that wins receives funding to install more water filtration stations on campus. The deadline to vote is Wednesday, April 22.

The gradual phasing out of plastic water bottles is taking place on college campuses all across the U.S. This is being done for several reasons including cost. Bottled water costs anywhere from 1,500 to 2,400 times as much as tap water.

Another is the amount of energy wasted in the production of plastic water bottles. In the U.S. in 2007, 54 billion barrels of oil was used to produce and transport plastic bottles. This is enough oil to power 1.5 million cars for a full year.

Additionally, 70 percent of these water bottles end up in landfills, lakes, streams and oceans where they can take as long as 450 years to decompose.

Safety has been another concern with tap water since the majority of bottled water is simply filtered tap water.

“We can do the same process here on campus for way cheaper and without any of the environmental consequences,” Saenz said. “Take the pledge and help support sustainable water here at UNM.”

For more information regarding the initiative, visit Take Back The Tap or email Gabriel Saenz, gsaenz@unm.edu and or Sharlynn Jean Lee, slee34@unm.edu​.