An arch made with 2,000 empty plastic water bottles in the student center at the University of Vermont was dedicated Wednesday as a monument to the school's decision to end the sale of bottled water on the Burlington campus.
The "bottled water retirement party" Wednesday, the last day of classes during the fall semester, was symbolically consecrated when dozens of students, faculty and staff walked through the arch, dubbed a "monument to waste."
The ban takes effect on Jan. 1.
"To me bottled water is a symbol and a symptom of how far our culture has strayed from the path of conscience, responsibility and respect for life on earth," said Mykala McDonald, 24, of Montpelier, a 2010 UVM graduate who helped begin the four-year-long push to end bottled water on campus in favor of water filling stations where people can refill reusable containers. "Bottled water is symbolic of our culture's obsession with convenience and the escalating problem of privatization of public resources."