I sat down a few days ago with Brent Packer ’15 and Tavo True-Alcalá ’15, the two co-founders of Wishing Wells, an up and coming water bottle filling station startup. Wishing Wells reduces plastic water bottle waste for big events on campus and is soon looking to expand with a bigger team and a larger impact.
Brent (L) and Tavo (R), just two great dudes doing really cool shit.
sheninagans: What are Wishing Wells?
Tavo: Wishing Wells are portable water distribution stations that provide chilled, filtered water for events like football games or reunion and commencement. The goal is to reduce the amount of disposable water bottles that people use at events like that. All you need is ice and a hose connection. It’s great.
Brent: The reason that this came about is because Wesleyan, and a lot of other universities across North America, have committed to reducing, or eliminating water bottle sales on their campuses. Wesleyan has been really great about that, you won’t find bottled water in Weshop or anywhere else. But the one area where they’ve had a lot of trouble was with these large outdoor events, reunion and commencement and football games are the main ones. They needed a way to hydrate people without breaking the commitment they made of being a bottled water free campus. They knew there would be a solution out there. They had some expensive ideas, like renting water bottle filling stations, but they thought there could be an easier and more cost effective way to do that. So two years ago they sponsored a competition. A bunch of students, with no engineering background, put together some designs. And our team, which was Tavo, Nina Gerona, Madeleine O’Brian, and myself just scrappily put together a plan and won the competition. Then our design was built with the help of Dave and Bruce in the machine shop and since then, Wishing Wells have saved 10,500 water bottles, mostly from the past two reunion and commencements and a few other events.
What are you doing with Wishing Wells right now?