Texas Water in UT Tower-Shaped Bottle to Raise Millions for Academic Scholarships

July 19, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas — H2Orange®, a new purified Texas water in a unique scale-model replica of the iconic University of Texas at Austin Tower, will raise millions of dollars for academic scholarships, fellowships and internships at the university, it was announced today by university President William Powers Jr. and GSD&M co-founders Steve Gurasich and Tim McClure.

H2Orange water bottle in the shape of The University of Texas at Austin Tower

Gurasich and McClure, the G and M in GSD&M, created H2Orange to help more deserving students attend The University of Texas at Austin. Every bottle of H2Orange purchased will help reach the goal of raising $1 million annually for the next 10 years and beyond.

"H2Orange represents a first-of-its-kind partnership between a cause-marketing movement and The University of Texas at Austin," Powers said at a news conference announcing the initiative.

This is the first time that the university's iconic Tower has been licensed for a consumable product and H2Orange is the first project to combine an iconic water bottle with funding for academic scholarships at a major university.

"Our battle cry is 'Drink water. Bleed orange.™ Fund scholarships.'" McClure said.

H2Orange fans will be able to see the impact of their purchases online at www.h2orange.com, where the dollar amount raised for scholarships will be updated regularly. Contests, partnerships and other H2Orange news and events will be announced and discussed on the Web site and on Facebook and Twitter.

"Through social media channels, Texas Exes and H2Orange Ambassadors we hope to inspire hundreds of thousands of 'H2Orangebloods' to join the cause," Gurasich said. "Our aim is to take word-of-mouth to a new level by rallying UT fans to not only buy the water themselves, but also to tell friends about it and make sure their grocery stores, convenience stores and other favorite establishments proudly carry H2Orange."

H2Orange will be introduced with significant distribution in Austin and select distribution in major Texas markets as it rolls out this fall. H2Orange will be available at grocery and convenience stores, in select restaurants, bars and retail outlets, and in multiple locations across The University of Texas at Austin campus. Participating retailers will be updated on the H2Orange.com Web site. Plans are in the works for H2Orange to be available online for University of Texas at Austin fans outside of Texas.

H2Orange has been named the official water of the Texas Exes tailgating parties, and the water will also be available at the Etta-Harbin Alumni Center, home of the Texas Exes in Austin, so that proceeds may also benefit the Texas Exes Scholars program.

"H2Orange is a win-win-win for the university, for Texas Exes and for deserving students," said Jim Boon, executive director of the Texas Exes.

Gurasich and McClure are life members of the Texas Exes, and McClure recently updated the branding used by the Texas Exes today, including a banner that says "'Til Gabriel blows his horn."

H2Orange is "Texas Purified" to achieve optimum purity and taste. Texas rainwater collects in three Texas rivers — the Atascosa, Nueces and Frio — that flow into Choke Canyon Reservoir and Lake Corpus Christi. The Corpus Christi Municipal Water District purifies that water to exacting Environmental Protection Agency standards, then the Oneta Bottling Company further purifies H2Orange, using a combination of activated carbon, ozone, ion exchange, reverse osmosis and deionization.

H2Orange Investor/Ambassadors include alumni such as former national champion quarterback James Street, World Golf Hall of Famer and golf legend Ben Crenshaw and Red McCombs, benefactor of the university's McCombs School of Business.

The University of Texas at Austin Tower is one of the university's most recognizable symbols and an iconic architectural landmark for Austinites, Texans and Texas Exes around the world. The 307-foot-tall Tower, designed by renowned architect Paul Philippe Cret, was completed in 1937. Through the years, the Tower has been the university's most distinguishing landmark and a symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity. Based on Beaux-Arts principles of balance, axial arrangements and symmetry, the Tower formed, in Cret's words, "the image carried in our memory when we think of the place."

For more information about H2Orange, including a list of Texas retail outlets by zip code, go to www.h2orange.com.

For more information, contact: Brenda Thompson, Brenda Thompson Communications, 512-461-5644.

124 Comments to "Texas Water in UT Tower-Shaped Bottle to Raise Millions for Academic Scholarships"

1.  Marcos said on July 19, 2010

There are way better ways to raise money than through the sale of bottled water. The energy and oil needed to bottle and distribute water has tremendous environmental impact, not the least of which is the plastic itself. Most people prefer tap water, and there are far more environmental sound ways to purify water (such as tap or pitcher filters).

As an alum, I urge UT to not participate in the sale of bottled water. Watch "The Story of Bottled Water."

2.  Ryan Patterson said on July 19, 2010

I'm a teenager in the U.K. wondering about UT Austin's scholarship programs.

3.  Janice said on July 19, 2010

Marcos, you are funny. Super marketing. I would buy it if it was sold in California, and I definitely will buy it when I am in Austin next trip.

4.  Mike Searcy said on July 19, 2010

Right Marcos, let's have a bake sale or maybe rake leaves like the old days to raise money. No wait, a big garage sale! Is it perfect? No, but given that bottled water sales top $7 billion a year, it seems like a good market to tap into (no pun intended) for raising money.

5.  Big Question said on July 19, 2010

Will it be "ORANGE" flavored?

6.  Jim Piper said on July 19, 2010

If you read their FAQ, they purchased carbon offsets, and the bottle is recyclable. I'm more concerned that the bottle looks rather inconveniently shaped.

7.  Atticus said on July 19, 2010

Oh Marcos, do you really think a university literally built on oil really cares about the environmental impact of plastic water bottles? Especially if there's a buck to be made from it.

8.  Paul said on July 19, 2010

Thank you, Marcos. My thoughts exactly!

9.  Robert G. Smith said on July 19, 2010

I am the spouse of a UT alum and would love to support this project. Unfortunately, we live in central Virginia. Is this water available via UPS/FedEx? If so, you have a couple of thirsty customers.

10.  Robin said on July 19, 2010

While the marketing is brilliant and the cause good, I have to agree that the choice of bottled water is horrible in terms of its environmental impact. Plastic bottles can take 1,000 years to biodegrade and Americans buy almost 30 BILLION a year. This terrible impact is in addition to the production issues that Marcos pointed out.

I support UT and scholarship, but am disappointed at the disregard for the environment demonstrated by this fundraising choice.

11.  Jon said on July 19, 2010

@Marcos: This is from the H2Orange Web site:

"Is the bottle recyclable?
Absolutely. Our PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle is 100 percent recyclable, and carbon credits have been purchased through Green Mountain Energy to offset the environmental impact of H2Orange’s manufacturing and transportation of the bottles."

12.  Karen said on July 19, 2010

I have to agree with Marcos. Bottled water seems to epitomize the self-centered, self-referential gestalt. Five years ago, it might have been amusing and a great way to raise money. Knowing what we do now, it's obscene.

13.  April said on July 19, 2010

I agree with Marcos 100 percent!

14.  Mina said on July 19, 2010

What a waste of investment. And I'm sure it's not eco-friendly. And ONLY 40 percent of the money goes to scholarships. Really?

15.  Scott said on July 19, 2010

Umm...I'm no copywriter, but GSD&M's use of the term "Bleed Orange" in direct reference to a product that uses as its core packaging feature -- a replica of the UT clock Tower -- is awkward. Unintentional, to be sure, but still it's an uncomfortable association of words and building history.

16.  Anti-Greenpeace thugs said on July 19, 2010

Greenpeace and their thugs are getting bigger and bigger with their irrational profit raking and business killing practices.

@ Marcos: Start living in forests and then lecture on climate change.

17.  Katie A. said on July 19, 2010

This is the perfect drink for me to help put down a few dozen chicken wings for my afternoon snack. Yum.

18.  Texas_Vinnie said on July 19, 2010

You nailed it, Marcos. Amazing. More plastic bottles in a city that touts itself as "enviro-friendly." And you people think it's a good thing because it's the university? Seems a tad hypocritical to me.

19.  William Brennan said on July 19, 2010

What a terrific opportunity to support a much-needed scholarship fund for the worthy! Way to go, University of Texas at Austin.

20.  Ashley said on July 19, 2010

Great idea to help raise money for scholarships!

21.  gabby said on July 19, 2010

Great way to fund scholarships. I'm a UT Ex and proud of it!

22.  Andrew said on July 19, 2010

This is a ridiculous idea for a number of reasons. The biggest one is what Marcos mentioned - it's wasteful. Anyone who lives in Austin is surely aware of the push over the last few years to abandon the use of disposable water bottles, and I think it's a very hard sell to argue that that is not a good thing.

All these fancy bottles will do is encourage fans to spend their money on something they can get almost for free, and the remains will subsequently end up littering the green areas and gutters around campus.

Let's not even get into the engineering problem of how inefficient the bottle design is with regard to plastic volume versus internal volume, and the added cost of developing special tooling to manufacture such an oddly shaped container.

Come on, UT. Let's come up with some better ideas to raise money.

23.  Jane Ann Parker said on July 19, 2010

This is so irresponsible. Like we need more plastic in this world! I urge UT not to participate in sales of this bottled water as well. Really BAD idea.

24.  Andrew said on July 19, 2010

Thanks for the good post, Marcos. It's ironic that the same guy who came up with the "Don't mess with Texas" slogan also thought of this. How many millions of these plastic-heavy bottles will trash the state just to reach their fundraising goals?

25.  UTGrad said on July 19, 2010

This is the stupidest idea I've ever heard. Don't these people have jobs?

26.  Suzy said on July 19, 2010

It won't be so funny when we're facing water shortages in another decade or two, and oil shortages much sooner. Wake up.

27.  Steve in Austin said on July 19, 2010

So the Tower is a "symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity"? Nobody thinks that. Nice try, guys, but sadly, that Tower will forever be a symbol of something else. The No. 1 association people make is to Charles Whitman, the sniper.

28.  Margo said on July 19, 2010

Thanks, Marcos, for pointing out the obvious! If you want to support UT scholarships, drink free tap water and use the money you save to make a REAL donation. More funding will get to the students, and you won't be harming the environment. Or, here's an idea: Why not market a reusable Tower-shaped bottle?

29.  Francisco, UT Grad said on July 19, 2010

It's certainly a novel idea but an entirely ill-conceived one as well. Terrible timing. Let's say these are a success...great...more disposable water bottles in Austin. Hopefully the students helped by this grow up to school some sense into the people who thought this up. All of that aside...I might buy one.

30.  Kevin said on July 19, 2010

I LOVE this, and I will buy one.

31.  Jessie said on July 19, 2010

It’s always easier to be the critic, isn’t it?

I'm from Oregon, and I think it's a brilliant idea. If people are going to buy bottled water, why not H2Orange and support a great cause. Marcos, rather than being so negative, what is your suggestion for raising scholarship money?

32.  Laurie said on July 19, 2010

Love the idea and as a Life Member of the Texas Exes will support the cause by buying it. The Tower IS a "symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity." I disagree with Steve's opinion. I don't believe that most people associate it primarily with Whitman. I have a print of it in my house that is beautiful and not one comment on it has referenced the sniper, ever.

33.  Ask some questions said on July 19, 2010

Why isn't anyone asking about the percent of sales that will actually go to the scholarships. Where are the probing questions about the economics?

The UT Austin campus doesn't even have an official recycling program, but they sure have a lot of MBAs. Yeah, its a win-win-win all right, but not for the environment.

34.  Kathi said on July 19, 2010

Sure we should have concern for the environment, but this is already a done deal, so please just recycle the bottle if you choose to buy. And I'll echo one question from an earlier comment, "Will there be an orange-flavored version" (a sugarless, not artificially sweetened, natural orange-flavored version, of course)?

35.  Jason Sewell said on July 19, 2010

Look, I appreciate the sentiment -- money for scholarships, UT pride, a cool-looking 1:400 scale conversation piece.

But bottled water? Really?

I realize that these things are 100 percent recyclable and that you've purchased carbon offsets. That doesn't change the fact that a good percentage of these petroleum-derived bottles are going to end up in a land fill. Why not a reusable aluminum water container? I'm disappointed that UT put their name on this.

Jason Sewell
UT Class of 1999

36.  CJB said on July 19, 2010

Sounds like a great idea and something that was not implemented I am sure without a lot of thought and concern for the environment, university and the future of our children and their education. Maybe not the university of someone's choice could affect their perspective of the product and its purpose.

37.  Patricia said on July 19, 2010

Great idea for 2000, not 2010. What a waste. Tequila or bourbon in a reusable bottle, sure, but water bottles? Were these folks asleep when they came up with the water bottle idea? Haven't they seen the move away from that idea almost everywhere including sports drinks that are now powders and such to add to your metal water container? Is this an Aggie joke?

38.  Austin8 said on July 19, 2010

It's truly amusing to see the eco-folks go crazy over the minuscule issue of plastic trash. What, nobody here recycles their plastics? I do think bottled water is often a waste of money and resources, but they have their uses and markets. So go for it. Carbon offsets by the way are a scam, so UT shouldn't waste money on them. Save the money for the scholarships. It will do more good.

39.  A said on July 19, 2010

Seems like the plastic water bottle is no different from souvenir cups sold at events. Should we ban the sale of all plastic bottles and make everyone bring his/her own beverage container and sell refills only? That's a rhetorical question, right?

40.  @ Environ-mentalists said on July 20, 2010

I suspect what all these people speaking against this venture would have done if they had this opportunity of starting a business. It's plain hypocrisy like Greenpeace and PETA. While you still continue to do numerous things which are more environmentally unfriendly than this bottled water is, but you don't even take a second to bash someone who is trying to make a business and simultaneously raise the university's profile by reaching more and more people.

41.  Marcos said on July 20, 2010

I'm glad to hear that many others agree with me that raising money should not come from such an environmentally unsound product. For the record, according to the EPA, only 27.2 percent of U.S. plastic bottles are recycled (PDF). The rest end up in landfills or worse.

Those that are recycled are usually turned into other, disposal plastic products. I again encourage everyone to watch "The Story of Bottled Water," linked to at the top.

Please note: to view any linked PDF files in this comment, you must first download the Acrobat Reader plug-in for your browser.

42.  Zelma said on July 20, 2010

I am an avid supporter of the Texas Longhorns, and I think this bottled water is a great idea. I have relatives who live in Nebraska, and they will be getting some from me when it becomes available. I am a senior citizen, and I am excited about this.

43.  malcolmkass said on July 20, 2010

Well, I actually am an engineer, so I will go ahead and comment. First, there is demand for bottled water, so this product is simply replacing what is already out there, so nothing new is going to happen. Second, people have free will. Should they recycle? Sure, but it is an option. Just advertise it on the bottle to recycle to induce it. Lastly, any "engineering concerns" are silly. There are large economies of scale in any mass-produced product, so the design matters little. And again, I highly doubt that this will actually increase bottled water demand. People will substitute this for what is already out there. So, ultimately, this is pretty benign.

How about this? Instead of watching some video, if you really care, get a chemical engineering degree. (Be careful, they require a lot of hard work.) And actually know the science behind all of this. Watching videos is for the naive and simple.

44.  John said on July 20, 2010

Instead of bottling water from the Corpus Christi reservoir, they should be bottling Austin city water drawn from taps on the campus. That way alumni can get that unique "seasonal taste" that comes our way during the times when Lake Travis runs low.

45.  Helena said on July 20, 2010

These will look great littering the parking lots around UT Austin after tailgating parties! Hook 'em!

46.  Andy said on July 20, 2010

Wow...you guys are really in love with yourselves. Must be something in the water. /w\

47.  james said on July 20, 2010

I think selling the ut bottlewater is a very great things for the students who will be attening ut.yes, there is mixed emotions about the tower being use as marketing tool. As, a texas beloved fan i support this H2orange bottlewater. Put me down for three cases.

48.  Richard said on July 20, 2010

People, why are you being so critical. This is an awesome idea! Environmental hippies need to chill out.

49.  mrs. f5 said on July 20, 2010

I love creative fundraising, and it's true that demand for bottled water isn't waning anytime soon. But what about taking this idea and making it a little greener? Suggestion:

I picked up a Vapur water bottle while visiting MOMA last week, and it's near genius: 10 bucks for a collapsible, reusable, BPA-free "bottle" that I can throw in the dishwasher.

I already wish I'd bought a spare. If it were orange, emblazoned with an image of the Tower and marked up to raise money for my alma mater?

Yeah: I'd buy one for everyone I know. Hook 'em.

50.  eric said on July 20, 2010

@malcolmkass Please explain to those of us in other disciplines what a chemical engineering degree will help us understand about the benefits of producing more plastic bottles. In Chicago they seem to be similar to cigarettes and hamburgers: on the way out.

51.  Rudy said on July 20, 2010

Wow - 46 comments on bottled water - do you folks know about the other story on the home page - top notch professors awarded three million for cancer research?

52.  Stos said on July 20, 2010

I think the attacking rhetoric should stop between the people who are for and against. Why can't the issues just be addressed. None of the fors even responded to the idea of a reusable bottle in the same shape as the plastic bottle. That would sell very well...especially if the Greek kids (frats, not nationality) replaced their Nalgenes with these.

53.  Lulu said on July 21, 2010

If the goal is to raise one million annually for scholarships, how much are the creators profiting?

54.  Bill said on July 21, 2010

Please share the great fundraising ideas all of you hippies have.

55.  Carolyn said on July 21, 2010

"Bleed" is rather a poor choice in the motto considering the 46 people who did "bleed" at the foot of the Tower; only they bled red instead of orange.

The idea is good. The motto stinks!

56.  Gregory said on July 21, 2010

For all of you who have decided this is a horrible idea what are your ideas and suggestions for helping UT raise $1 million a year for students and academics? Cutting salaries, taking money from coaches, halting the construction of new buildings are not fundraising ideas…come up with something and email President Powers. I’m sure he would welcome your input. There are over 400K living UT alumni and millions of fans and friends...we can do better than criticize

To kick this off here are my two suggestions:

1) If you are not currently giving an annual contribution to UT…start. Especially those of you who think the water bottle is a bad idea and don’t contribute already.

2) Don’t buy the water bottle and give the $2 or whatever it costs directly to UT. $2 gifts add up. Give here: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/nlogon/vip/ogp.WBX. Put in the comments section, “I didn’t buy the water”

57.  KyleAg06 said on July 21, 2010

Yes, I would love a bottle of water in the form of a building where Charles Whitman killed 14 and wounded 32. By the way, love the green hippy t-sip worried about the environmental impact.

58.  Garrett said on July 21, 2010

I think attacking an idea that will raise millions for scholarships is the biggest waste of time. By making the bottles of plastic production costs are cut and therefore there will be more profit to be made, and in return, more scholarship money to be had. Environmentally safe: no
But think of all the good that will come of it.

59.  Andrew said on July 21, 2010

@malcolmkass Glad to see there are other engineers out there. It is, however, unfortunate that at least one of them thinks his job title makes a suitable substitute for having a valid argument.

If efficiency in bottle design meant nothing, you would not see bottled water manufacturers redesigning their bottles to use less plastic. Ozarka in recent years comes to mind.

With Marcos' figure cited above of only 27 percent of disposable bottles actually being recycled, it's hard to make the argument that a bottle which uses an excessive amount of plastic for purely cosmetic reasons is a good thing, given that the statistics say 73 percent of them will wind up in the regular trash or in a gutter somewhere. Longhorns are no less wasteful than the rest of America, I'm sad to say.

So assuming the demand for these bottles is no higher than any other bottled water brand, and assuming Joe Consumer only recycles 27 percent of the time, I would much prefer that if the consumer will throw the bottle into the trash anyway, it be one which doesn't have an excess of plastic material.

As others have said, a reusable UT bottle would be preferable. UT need not fear the market becoming saturated with a reusable UT bottle. There's a new freshman class every year who will gladly file into the Co-op to buy one.

60.  Stos said on July 21, 2010

2.5 million annually? I'm horrible at math, but I just did that in my head, and it should be at least close.

61.  Josh said on July 22, 2010

I promise to donate $40 to UT if this plan is stopped.

62.  dentonlt said on July 22, 2010

Fave comments: Marcos, malcolmkass

Yes, the impacts were the first thing that came to mind here. I live in a 10 year drought region, and localities are gradually banning bottled water. Bottles are not feasible in this area.

malcolmkass is right, though. The tower bottles are attempting to cut into an existing bottled-water market. That market, and its litter, exists with or without this fundraising project.

Perhaps this all creates an opportunity to increase awareness by purchasing uniquely shaped recycling bins for campus.

63.  John said on July 22, 2010

@A I know you were asking a rhetorical question about people bringing their own reusable bottles to events. However, living in Germany, I have experienced another alternative. Why not sell drinks in containers that you have to turn back in to get a deposit back. Every fest I go to over here, the beer comes in either a glass or glass bottle. When you finish with your beer, you turn it in for one Euro back. How hard would it be to turn in your glasses when you are done with them?

Also, if the university wants to sell novelty bottled water, at least do it in a glass container that can be kept. This plastic stuff will certainly end up in landfills.

Five dollars to the first person who can tell me how much oil is used to produce and ship bottled water annually. Gross.

64.  Sarah said on July 22, 2010

I echo Marcos and Karen - well said.

@Stos: Agreed. Why can't the university sell novelty glass bottles in the same shape? They could sell for $5 or $7 and could be reused.

And as long as the Texas Exes use these at their events, I, as a Life Member, will no longer be contributing any money to the organization.

65.  Mark said on July 22, 2010

Marco is exactly right. Recycling rates for plastic bottles are low, and even if rates were 100% the energy used in creating the plastic wouldn't be recovered.

I know that Texas has (currently) an oil-based economy, but really?

Anyway, if UT thinks this is a good idea and will generate millions for scholarships, then I won't have any trouble turning down the phone-spam calls for contributions.

66.  Amber Gayle said on July 22, 2010

Wow, you really dropped the ball on this one. Of all the things -- creating more plastic water bottles for the landfill. Brilliant marketing, GSD&M. Maybe the scholarships can go toward educating people as to how to clean up after the greedy generations before them. That is truly our legacy. As a species, when will we learn to quit defecating in our own nest?

67.  MA said on July 22, 2010

As a UT alum and current UT employee, I agree with Marcos 100%! Seems extra bad since I can't even recycle a plastic bottle (or anything other than office paper, newspaper, and corrugated cardboard) in the building where I work. Each week I bring home our department's recycling to put in my blue bin.
Now if UT had teamed up with Tito's, or another local vodka, and come out with orange-infused vodka in a glass tower-shaped bottle, I'd be all for it!

68.  Robert Sims said on July 22, 2010

As a drinking water professional and alumni, I am disgusted that the University is participating in this manner. Bottled water has it's purpose, but the source-to-mouth energy consumption to produce it is crazy-stupid. There are some well thought out, ingenious, sound marketing ideas, and then there's this one.

69.  An Aggie said on July 22, 2010

Great idea! I'm going to have one or two with a pound or three of chicken wings while I sit on my butt and get fat. Then I'll forget about it for a couple weeks, finally throw it in the trash and be reminded that I helped pad some guy's wallet. Way to go, Texas!

70.  Jo Ann Richmond said on July 22, 2010

Great idea but is not an environmentally friendly or conscious one, since all of those bottles will add even more waste to existing landfills. I have not bought bottled water in many, many years and will not buy this one either...

71.  Jo Ann Richmond said on July 22, 2010

And as a footnote, I totally agree with Marcos! Thank you!

72.  Albertina said on July 22, 2010

I agree with Marcos - why are we promoting something that trashes the environment? The reusable bottle is a great idea. I would love to have a big orange reusable water bottle with the Tower on it. Or even a reusable water bottle shaped like the Tower.

And I don't think there are many people who associate the Tower with Charles Whitman anymore. Some people just need to let that one go.

Also, there are so many cool UT things already out there that could be re-purposed for this scholarship drive. There seems to be a huge market for all kinds of UT clothing, grill products, home decor, etc. Why not try to sell a durable, useful product instead of something that merely produces more garbage and wastes more resources?

73.  Rebekah said on July 22, 2010

Two big horns down on this idea for all the above stated reasons. If UT had a reusable bottle that clearly said it was for a scholarship I'm sure it would sell a plenty. Didn't these gentlemen discuss this idea with anyone outside of their circle? Or current UT students? I'm sure this issue would have come up and a more reasonable solution could have been found to fund the scholarships. So much lost potential to be a leader in more ways than one.

74.  andreas0074 said on July 22, 2010

I love the idea and the concept. Can I order some cases online?

75.  Edward said on July 22, 2010

Marcos, in general I agree with your comment. However, I want to buy one of these to use around the office. I live in Anchorage, and a bottle like this would be a great way to recognize my alma mater. I would buy it to keep and reuse, not just to throw away after one use. There are probably many other alums out there that would use the bottle in the same way.

76.  disappointed said on July 22, 2010

As a recent UT alum, I have to say that I'm disappointed by this. As other universities take the lead to become zero-waste campuses within the next 15-20 years, UT seems to be going in the opposite direction. It's not enough that the bottles are recylcable, especially since the majority will not be recycled (our landfill is not capped and methane gas produced from our waste at the landfill is over 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas). UT should be promoting reusable containers. With 50,000 students and about 20,000 staff and faculty, UT policies are far-reaching and can help to either reduce or increase its carbon footprint. As UT goes forward, I hope it will choose the former.

Thanks, Marcos for your great posts. The Story of Stuff is another enlightening video by Anne Leonard as well.

77.  Jim R. said on July 22, 2010

Boo hoo, all you PC nuts. Don't buy it, then rush out and protest its sale. Too funny.

78.  Ed Wulfe said on July 22, 2010

As an Aggie, I suggest that it be filled with vodka. You will certainly sell much more and raise substantially more money for scholarships.

79.  Bill Fairchild said on July 22, 2010

I'm all for fund-raising for UT. However, if UT wants to be environmentally friendly then Marcos in comment number one is correct. Bottled water is the biggest waste of energy and money. Buy a home purifier if you simply cannot drink tap water. I would buy an empty bottle to put my tap water in. A gallon of bottled water is more expensive than a gallon of gas for a reason.

80.  Cynthia said on July 22, 2010

I was hoping UT was going to be one of the universities that bans bottled water; I've very disappointed we're going in the opposite direction.

@malcomkass Not everyone can be an engineer. Therefore, it's an engineer's job to attempt to educate the public, not to be condescending for not having an engineering degree. It's ridiculous for you to suggest that people cannot "really care" about a subject unless they have a degree to prove it.

81.  Leah said on July 22, 2010

"Through the years, the Tower has been the university's most distinguishing landmark and a symbol of academic excellence and personal opportunity." Choosing a product devoid of environmental consideration, does not symbolize the knowledge or vision of the tower's academic excellence...

82.  ATS said on July 22, 2010

I doubt there will be any more bottled water sold in the world because of this product. And this product seems to have been developed with more than usual attention to environmental concerns; e.g., purchasing carbon offsets. Another positive is that they're using purified water rather than spring water; some spring water companies are draining their local aquifers dry; purified or distilled is likely better. A lot of people aren't happy with the chlorinated product that passes through lead-soldered pipes on it's way to the kitchen sink. Let he who hasn't purchased a bottle in the past year cast the first stone.

83.  Darrin Little said on July 22, 2010

Yeah, supply and demand. The mob has spoken: We love bottled water! America isn't about doing the "right thing," it's about making money, some small part of which must trickle down to fund scholarships for the disenfranchised to keep the corporate yacht railings from tarnishing in guilt. Roman citizens wanted gladiator blood sports, too. When is our "free will" market economy going to deliver that? If it sells, it must be "good"?

H2Orange is DOA as far as I'm concerned.

84.  CajunLonghorn said on July 22, 2010

I'm an engineer with a business. There is a demand for bottled water and thus a market. I think this idea is brillant. It isn't a new product and is using a market that all ready exists. I think people will buy it just to put the bottle on a shelf. As for the plastic issue, plastic water bottle will always be produced...might as well be representing the Burnt Orange! Next is Coke, Gatorade, etc.

85.  J Willy said on July 22, 2010

Let's do urge everyone who buys them to recycle. These things are indeed going to sell, so ramp up the recycle campaign which makes far more sense to me. We recycle all our plastic.

86.  Terri Laughlin McCaslin said on July 22, 2010

Does everyone remember when the lake "turned over" every year and the water tasted horrible? GSD&M remembers and they have hit on a good, but not environmentally popular idea. Yes, I donate to UT several times a year and...how much is a case of this water? There are some Longhorns here in Albuquerque who would purchase a case. Hook 'em!

87.  Robin Pennington said on July 22, 2010

I think it is a cool idea! I was going to keep my bottle, so the environment shouldn't suffer! I also do not associate one horrible random event with the Tower. I think of it lit up in #1. How morbid are you? Do you avoid Hawaii because of one attack? And why is everyone so angry and judgmental. It is a bottle of water. Lighten up, or y'all will all be dead of a stroke at 40! Quoting stats! Really! ;)

88.  Judy Kostura said on July 22, 2010

The next fund raising idea...paper and plastic grocery sacks. After all, everyone buys groceries and needs bags to haul their purchases home. Brilliant, huh? And I don't even work for an advertising company or have a degree in engineering.

89.  Kirk Shaffer said on July 22, 2010

What #8 said!

90.  Jimmy said on July 22, 2010

You people are way too sensitive! This is brilliant idea. And any Longhorn who puts a replica of the Tower in the trash...no matter what form it is...should have his/her diploma revoked!

91.  Brian said on July 23, 2010

I agree with the concerns about bottled water being used to raise money. It's highly impractical and something of an embarrassment, says this alum. Yikes.

92.  Al said on July 23, 2010

They were going to make UT beer in aluminum cans. Why not make water bottles with aluminum and then everyone could have a memento hanging from their car mirror FOREVER. WOW! I enjoy how many here are so sustainable :) . Maybe if Texas had a bottle recycling program we would not have so many dumps in Texas. Better yet, have water bottles in the shape of a football!

93.  proteus said on July 23, 2010

There should be a 25 cent bottle deposit. Austin is green. We can recycle bottles like in the old days. We need this law enacted just for Austin to show commitment to reduce dependence on petro-based plastics.

Easy to fix. At least they will get turned in and either refilled or crushed by someone and is a cash source for pledge drives on who can benefit from deposit cash just like the old Coke bottles.

Disposable society is terrible. To make an effort that is almost green, just a small extra effort to reduce dependence on the plastics industry. Is this bottle BPH free? No carcinogens?

94.  proteus said on July 23, 2010

Could cloud water be used? Or water from the large Ecola blue machines distilled from humidity with a deposit on the container? Too smart and a green choice. 25 cent deposit and reusable bottles!

95.  Bridget said on July 23, 2010

OK! UT is trying to do the best they can, and if you don't like it, don't buy it! Duh! I think it's an awesome idea AND on behalf of the Corpus UT fans, we will be major UT scholarship contributors!

96.  Melody said on July 25, 2010

Agree with Marcos 100 percent. Disappointed that UT would use plastic water bottles as an avenue for generating scholarship money.

"Hundreds of miles off the coast of California, a new continent is growing. Already the size of Texas, this mass continues to swell in size with each passing day. It is a floating heap that can’t be stopped, and it is entirely made of garbage."


97.  Tyler Durden said on July 26, 2010

Just think of the carbon footprint caused by pushing all these electrons into the Internet to complain about a plastic bottle that will probably cost more than your typical bottle of water and will most likely end up on a bookshelf next to that 1974 commemorative bottle of Coke. Who needs another aluminum bottle with a neoprene insulator? "Fellas, I just gagged!"

I'm filing this one under "Get a life, hippies"! Hey, I'm a kidder...peace and love. - TD

98.  Kayla said on July 27, 2010

I side with the environmentalists on this one. Although I know that UT forging into the bottled water market will not increase the already present demand for bottled water, I am still appalled and embarrassed that my school would jump into the bottled water fray.

I thought that "What starts here changes the world." If that is true, then why is UT not doing something that can change the world for the better (reusable bottles!) instead of just following the trend and perpetuating the bottled water industry?

UT has massive influence. With great influence comes great responsibility. I wish UT would use it for the right reasons.

I think a reusable Tower-shaped bottle would be awesome and because you could charge more for it than bottled water -- $16 or so versus $2 -- each one you sell is like selling eight bottles. Ultimately, I think that the reusable bottles would be more profitable and would sell more than the disposable ones.

Perhaps if UT created a recycling incentive program that could help to balance the problem. For every bottle that gets recycled in bins around Austin, an additional 15 percent or something of the profits will go toward scholarships.

I am very disappointed in UT's hypocrisy. I want to believe in the idealism of "What starts here changes the world." Traditional, wasteful bottled water is not innovative or change.

99.  Raj said on July 27, 2010

These should be aluminum and reusable. How do you come up with the idea of a recyclable plastic bottle and not an aluminum one?

Although, if people are going to buy a bottle of water, the money might as well go to scholarships instead of Ozarka or whoever else is the manufacturer. The design might actually remind people to recycle instead of trash them.

As long as they are replacing the bottles for sale already on campus, I'm OK with it.

UT needs to back this up with some recycling drive or trash cans that remind people to recycle the H2Orange bottles. Maybe we can improve on that 27 percent mark for bottles in the U.S. are recycled.

If that happens and money is put toward scholarships, I'd consider it a success.

100.  kristin said on July 27, 2010

Anyone who is against this needs to get real! The only way it would be OK for you to comment negatively is if you have never, and I mean never, purchased a drink -- beer bottles, energy drinks, soda included -- in a package! I doubt that is possible, so great idea, Texas. I think this rocks!

101.  Bart said on July 28, 2010

Dangit, Kristin, I couldn't have said it better myself! You know, just last week I decided it would be wrong to tell my kids that lying is bad, as I recalled that I've told a couple through the years. Along those same lines, I've decided to come out in favor of having a short temper (happened 18 times just last year!), driving through red lights (twice on that), and being a hypocrite (I swear I've never been that, though everyone tells me I'm wrong). Thanks for helping start this movement!

102.  Cook said on July 29, 2010

Let's face it people. Recyclable does not mean made from recycled material. Almost all plastic bottles are made from brand new plastic, not recycled. That means we're using more oil. But oil is great, right? It's only killing all the wildlife in the Gulf. But it's OK. H2Orange has purchased carbon credits! And Kristin, as for your comment...yes, I have purchased my drinks in a "package," but as I have gotten older and learned what the effects of my actions are, I have made an educated decision about what NOT to do. So now I can comment negatively about what is going on here in an effort to TEACH others. If you aren't open to knowledge, that is your problem. I just hope that my children don't have to suffer because you decided once a plastic user, always a plastic user.

103.  Richard said on July 31, 2010

Granted, I'm no engineer, but the argument that the UT water will not increase the number of bottles in use, therefore making the product acceptable is an irresponsible position to take. This thinking does not lead to change. As an institute of higher learning and one of the most respected and innovative universities in the world, UT should be aligning itself with products and efforts to reduce waste and set an example, not maintain the status quo.

104.  Richard said on July 31, 2010

Also, this move makes me question the purpose of the Campus Sustainability Policy. Does this policy not apply when it involves dropping cash in university pockets?

"One of the strengths of this policy is that it provides goals in each area for advancing sustainability," said Shere Abbott, director of the Center for Science and Practice of Sustainability and co-chairperson of the Task Force on Sustainability. "Underlying these goals is the notion that our strong research and innovation programs should help inform decisions and solutions that promote sustainability both here on campus and elsewhere around the world."

Makes me question the legitimacy and sincerity of this policy and task force.

105.  stacykuykendall said on July 31, 2010

When can we buy this water, and how much will it cost? There are many UT fans in Houston, Texas.

106.  Ole said on Aug. 2, 2010

Wonder how many dollars GSD&M or affiliated companies eventually pocket for each dollar GSD&M gives to the fund? If GSD&M really cared, they should just give the university the $1 million a year for the next 10 years. I also agree with comment #1 and numerous others about the negative environmental impact.

107.  Tom Palaima said on Aug. 2, 2010

If you wonder how our university leaders can spend time, energy and money coming up with a plan like this that an eighth-grader knows harms our environment and should never even be contemplated, much less enacted, consider the following:

Our motto is "What Starts Here Changes the World."

It nowhere says "for the better."

108.  TX Ex said on Aug. 3, 2010

Tom Palaima hit the nail on the head there. If there's a buck to be had, UT is gonna get that cash!

109.  Lys said on Aug. 4, 2010

I would like to buy one. I think it could be sold here in Brazil because I live here. I love this idea for H2Orange!

110.  natalie said on Aug. 4, 2010

I don't think anyone but UT Austin supporters will buy overpriced bottled water.

111.  Ashley said on Aug. 8, 2010

As someone who was a part of the focus group for this product when it was in its infancy, I am surprised to see it in the marketplace. Although I do not deny comments regarding the environmental impact of bottled water, facts are facts. More people buy bottled water these days than any other bottled product. I would rather see people buy something that supports a potential scholarship for students, such as myself, than have the money go toward Coca-Cola or Pepsi products which help to further the lack of nutrition in our nation.

I think the product will go over well. As far as the "inconvenient " shape goes, people have been making comments on that for years and it is silly. The UT Tower is a great symbol for the university and helps in UT's identification.

How do you apply for the scholarship? That's my real question.

112.  Chaz Rodriguez said on Aug. 9, 2010

I personally think this is great! I use a lot of water bottles walking to class in the heat, and now I'll be able to have a really cool replica water bottle to drink from! I plan on buying a ton of these things! And not to mention, I'll be helping other Hispanics like me get great scholarships to this awesome university! Gracias, UT!

113.  Carlos said on Aug. 10, 2010

Marcos, I agree completely that bottled water is horrible for the environment, but then again I am a UT student, so of course I'll buy the water. It looks amazing and most likely won't get drank, but hey we are funded by oil so what does it matter to the board.

114.  BlueBonnet said on Aug. 10, 2010

I read this at Austin360.com (By Jeanne Claire van Ryzin | Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 12:23 PM )

It is impossible to resist not posting. Perfect timing, UT!

"Next time you buy a cold drink in this hot weather consider this: According to artist Chris Jordan’s statistics gathering, in 2007 some two million plastic bottles were used every five minutes in the U.S.

...Jordan's [His] sea of two million bottles hints at the serene blurriness of Monet’s waterlilies. But then look closer. See Jordan’s enormous photos in the exhibit ‘Chris Jordan: Running the Numbers’ at the Austin Museum of Art through Aug. 15. http://www.amoa.org"

Hey, there is still time to LEARN something about the environment.

115.  Mike Elliott said on Aug. 11, 2010

How about using the money you paid GSDM to place, repair or install new water fountains in UT buildings, then sell each incoming student a UT stainless steel bottle.

Will the Web site also tell us the source of the water and how much the university will pay that municipality?

116.  Mike Elliott said on Aug. 11, 2010

@ashley - Just FYI, Coca-Cola and Pepsi purchases do go toward university scholarships, too.

117.  Alonso A. de Araya said on Aug. 12, 2010

It is a shame that UT on one hand talks about becoming environmentally friendly while on the other produces more pollutants. Buying carbon bonds is no more than an attempt at green-washing.

118.  Stacie said on Aug. 14, 2010

Horrible for environment. I would never buy one. why not do something constructive to raise money? If anything the bottles should be reusable and American-made aluminum. This promotes a wasteful lifestyle. (I DO actually recycle ALL my plastic waste, so I think I qualify to complain, LoL) I wonder if the plastic is treated with feminizing/hormone-affecting BPA?

119.  Guy Ellis said on Aug. 19, 2010

You might want to check out Texas-Rain.net, rain water in BIODEGRADABLE bottles in Smithville, Texas.

120.  ari said on Aug. 31, 2010

Hey, get over the environment thing. It's the same if you buy another water bottle by another company, but the benefit of this is some of the money goes back to the school. What's wrong with that? And it is recyclable, and to the person who commented on it only being 40 percent, after a while that adds up a lot, so why don't you do the math. Note to Stacie, they are in the works of an aluminum bottle to come out in the next two years.

121.  Mike said on Sept. 10, 2010

Using filtered water in plastic bottles (100 percent recyclable) to fund education may be distasteful for some but maybe we should consider this point. The Texas Lottery has generated more than $17 billion for the state of Texas since the first ticket was sold in 1992 (took nearly 18 years to do it).

Yet only about 27 percent of the total income goes to fund education, and is spread around the entire state of Texas. Here is an estimated return of about 40 percent for education and just to the UT system.

With that kind of money maybe some bright UT alum can find a way to make biodegradable bottles soon.

As far as the comment about the shootings by Charles Whitman, I lost a friend and high school classmate in that shooting in 1966. I mourned her loss but I didn't assign blame to the clock Tower or even the rifles used. They were simply instruments of violence and not the cause. Now, can we focus on the cause of higher education here, friends, and not just an instrument?

122.  charlietexas said on Sept. 11, 2010

I think it is rich and delightfully humorous that UT would distribute bottled water in this ridiculously weird town as Austin with all of its lefty, feely, emotional, propeller heads. The plastic bottle stuff being environmentally unsafe is poppycock, and it is perfectly legal to sell it. In case you haven't noticed, a lot of bottled water is already sold. Competition is the driver. Get over it. I can't wait to see a cyclist downing water from the Tower on his bike down Nueces St. Just too funny. Congrats, UT. I hope you make a bundle!

123.  Connie said on Oct. 19, 2010

This product is no different than buying soda in bottles ... just NO HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP! Perhaps there is a furtherment of this marketing process to appeal to those who do not want to put more plastic into the environment. Sell a stainless steel, infinitely re-usable tower replica for scholarship profits as well. People need to be able to purchase something to drink, the profits might as well go for scholarships!

124.  Go Stainless said on Nov. 1, 2010

I completely agree with the above comments. I think that stainless steel water bottles are a better idea, just because they also last longer than water bottles. True, they'll probably be more expensive than water bottles, but at the same time, they could be sold as graduation gifts or gifts for family members, etc... In addition, stainless steel water bottles could be refilled with filtered tap water.