Environment

Post image for Menlo Park startup, Dropwater, introduces new way to distribute and sell bottled drinks

Four Cal Poly San Luis Obispo grads are currently ensconced in a Menlo Park garage working on a solution to up-end the plastic bottled water industry.

Scott Edwards, CEO (pictured top in the garage) of the startup Dropwater, cites some sobering statistics about the need to replace plastic water bottles with sustainable, eco-friendly alternative: “In 2015, there were 50 billion single use bottles used in the U.S. Stacked end-to-end, they’d go around the earth 253 times. Alternatively, that’s a 500-feet wide raft that stretches from California to Hawaii.”

But to Scott and his team, the issue is more than discarded plastic water bottles. It’s the ancillary effect of the cost getting the bottles to the consumer in the first place, often transporting water from distant places via highways and shipping.

Their solution: bottle water where it is sold in packaging that is compostable or recyclable — depending on location — at kiosks they call Drop Stations. (Team member Marc Rauschnot is pictured in front of a kiosk.)

“We don’t transport any water,” Scott said. “We filter water and make the drink right here, offering plain or flavored water. It’s filled and sealed on site.”

Scott, who led the robotics team at Pinewood School, studied industrial technology and packaging at Cal Poly, and Dropwater has evolved as the the result of his senior project at college. “Initially I wanted to make a machine that served re-useable bottles,” he said. “Consumers could return them to any other station. But people didn’t like the idea of sharing bottles, so we changed to compostable bottles.”

Dropwater received seed funding from Tim Draper and is now getting ready for Series A. Earlier this month it received a $25,000 award from Pipeline H2O.

The company will be installing two kiosks at San Jose Airport in the near future and has set a goal of 100 installations at airports and college campuses within the next year.

Photos by Irene Searles (c) 2018

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“Cetaceans of the Coast” is topic at Menlo Park Library on June 25

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Meet the whales off our coast and in our bay, with research biologist Izzy Szczepaniak of Golden Gate Cetacean Research (GGCR) on Monday, June 25, at 6:30 pm at the Menlo Park Library. Did you know that harbor porpoises only recently returned to San Francisco Bay, after an absence of approximately 65 years? Learn more […]

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Chris DeCardy reflects on his eight years on Menlo Park’s Environment Quality Commission

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Recently, I ended two terms on Menlo Park’s Environmental Quality Commission. I wanted to serve to ensure the environmental amenities of our town — trees and clean air and water — are respected and enhanced, and that our inevitable growth and development are managed thoughtfully. What I didn’t expect has been the opportunity to see, […]

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City of Menlo Park is recruiting volunteers to review & update the heritage tree ordinance

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A new advisory task force is being formed to review and recommend updates to Menlo Park’s heritage tree ordinance. The new group of at least seven volunteer members is expected to make recommendations in several areas including the definition of heritage trees, development-related heritage tree appeals, permit fees, unpermitted removals and enforcement of tree replacements. […]

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Menlo Spark recognizes students, teachers and residents who support sustainability in Menlo Park

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Last month, Menlo Spark honored environmental leaders in schools with Menlo Green Challenge Awards. Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki recognized the outstanding achievements of students, teachers, and residents who took initiative to support sustainability in Menlo Park. Jerry Griffith, for winning the Menlo Green Challenge, with the Climate Actions taken to reduce his household carbon […]

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Hillview Environmental Club works to stabilize banks of San Francisquito Creek

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Hillview Middle School’s  Environmental Club was out in force last month bioengineering the banks of San Francisquito Creek, building structures out of natural materials. They used willow tree stakes to stabilize the Creek banks. Willows grow well in creeks, making them the perfect plant to prevent erosion. They are also an important food source for […]

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Menlo Park celebrates Earth Day in numerous ways and places, thanks to Menlo Spark

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Menlo Spark is doing some fun events this week in Menlo Park for earth day. Last Tuesday, we helped students at Oak Knoll Elementary School make pledges for one thing they’ll do for Earth Day this year, posting those pledges, making a paper tree (below left).  Oak Knoll faculty and parent volunteers have done an […]

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Come join Cheeky Monkey Toys, and celebrate at two upcoming events

Thumbnail image for Come join Cheeky Monkey Toys, and celebrate at two upcoming events

Cheeky Monkey Toys in Menlo Park (640 Santa Cruz Avenue) invites you to two upcoming events: our Earth Day Celebration, and our May Day Celebration. On Sunday, April 22, from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, join us outside the store for Earth Day, and paint Kindness Rocks to share with your friends and family. Be […]

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Atherton celebrates Earth Day on April 21 by screening “The New Fire”

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The 2018 Atherton Earth Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 21, 2018, from noon to 4:00 pm at the Menlo-Atherton High School Performing Arts Center. This will be an educational event on current topics related to climate change and how technology may help to solve this crisis. With support from the town’s Environmental […]

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Commute.org invites San Mateo County commuters to go green this spring

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Commute.org announced the 2018 Commuter Challenge for people who commute to, from or through San Mateo County. Between April 1st and May 31st, people who join the challenge and use alternative modes of transportation will be eligible to winprizes. Now in its 10th year, the Commuter Challenge encourages people to use alternative methods of transportation […]

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Human Rights Watch screens documentary at M-A PAC on March 20

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There will be special screening and discussion of the documentary film, Atomic Homefront, organized by Human Rights Watch, on Tuesday, March 20, from 6:45 to 9:00 pm at the Menlo-Atherton Performing Arts Center. Recently released, Atomic Homefront examines one community’s activism and the need for government accountability in the wake of decades of radioactive waste contamination […]

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