Fill ’Er Up

Share this post

Cold, pure water is a baseline perk for office workers. Hydrated workers, after all, are more productive than workers who are as dried out as the discarded husks of molting insects.

But if you’re the one in charge of making sure your coworkers are hydrated, consider looking beyond bottled water.

While some readers may be shocked to hear this, many companies still provide bottled water to employees and guests, despite the high environmental cost of creating plastic bottles and dealing with plastic waste.

And you’re not off the hook if your office gets its water from those huge 18-gallon bottles delivered once or twice a month. Those bottles are made of plastic, too. And the environmental footprint of having them delivered must be factored in as well.

So what’s the alternative? Tap water can be unreliable in regard to taste and quality at times, and pointing employees to the kitchen sink for hydration feels a little—cheap. It might also have the unintended consequence of sending thirsty workers to the soda machine for beverages.

Instead, consider a bottle filling station.
Bottle filling stations come in different sizes and shapes. Some mount to walls; some stand alone on a counter. Some just keep the water chilled; others have cold, hot, and room-temperature options. You can even get a model that keeps a count of plastic bottles not used. Bottle filling stations vary depending on your workspace, but regardless of the style, they beat individual plastic water bottles. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Cheaper. Water in plastic bottles is 300 times more expensive than tap water alone. Plastic bottles are also often half full when they’re thrown away or recycled;  when the water isn’t consumed, the cost is even higher on a per-gallon-consumed basis.
  2. Safer. Bottled water is actually subject to fewer regulations for contaminants and bacteria than tap water.  While tap water in some locations has been shown to be unsafe, most of the U.S. has a very safe water supply. Making sure your bottle filling station supports filtration makes it an even safer choice.
  3. Billboard. Refill stations provide a spot for advertising events. Use the refill station’s  captive audience to promote your employee assistance program, upcoming events, or to get out the word on any new policies and procedures.
  4. Branding. Encourage use of the refill station by providing a branded water bottle to all new hires. Glass or stainless steel are sturdy materials, and reusable bottles are a great hydration tool for work. Make sure to have a nice-looking pitcher and (reusable) glassware on hand for meetings with outside visitors.
  5. Green. Think of all the plastic you and your company aren’t using and how much less waste you’re producing. This shows that you care about the environment.

Choosing and Installing a Refill Station
Elkay has a wide variety of wall-mounted water stations. They range from automatic streams that fill cups or bottles to water-fountain styles. All Elkay stations come with installation instructions but also provide a specialist to install for you for a hassle-free start to your water-drinking adventure. Elkay water stations are available through many online retailers. Visit Elkay’s website for more information about where to buy—both in person and online.

Waterlogic is another company that provides bottleless water stations. These can stand alone on countertops and don’t require wall installation. Waterlogic also provides cold, hot, or even sparkling water. There’s a wide range of prices and special features, so it’s important to focus on what makes sense for your workspace.

Although there may be a period of adjustment after switching to bottle fillers, and some workers may grumble about the change, the savings to your bottom line and the benefit to the environment will be worth it. And, ultimately, workers will likely come to appreciate the eco-friendliness of making the switch.

Dana Lester has a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics. She is passionate about holistic wellness, eating fruit, and writing.
 

 

Subscribe to the WEEKLY BITE

* indicates required

 

Recent WorkLife articles:

Know the risks when sparks fly at the workplace
February 12, 2019
The benefits of employee wellness programs
February 6, 2019
Three tips for taking your work life to the next level
January 29, 2019
How healthy office snacks impact productivity
January 24, 2019
Six easy health hacks to try at work
January 17, 2019
An affordable approach to a workplace wellness program
January 11, 2019
Ten work perks to show your appreciation without breaking the office budget
January 1, 2019
Tips on how to find an effective manager
December 18, 2018
Four techniques to increase productivity during your workday
December 11, 2018
Tips on maintaining productivity with an open floor plan
December 4, 2018

More recent articles:

Food:
Making the most of citrus season
February 14, 2019
Food:
Three hearty soup recipes you can enjoy all month
February 4, 2019
Food:
Tempting winter fruits to brighten your weekly mix
January 31, 2019
How to beat the winter blues
January 17, 2019
Keep running all season long with these winter running tips
January 15, 2019
The FruitGuys New Year’s poem
January 8, 2019
Food:
Easy meal prep recipes you can eat all week
January 7, 2019
5 techniques for New Year’s resolutions you’ll keep
December 27, 2018
Climb the stairway to wellness with an office fitness challenge
December 20, 2018
Authentic paella recipe
December 13, 2018

About Us

Our online magazine offers a taste of workplace culture, trends, and healthy living. It features recipes for easy, delicious work meals and tips on quick office workouts. It's also an opportunity to learn about our GoodWorks program, which helps those in need in our communities and supports small, sustainable farms.