Thousands of runners, cyclists, walkers, commuters, and tourists pass by or over the Golden Gate Bridge every single day. To help cut down on plastic waste, reusable glass bottle provider Lifefactory teamed up with both the National Park Service and Globaltap to install a reusable bottle filling station at the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion in San Francisco. Combined with the proposed ban on the sale of plastic water bottles in the city, San Francisco would be the first major metropolis to take the brave plunge in reducing their environmental impact.
The Golden Gate Bridge is part of the larger U.S. National Park Service, where plastic bottles represent 1/3 to 1/2 the trash left by visitors, creating both an ecological and financial burden. Since 2011, the National Park Service has moved to implement disposable plastic water bottle recycling and reduction programs, with the option for total elimination of sales where refilling stations are feasible, such as the one above.
The new San Francisco water fountain/bottle filling station unit is located on the southeast side of the bridge at the Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion adjacent to the Visitor Center and Gift Shop. Next time you head out on that ride, walk, or run near the Golden Gate Bridge, bring your reusable bottle and fill up with some great tasting Hetch Hetchy water.
I would love to see the Park Service do this at Muir Woods, Mt. Tam, Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, and other highly trafficked outdoor tourist spots all over the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. According to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, it appears this may be in the works.
Where else have you seen water bottle filling stations in state or national parks and other outdoor environments? I know the Grand Canyon has implemented a few along both the North and South Rims and Yosemite has water stations scattered throughout the valley floor. Reusable water bottle company Vapur has also teamed up with Elkay to implement Refill Stations across state and national parks, colleges and universities, as well as travel and hospitality destinations throughout the United States.
A great step in the right direction.