By Darla Shelden
The YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City, in partnership with Transition OKC and the local chapter of the Sierra Club, is making it easier for area residents to choose to drink water when they are on the go through a local network of water-bottle refilling cafes called Taplt.
Angela Jones, Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives at the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City said, “TapIt is a simple concept to get Oklahomans to drink more water while reducing reliance on bottled drinks that would otherwise end up in our landfills and streets.
“The YMCA is honored to be launching the TapIt program in Oklahoma City and has already seen great support and enthusiasm. We will continue to seek even more locally owned and operated eateries to serve as TapIt locations.”
Jones continued, “The Y is focused on advancing the message environmentalists and public health advocates have been spreading for years about the importance of drinking more water for a healthy body, mind, and environment.”
As a part of the TapIt launch in Oklahoma City, a total of 2,500 reusable water bottles have been distributed to the community at the Y’s 12 metro locations. People can refill any reusable water bottle at participating locations for free, regardless of whether or not a purchase is made from that business.
“Often times, a water bottle is a personal preference and therefore the Y would like to encourage others to purchase a reusable water bottle that fits their lifestyle and taste,” said Jones. “We hope that the distribution of over 2,500 water bottles spurs others to make that investment in their health and environment.”
More than 20 local cafes, eateries, and coffee shops have registered to be the first TapIt locations in Oklahoma.
Laura Massenat owner and operator of Elemental Coffee Roasters, a participating TapIt location said, “We want to make it easier for our community to drink more water and to choose to reuse instead of adding to our landfill.
“Carrying your own water bottle will open your eyes to how many times you grab disposables, use them once, then hit the trash.”
Additionally, all 12 Y locations in the Oklahoma City metro area will become TapIt locations and allow anyone in the community access to drinking water.
“The mission of Transition OKC is to be a catalyst to resilience,” said Vicki Rose, Transition OKC Co-Chair. “From that standpoint this program is really important because that is all part of having access to fresh water on a regular basis.
“Also, we’re concerned with developing community relationships and this kind of program plays a big part in that.”
All TapIt locations will be designated with a TapIt sticker and flyer near the entrance of the establishment.
William Schwartz, Director of TapIt said, “We are very excited to be in partnership with these great organizations in Oklahoma City. We look forward to seeing the program expand in the area and help many more residents not only stay healthy and reduce waste, but also save money.”
TapIt supports the Y’s larger effort to encourage a healthy lifestyle through the OK 5210 Initiative launched last October in partnership with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.
The 5-2-1-0 slogan conveys the healthy living message by encouraging behaviors associated with healthy weight in children. This includes 5 or more fruits and vegetables, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour or more of physical activity and zero sugary beverages each day.
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.
In the Oklahoma City metro 12 Ys engage 151,000 men, women and children, regardless of age, income or background, to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support their neighbors.
Jones added, “Thus far, the registered TapIt locations have welcomed us with open arms and are thrilled to be a part of a movement that hopes will inspire Oklahomans to choose tap water whenever they are out and about.”
A list of participating TapIt locations is available at www.ymcaokc.org and www.OK5210.org. For more information, visit www.Tapitwater.com.
YMCA partners with Transition OKC to support TapIt drinking water program
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