Not long ago, packing a canteen or water bottle was standard practice when planning an outing for a day. In recent years, as bottled water became ubiquitous at events, including the Common Ground Country Fair, habits changed and people commonly purchased bottled water instead of bringing their own. The staff and volunteers leading the Fair Steering Committee have long been concerned about the increased use of bottled water at the Fair and its impact on the environment, natural resources and our own waste stream.
Last year the committee decided to work toward eliminating bottled water sales at the Fair. The first step, for the 2008 Fair, was installing water bottle filling stations, which enabled fairgoers to refill their own water bottles easily with clean, fresh, free water from our well. These filling stations were a hit and substantially reduced the sale of bottled water over previous years.
Encouraged by that progress and confident that we have adequate infrastructure at our education center to meet Fairgoers’ needs for fresh, clean drinking water, the Fair Steering Committee has decided to eliminate the sale of bottled water at the 2009 Fair. We will increase the number of drinking water stations, take additional steps to ensure appropriate access, and educate fairgoers about our decision and the resources we’re making available.