I used to go to a lot of hockey games. Hockey fans are a wild bunch, rowdy and fun and loud … and thirsty! They’d spend outrageous amounts of money on huge cans of draft beer, “souvenir cups” of soda and the occasional bottle of water. As time went on and bottled water became more and more popular I would exceed my hockey fun budget to buy an occasional bottle of water. They were ice cold as the vendor pulled each from a cooler and removed the bottle top. I thought this was not only strange and somehow unsanitary but it annoyed me quite a bit because it was my intention to make that expensive bottle of water last as long as I could. So I wanted a lid! Why did they take the lid off of my expensive bottle of water?
I learned that bottle caps were not allowed in the arena because fans too often threw them onto the ice where players couldn’t see them and would trip over them and fall. This caused delays in the game and the possibility that players could be injured so bottle caps, not bottled water, were banned. Once it was explained to me, I was completely in agreement with the policy.
Similarly, officials at the Grand Canyon National Park have announced that they will soon ban the sale of bottled water in response to concerns that empty plastic bottles scattered around the park are spoiling views of the natural landscape.
Approximately $290,000 has been spent to install ten water stations inside the park. Visitors will be invited to use the new water stations to refill their own water bottles that they bring with them from elsewhere. Concession stands within the park, who can still sell other bottled beverages, have also donated funds to the project.
As many as 4.5 million tourists visit the Grand Canyon each year and officials worry that litter found on the rim and inner canyon is quickly spoiling the park and its natural beauty. I think the new rule in the park is a good rule ... and I understand it better because I used to go to hockey games.
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