Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.
According to Coca-Cola, runoff is the No. 1 one cause of pollution in streams because it carries fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals into them. The company says a rain barrel can save most homeowners 1,300 gallons of water each year.
A rain barrel system collects and stores rainwater from your roof that would otherwise be diverted to storm drains and streams. Rain barrels, like the 55-gallon syrup concentrate drums donated by Coca-Cola, are converted using off-the-shelf hardware items. They are relatively simple and inexpensive to make and can fit conveniently under any residential gutter down spout.
Stored rainwater can be used during periods of drought to water plants, wash your car or to top a swimming pool. It contains no chlorine, fluoride, lime or calcium.
Summers said Coca-Cola’s 2020 environmental goals include replenishing 100 percent of the water the company uses. Summers discussed the benefits of the company’s PlantBottle, a recyclable plastic bottle made partially from plants, leaving a small footprint on the planet.
As of June 2013, the bottles had eliminated about 140,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions from the company’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles, according to the Coca-Cola Company.
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