Reusable Bottle Giveaway Promotes Sustainability

Monday, October 26 2009

Written by Melissa Shumake

MOSCOW, Idaho – The University of Idaho Sustainability Center and the university’s Dean of Students office gave away 1,500 reusable stainless steel beverage containers this fall to new students on campus, including freshmen, transfer students, and incoming graduate and law students.

The Dean of Students office participated as a way to incorporate the values of Bill McKibben’s “Deep Economy,” the freshmen Common Read book, into the daily lives of incoming freshmen. The Common Read program helps prepare incoming students for university coursework by introducing themes and ideas they will encounter in the core curriculum and other university activities.

Laura Hutchinson, assistant dean of students, said that the bottles are very visible on campus. She believes the success of the giveaway lies in the fact that the Dean of Students office is practicing what they are preaching by helping students live more sustainably.

The UISC is funded in part by student fees, so using those fees to encourage campus culture shift through the giveaway was a great way to introduce new students to the notion of small steps having big impacts.

“This is the sustainability version of marketing swag,” said Andy Carman, student programs coordinator at the UISC. “But, rather than getting a useless item that'll break right away, we're giving students something they can use all of the time and that will ultimately prevent tons of trash from hitting the landfills.”

Any incoming freshmen, transfer students, graduate or law students who did not receive their reusable bottles are welcome to pick them up at the UISC, located on the third floor of Shoup Hall on Sixth Street in Moscow. Bottles will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

As increasing environmental awareness drives interest in sustainable practices, the University of Idaho continues to promote initiatives that meet the current and future needs of society and to contribute to the quality of life in Idaho, the nation and the world. The University of Idaho emitted some 38,981 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in 2007, which is equal to 3.59 tons per student. The university has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030 and has begun to work to reduce carbon emissions across campus. For more information about the university’s sustainability efforts, contact the University of Idaho Sustainability Center at or visit
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About the University of Idaho
Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit