Bottled water has significant environmental costs. In places like Yosemite, where there is amazing fresh spring water, water is being drained from one source, packaged in plastic, shipped, and then charged to park goers. Obviously, this is not only inefficient but is not eco-friendly.
“The parks were created to preserve ecology,” said Michelle Myers, director of the San Francisco Bay chapter of the Sierra Club. “It should be their responsibility to serve as an example and take this step to protect the environment.”
DRG manager and long time Yosemite speed climber, Hans Florine added, “I climbed in Yosemite for years when there was no bottled water,” he said. “I vividly remember filling up my apple juice bottles and it wasn’t a burden.”
Florine has helped to convert DRG towards a plastic bottle free environment by using canteens and tap water. "I like being efficient. It's mind boggling to think that we spend money and energy to ship something around that is free."
With readily available water bottles, like the ones at Dogpatch Boulders, visitors could reuse their own bottles at national parks and in the climbing gyms. Touchstone hopes to implement the idea on a local level and encourage climbers to take the idea to the parks with them.
"Personally I think it's a great idea. I never buy plastic water bottles and I'm excited to be able to start Dogpatch Boulders off on the right foot,” said Justin Alarcon, the manager of Dogpatch Boulders.
Many of the Touchstone climbing gyms are heading towards a plastic bottle free environment. Touchstone would like to encourage all climbers to think environmentally. Use canteens and keep from using needless plastic bottles.