In July of 2020, Bevi users reached a notable milestone: They helped save the planet from 200 million plastic bottles. Eliminating the need for plastic bottles and cans is a driving force behind the concept of the Bevi office water dispenser. So much so, that a user can see just how many bottles a particular machine is saving with a counter right in the Bevi touchscreen.
While that may be the most obvious indicator of a positive effect on the environment, there is more behind Bevi’s approach to supporting sustainability in the workplace.
The carbon-intensive process of bottling water
Before you ever grab a beverage at work, a good deal of energy has gone into getting that bottle of water into the office refrigerator. The source for more than half of all bottled water comes from springs and aquifers. Moving all that water to a bottling facility requires energy for pumps and trucks. The bottles it goes into also require significant resources to produce. In a 2007 study, the Pacific Institute found it took the equivalent of approximately 17 million barrels of oil to make all the plastic for bottled water consumed by Americans in 2006. That’s was enough energy to power 1 million vehicles for a year. More recent research at Stanford University in 2018 put the oil consumption number for plastic bottle production at 50 million barrels per year.
But that’s not the only area where fossil fuels come into play. Still more are used in transporting the 50 billion plastic bottles used each year in the U.S. from the manufacturer to the bottling facility.
Re-imagining a more sustainable supply chain
Finding a better way to do something often requires doing it differently. Point-of-use office water dispensers, such as those from Bevi, connect to an existing water line. From there, the water can be dispensed still, sparkling or flavored right into a glass or reusable beverage tumbler. This not only cuts out the need for plastic bottles and aluminum cans, it eliminates the substantial amount of fuel needed to source, bottle, and transport the water.
Building on a good idea
While point-of-use water dispensers are certainly more environmentally friendly, there are additional ways to shrink the carbon footprint of your glass of water. By connecting water dispensers to the internet, some manufacturers are able to monitor specific aspects of their machines, such as filter life and supply levels of flavors and CO2. With this information, maintenance and restocking calls can be more accurately scheduled, minimizing the fuel consumption of service vehicles.
In addition to using machine data to schedule flavor and CO2 refills, Bevi has made the service process even greener. Bevi uses flavor boxes made from recyclable materials that can also be easily recycled after use. And the flavor bags, which are made from recyclable #7 plastic, are accepted in some community recycling programs.
There’s nearly universal agreement that staying hydrated throughout the day is important to staying healthy, feeling good, and being more productive. How each of us does that is a personal choice, but we believe a choice that’s good for people as well as the environment is one worth offering. It’s an idea that has caught on with many companies and their employees. You can read about them here. We’re proud to be part of our customers’ efforts to save 200 million plastic bottles and we continue to look for ways to help them stay healthy and be greener.
Whatever your company vibe, Bevi can slot right in and reinforce it—it’s all about making it uniquely yours. That’s easier said than done, so for some added inspiration, consider these other easily-customizable ways of incorporating a Bevi into your culture:
1. Get into the Halloween Costume Contest
For a pre-planned way to make Bevi your own, check out our annual Halloween Costume Contest.
Every year leading up to Halloween, our customers dress up their Bevi and share the images and videos with us—and we’re always pretty blown away by the results. We’ve seen creepy Frankenstein monsters, adorable Minions, and everything in between.
After Halloween, we announce the winner in a few different categories, and each winner gets a Bevi Swag Bag: there’s Best Countertop, Best Standup, Best Dressed as Bevi, and Best Overall.
There aren’t tons of rules and restrictions, so the contest is simply a take-it-and-run-with-it chance to get your office into the Halloween spirit, rally together to create an epic costume, and create a Halloween decoration that fits and reflects your vibe as a company.
If you’re laid-back and witty, maybe you create a pun-tastic costume that matches that unique company humor. If you’re hip and trendy, maybe you make a bold statement with an eclectic design. If you’re bright and bubbly, maybe you create a charming, heartwarming costume that brings added cheer to the office. It’s totally open—think of it as a chance to put your company culture into costume form.
2. Celebrate a new season.
Every upcoming event and holiday brings with it a special chance to celebrate your company’s culture, boost morale, and add some festive spirit to the office. You probably already do a lot to mark these special events in the office, and your Bevi machine can make for an added opportunity to mark these occasions.
For example, let’s say you want to celebrate the start of spring (only a few weeks away!). Dress up your Bevi with flowers and bright colors, and consider adding “spring intentions” to the machine—whether it’s spring cleaning the office, enjoying the sunshine, or making a commitment to healthier hydration. Your Bevi can help your office mark special events, build excitement, and reinforce shared values and goals.
3. Break the ice.
Whether you’re a rapidly growing company with a constant influx of new people, or a small team with a fairly stable staff, creating opportunities for people to connect and get to know each other beyond quick email exchanges and routine meetings can often do a lot to strengthen your culture.
But, creating those opportunities can often be difficult (too many busy schedules), time-consuming, and expensive. Not to mention, everyone tends to communicate digitally these days.
Allow Bevi to help!
Use your Bevi as the upgraded, smart water cooler that it is, by using it to spark upgraded water cooler chat—with ice-breakers.
One way to do this is to do a version of the “candy introductions” ice-breaker: assign a question to each flavor in your Bevi, and write those questions on the machine. Then, whenever someone fills up at the Bevi with another person around, they have to answer the questions based on their chosen flavors. These can be simple questions like “Tell me about your favorite vacation,” or more heavy-hitting—whatever you’d like to spark conversations and help your team get to know each other better.
4. Build camaraderie.
If you’re looking to build camaraderie through some friendly competition inside your office, Bevi can help. Use your Bevi to hold office-wide hydration contests—break up into teams, set a goal and a timeline, track your water consumption, and offer a prize for the winner. This can be part of a broader wellness initiative while allowing for some cross-department bonding.
Eager to find ways to incorporate Bevi into your culture? Check out our options to find the best fit for your office.
Cultivating a consistent company culture that permeates every aspect of your business can be a challenge. It’s a delicate ecosystem—the wrong hires, norms, and even office layout can threaten to throw it off balance. We know that something as big as a new machine can feel like a risk. Will it fit in here and reinforce our vision and values? Or, will it be that weird elephant in the room that disrupts our carefully curated dynamics?
With Bevi, you don’t have to worry. We can say with confidence that Bevi can fit into just about any company’s culture, seamlessly, like it’s always belonged. But hey—don’t just take our word for it. Hear it directly from the source: our customers.
We’re thrilled to share some real-life examples from a wide mix of companies that have integrated Bevi into their offices and seen it support and strengthen their cultures.
1. The Orchard: Fitting Their “What’s Next” Identity
First up: The Orchard.
The Orchard, a leading music distribution company, has stayed ahead of the curve in entertainment since 1997. Fittingly, their office in the heart of the East Village boasts a balance of this high-tech, forward-thinking culture with a laid-back feel. Looped into this culture is a deep appreciation for their employees, which—among other things—translates to offering fun, high-tech perks to their staff.
Enter, the challenge: The Orchard needed a water option that matched their culture—and they’d already been burned in the past by an unreliable water machine. Could Bevi fit in with this high-tech, laid-back, employee-valued vibe?
Mike P., their Procurement and Administrative Services Manager, introduced one stand-up machine and one countertop machine to their office, and they were an immediate hit.
The Bevi’s touchscreen and animations fit in with The Orchard’s “what’s next” identity, while its customizable drinks blended right in with their commitment to providing awesome perks for their employees.
Plus, The Orchard saved 30,000 bottles in the first month from one machine—which we can all feel pretty good about.
2. MIT Venture Mentoring Service: Becoming a Hotspot for Students and Staff
Up next: MIT Venture Mentoring Service.
Venture Mentoring Service at MIT supports innovation throughout the MIT community by offering entrepreneurial mentoring services. According to their Operations Manager, Haley, even though their office is small, they get a lot of traffic at unpredictable rates.
Now, the challenge: MIT VMS wanted to be able to provide filtered drinking water to everyone coming through their doors. Could Bevi meet their unpredictable demand and fit into their culture as a community resource?
You know it!
By connecting to a water line and filtering tap water, Bevi means that VMS is never left without purified drinking water.
The result? Not only did their new machine reduce the headache of having to deal with an unpredictable supply and demand, it also reinforced VMS’ identity as a welcoming spot for the community: students come from the classroom next door, gym-goers climb a floor out of their way, and one MIT policeman hauls his bike up the stairs, all to fill up their bottles at VMS.
We’re picky. We work with only the best-of-the-best partners to develop our flavors. We choose our flavor partners carefully to make sure we’re 1) getting the best possible flavors, and 2) working with companies that align with our commitment to sustainability.
3. Ginkgo: Building Excitement with Everyone’s Input
Next up: Ginkgo.
Ginkgo Bioworks, “the organism company,” designs custom products for customers in multiple markets by harnessing the power of biology.
They decided to add a Bevi to their office. In the leadup to delivery, their office manager headed to Slack and invited their team to vote on their first four flavors.
Emojis flooded in as everyone chimed in with their votes—having fun with it, getting excited about the new addition to their office, and allowing everyone to have a voice in the process.
Kudos, Ginkgo. Building in this kind of choice and customization often translates to higher water intake, higher employee satisfaction, and improved health—and they’ve done it right at the outset. Win-win-win.
4. TheSkimm NYC: Adding Witty Fun to the Office
Now, we turn our attention to theSkimm, a membership company focused on helping female millennials “live smarter,” and their New York City office.
If you’re in need of a little lighthearted fun to liven up the office, take a page out of their Bevi playbook.
They’ve added a fresh spin to their machine, and have found fun ways to make it their own—bringing some extra humor to the office in the process. Check it out:
A well-decorated machine and witty lyric swaps? Yes, please.
Their office has been enjoying the machine and the sustainable, customizable drinks it brings, so they’ve made it uniquely theirs with these little “Odes to Bevi.” It’s fun, dynamic, and sure to boost the mood on even the longest days.
Already buzzing with a ton of ideas of how to incorporate Bevi into your company culture? Get your Bevi now—we can’t wait to see how you make it your own!
Always wanted to know how exactly your favorite Bevi flavors are made? Mystery can be alluring, but not when it comes to our food—then it’s just off-putting. If you’re like us, you feel better when you know where your food comes from. So, we’re here to bare our souls. Let’s get into it.
First: The idea
Every flavor starts with an idea. From our minds to your taste-buds, new flavor development is a top priority for Bevi!
We start by zooming out, taking stock of all the possible flavors out there. We break down our flavors into categories (think “Citrus” and “Tropical”), and then we identify what categories we need to flesh out and where the latest trends are heading.
From that exercise, we come up with a handful of ideas and ask for feedback from our most important critics: our end users. Recently, this meant gathering around 4,000 survey responses asking you to rank our flavor concepts, so you could guide us in creating flavors you would love.
Based on that feedback, we narrow down our list, and voila, we have a few bold new flavors to pursue.
Second: Choosing flavor partners
We’re picky. We work with only the best-of-the-best partners to develop our flavors. We choose our flavor partners carefully to make sure we’re 1) getting the best possible flavors, and 2) working with companies that align with our commitment to sustainability.
Third: The creation
Aka, where the magic happens. How do we get from a full lemon to that tart lemon taste that bursts through in our classic flavor? Glad you asked. The exact process here can differ from one flavor to the next, so we’ll break it down for three of our most popular options. Drumroll, please…
Lemon: Our signature Lemon flavor comes from lemon essence. Here’s how it works: we start with lemon peels, cold-press the peels to get oil, and then make an extract with those oils. Easy-peasy lemon squeezy (don’t hate us…we had to). In keeping with our commitment to sustainability, no part of the lemon goes to waste: the rest of the fruit is used by our suppliers to make juice concentrate that can be used for many other applications.
Cucumber: We craft our refreshing Cucumber flavor using cucumber essence extracted through maceration, which is simpler than it sounds. Here’s how it works: start with the whole cucumber. Soak the entire vegetable in liquid. Extract the flavor from the liquid. Pretty simple.
StrawberryLemongrass: Our Strawberry Lemongrass flavor is, predictably, a combination of Strawberry and Lemongrass. To get the Lemongrass flavor, we start with the entire lemongrass plant. From there, we use a distillation process to extract the oil. Here’s how it works: steam goes through the lemongrass, the vapors are collected, and then the vapors are cooled to condense and produce a liquid. The water is drained off, leaving the lemongrass oils behind. The Strawberry flavor, meanwhile, comes from a strawberry essence created through a maceration process—which, as with the cucumber flavor, means that the entire fruit is soaked in liquid, and then the resulting liquid is concentrated.
Fourth: Tasting time
Our flavors have to taste just right, that’s a given. To make sure they do, we test our samples internally and, when possible, take them to a high-usage site to get user feedback, so we can make sure our flavors knock it out of the park every time. Beyond nailing the taste, one of our chief criteria here is whether it is “sessionable”—i.e., will we all want to drink a full bottle of this?
Finally: Refine, perfect, launch
We’re perfectionists (and really, would you have it any other way?). We often go through six or seven rounds of samples to find the right balance. Once we’ve landed on that perfect recipe, it’s finally time to share it with the world. Ta-da.
And that’s it—now you know the mystery behind our magic. This road map gets us from initial inspiration to our delicious assortment of bold flavors. Have you tried them all yet?
It is no secret that consumers are becoming more conscious of the long term environmental impact of their purchases. This is true for a myriad of industries including the automotive industry with people looking to replace gas and diesel engines with electric ones, as well as in our food system where people are using plant-based substitutes for meat and dairy products. All signs show that this conscious-consumerism will soon become pervasive across all markets and it’s time that the hospitality industry jump on-board. Not only will this allow the retention of eco-conscious customers, but it will also bring new travelers into their buildings, help reduce harm to the environment, and ultimately benefit the bottom-line.
There are so many different decisions that a facility manager or owner of a hotel can make in order to increase hotel-wide sustainability: reducing single-use plastics, switching to LED light bulbs, installing solar panels, providing carpooling options for hotel staff, and so on. Already, 54% of travelers are saying they would use less single-use plastics while traveling. But the infrastructure in the hospitality and tourism spaces were not built on the idea of sustainability in the past, and so consumers that attempt to be more eco-friendly on vacation are not often enabled to do so due to the decisions of the hotels they stay in and the activities in which they partake during their trips. Some “activist travel companies”, like Responsible Travel, are springing up to make travel decisions easier for those consumers that are mindful of their carbon footprint. We don’t see this trend reversing anytime soon, and see this as an amazing opportunity area for the hospitality industry.
Some innovators in the hospitality space are providing great examples of the small steps that hotels and hostels can take to make their operations more sustainable. Let’s take a look at what they’re up to and how you can enable environmentally-minded travelers to stay with your hotel:
Luxury Sustainability: 1 Hotels Making Sustainability Sexy
Often people believe that investing in sustainability for a hotel will come at the cost of beauty and amenities, but the 1 Hotel chain has proven this to be utterly false. Barry Sternlicht, CEO and Chairman of 1 Hotels, is attacking sustainability as a design problem. In regards to their design, Sternlicht says “I wanted to capture the beauty of nature in a hotel and commit to safeguarding it as best I can, a responsibility that I believe we all share. It’s 1 world.” With help from partners like the Leonardo Dicaprio Foundation and Oceanic Global, 1 Hotel’s has injected eco-consciousness throughout its hotels and offices. Each hotel is packed with living plants and many of the buildings’ materials are recycled such as wooden chalkboards found in guest rooms. The company has dedicated full workdays to volunteering and advocating for environmental causes. And 1 Hotel’s is also committed to reducing their footprint by initiating a plastic waste reduction program and using greener products in their guest rooms such as organic sheets. 1 Hotel’s is doing a superb job at providing the example that a hotel does not need to lose its image and its beauty in order to make choices that are better for the environment and their visitors.
Marriott International: 360 Degree Hotel Sustainability
Companies like Marriott have the largest opportunity to set the standards on sustainability for the hospitality industry due to their brand recognition and wide-spread customer base. They understand this and have initiated their corporate social responsibility campaign, Serve360, in order to work toward their sustainability goals by 2025. Marriot has set applause-worthy goals in the areas of reducing environmental harm, building and operating sustainable hotels and sourcing sustainable materials in their supply chain. The company has already phased out all plastic straws and stirrers across all of its locations globally! They also provide electric vehicle charging stations as a complimentary service as most of their locations, enabling eco-conscious travelers to stay with them easily. All of their goals and metrics on impact to date are available on their website. Their commitment to environmental sustainability and their transparency of reporting their impact should serve as an example for other hotel chains who have not yet thought about how these decisions can impact their profitability in the long term.
Seaport Hotel: Going Plastic-Free in the Office & Increasing Employee Wellness
Sustainable decisions not only need to be made in the hotel locations and guest rooms of these businesses but also behind the scenes in the company headquarters and other offices. The Seaport Hotel in Boston, known as one of “America’s greenest hotels” has tackled this issue by providing employees with a solution to replace single-use plastic water bottles and seltzer cans that were generating a huge amount of waste. William Hacking, Director of Food & Beverage for the hotel, was originally looking for a way to influence healthier eating and drinking habits of Seaport Hotel employees when he found Bevi. This smart water dispenser drives workers to drink more water during the day because of the joy that comes with completely customizing your delicious beverage. Not only that but Hacking stated, “Before the Bevi machine was installed, 70% of the employees were drinking soda with their meals. Now, with the Bevi machine, more people are getting unsweetened, flavored sparkling water instead, and soda consumption has dropped to 10%.” With increased hydration comes increased productivity and alertness, and a happy workforce is a successful one. Not only has the water dispenser helped with Hacking’s goals to foster a more health-conscious workforce, but it has helped Seaport Hotel’s hold onto their “America’s greenest hotel” accolade.
In a 2018 Global Luxury Travel Insight study, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts learned that 80% of travelers are looking for hotels that provide “experiences that are not detrimental to the local community” and that a majority of those travelers also want their hotel to implement “environmentally sustainable practices”. The Fairmont hotels are very popular amongst luxury business travelers and as more millennials enter this bracket, their need for sustainable hospitality solutions as a group increases. At their St. Andrews Bay hotel, this company has decided to replace the disposable plastic water given to visitors with “specially designed refillable water bottles”. Hotels can make travel easier for business clients by providing them with convenient refilling stations throughout their locations. Here is a list of the 5 best reusable workplace water bottles that the environmentally-minded business traveler is using these days.
Whether you are a global conglomerate tackling long-term sustainability goals inline with the UN Sustainable Development Goals like Marriot, designing your hotels for mindfulness and eco-consciousness like 1 Hotel’s, or simply trying to make everyday operations greener like the Seaport Hotel, there are so many changes the hospitality industry can make in order to do less harm to the environment, invite new customers in without losing the old, and benefit the bottom line in the long run. Check out these articles to see what other hospitality companies are doing to meet their sustainability goals:
One last thing! If you work for a hotel or have the ability to share Bevi with someone who does, please refer them through our website at https://bevi.co/referral-bevi
It’s no secret: as an office manager and administrative assistant, you play a critical role in your office. From ensuring employees have the resources and supplies they need, to scheduling interviews, meetings, and celebrations, you are the gears (and the grease!) that keep day-to-day operations running smoothly. When you’re set up for success, the entire organization will thrive.
Help you and your organization flourish in 2020, and check out these must-attend conferences for office managers in 2020. Explore the latest business trends, learn operational and organizational strategies, and hone your administrative skills in the company of experienced admin pros.
This spring, join OfficeNinjas and admins from across the globe in celebrating ‘The Era of the Office Ninja.’ Back in full force with online flash raffles, giveaways, and awards, OfficeNinjas’s Admin Week will run from April 20-24.
For those able to make it to San Francisco, grab a ticket (sooner rather than later, they typically sell out) for Office Ninja Con, a two-day adventure jam-packed with interactive instruction, thought-provoking discussions, and practical exercises. Make connections with admin pros from across the globe, learn about game-changing products and services, and plunge head-first into actionable best practices for everyday success as an admin.
On the night of April 22, Office Ninjas Con ends with the ultimate admin party: Admin Bash. With budget-friendly tickets, Admin Bash ensures Ninjas from all over have the opportunity to get the gratitude they deserve. So grow your network, indulge in tasty treats, and leave with a legendary swag bag: Admin Bash is your party!
Can’t make the trek to San Francisco? Explore OfficeNinjas’ line-up of Admingling events (smaller, after-work events that blend networking, hands-on activities, and partying) here to meet up with all-star ninjas in a city near you.
And don’t forget to subscribe to OfficeNinjas’ newsletter or follow them on social media to enter all of their Admin Week flash raffles and participate in the digital celebration!
2. Culture Summit
When: July 14-16, 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
Organizer: Culture Summit
Get ready for a whirlwind of speakers, workshops, and effective, no-fluff strategies to transform your workplace.
In July of 2020, founders, culture champions, HR professionals and admins will gather at Culture Summit with a collective goal in mind: build the culture you want to work in.
With cross-functional, cross-industry speakers from renowned brands such as Twitter, Stitch Fix, and Patagonia, this three-day summit in San Francisco is not meant to sell you perks. Instead, you’ll leave with the tools, data, and frameworks to reframe and revamp your workplace culture.
When: May 15, 2020 | 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Location: San Francisco, CA
Known for their extensive resources and active online network of admins, OrgOrg is gearing up for their second-ever conference, Camp OrgOrg.
This one-day conference is specifically designed for ‘Organization Organizers,’ or the people behind the scenes, like you, that make sure everything at work works. With a diverse line-up of panels, workshops, breakout discussions, and social activities, Camp OrgOrg empowers attendees to develop their skills, harness their creativity, and leverage their peers in order to do their best work at work.
In an effort to make Camp OrgOrg as accessible as possible, the organizers offer scholarships and discounts for those in need. And if you simply can’t make it to San Francisco this May, be sure to join their online community of office managers, executive and administrative assistants, people ops pros, and HR professionals. Gain exclusive access to resources, groups, and event announcements, and chat with like-minded peers from around the country.
4. Perks convention
SF: August 20, 2020
NYC: September 2, 2020
LA: September 17, 2020
Boston: September 29, 2020
Chicago: October 8, 2020
Toronto: October 29, 2020
The Perks Convention is more than just flashy products and Employee Appreciation Day inspiration: it’s an employee experience expo. With 100+ vendors, interactive lounges, and curated workshops, Perks Convention strives to connect office managers with relevant, research-backed, and affordable solutions for all kinds of organizations.
Better yet, it might be hosted right in your backyard! With six conventions in major cities across the US planned for 2020, Perks provides the opportunity to share stories and network with office managers from your region. Keep an eye out for their giveaways, health and wellness initiative ideas, and of course, groundbreaking perk ideas for your office.
5. Administrative Professional Conference
When: September 13-16, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Organizer: ASAP (American Society of Administrative Professionals)
With over two thousand attendees at last year’s conference, the Administrative Professionals Conference raises the bar for dynamic, professional development for administrative professionals and executive assistants.
The conference focuses on ‘real world’ admin education, offering 75+ training sessions that participants can pick and choose from according to their specific needs and goals. Boost your communication skills, learn new technologies, or refresh your finance knowledge: the choice is yours! The conference’s primary goal? Help you recognize your brilliance.
Beyond its extensive list of training sessions, the conference also includes a diverse line-up of keynote speakers that will tackle creative approaches to productivity, organization, and leadership. Achieve your professional goals, and be inspired at the Administrative Professionals Conference happening this September in Las Vegas.
6. IAAP Summit
When: July 17-21, 2020
Location: Orlando, FL
Join IAAP this year in sunny Orlando, Florida for their annual four-day summit. A morning until night immersive experience, the IAAP Summit creates space for all types of learning. Attend a deep dive education workshop with an industry expert, connect and learn from peers during an informal lunch, participate in interactive, think-tank style challenges with a group: everyone grows in their own way.
Registration also includes a first-time attendee orientation, cocktail reception, and awards gala, personalized consultations at the wellness bar, a marketplace expo of innovative vendors, and a closing keynote by Ted Ma. Get ready to brush up on your skills and renew your passion for administrative work at the 2020 IAAP Summit.
7. Conference for Administrative Excellence
When: October 27- 30, 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Organizer: Office Dynamics
Catapult your career into the future of administrative excellence at The Conference for Administrative Executives happening this fall in Las Vegas, Nevada.
This year, the conference will take a journey to ‘2020 and Beyond,’ providing a suite of classes, talks, and company spotlights to help participants cultivate the necessary skills and perspective to excel in the administrative landscapes of tomorrow. From global perspectives to digital IQ deep dives, themed galas to a successful store of career-enhancing products, The Conference for Administrative Executives is the right blend of work and play to keep you engaged.
Invest in your career and your future: register today!
These conferences, summits, conventions are more than just educational experiences: they’re opportunities to connect with a national, sometimes global, community of passionate administrators like you. They’re also a great way to check out innovative vendors changing the face of the modern workplace; be sure to stop by the Bevi booth to learn how you can bring customized beverages to your office!
Mark your calendar, get ready to pitch your boss, and don’t miss out on these seven must-attend conferences for office managers and administrative professionals in 2020.
Nowadays, most teachers, parents, and students are aware of the negative health effects of drinking soda in or outside school. Several states have banned the sale of soda in their school districts in reaction to research showing the harmful, long-term impact of soda consumption. In spite of the growing popularity of soda bans, very little has been done to adequately address a related issue prevalent among grade school kids: dehydration.
According to a 2015 study conducted by the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, almost one out of every four students did not consume enough water on a given school day. More than 54% of students were below the recommended minimum water intake level for their age group. On top of this, boys were 76% more likely to be insufficiently hydrated than girls.
While most of the dehydration levels recorded in the study were not high enough to send students to the hospital, mild dehydration can still have an impact on students’ performance. From trouble focusing to fatigue, fussiness to poor mood, the symptoms of dehydration are certainly not conducive to learning.
As soda and sugary drink bans continue to help reduce students’ sugar intake, experts agree there’s still much more schools can do when it comes to promoting healthy hydration among students. From starting a BYOB program (Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle) to increasing access to healthy flavored waters, there are many cost-effective solutions to explore.
Don’t leave your students high and dry: check out these 5 ways to promote healthy drinks for kids and good hydration habits at your school.
1. Get rid of soda and other sugary sports drinks. Limit access to fruit juice.
Soda-enthusiasts may stand by the fact that soda can still hydrate you, but nothing compares to water when it comes to healthy hydration.
Get your students on track to establish healthy hydration habits by eliminating soda and other sugary beverages from your cafeteria and vending machines. Keep student opposition to a minimum by making the transition gradual and/or swapping in intriguing healthy beverages in place of soda.
When pitted against soda or sports drinks (the two beverages most closely linked with the US’ obesity epidemic), fruit juice seems like a normal, healthy beverage for kids. In reality, many juices contain just as much sugar as sodas and have minimal nutritional value. (Find out more about the drawbacks of juice here). Given its sugar content, consider limiting juice to your breakfast menu or simply eliminating it from your cafeteria. Similar to removing soda, be sure to inform students about any upcoming changes.
2. Start a BYOB (Bring Your Own Reusable Bottle) initiative and celebrate students who opt for healthy drinks.
An empty water bottle is always a great visual reminder to stay hydrated. Encourage students to bring their favorite reusable bottle or canteen into school with them. If it’s within your budget, consider purchasing each student a water bottle that they can then customize with stickers, markers, etc. Keep track of how often students are refilling their bottles at the water fountain or in the cafeteria. Celebrate any super star hydrators during morning announcements or over the school’s social media (the latter is a great way to get buy-in and support from parents).
An effective way to get students on board with a healthy beverage initiative is to elect a group of student hydration champions. Who better to challenge students to opt for healthy drinks than their peers? Create a student task force or student ambassador program, give them special reusable bottles, and inspire them to encourage other students to take advantage of your school’s hydration stations.
3. Get Bevi: a simple and easy way to offer healthy drinks for kids.
Help your students pour something good by adding Bevi, the smart water dispenser, to your school cafeteria.
At the press of touchscreen, students can use Bevi to customize their water, adding one of four flavors to their glass or reusable bottle. Each flavor can be enjoyed as either still or sparkling, allowing students to enjoy a fizzy drink without the harmful ingredients found in soda like sugar or aspartame.
Bevi boasts a well-rounded portfolio of over 14 zero- and low-calorie fruit flavors. Each flavor is gluten-free and Kosher certified. Simply put, there’s something for every child and every diet.
Furthermore, Bevi the smart water cooler will help your cafeteria promote healthy drinks for kids without putting any extra strain on your food service staff. Rather than offer fruit-infused water in plastic jugs , take the burden off your staff and utilize Bevi’s proactive service instead.
Students will love the intuitive touchscreen and customization capabilities, and you’ll love how one machine will help jumpstart your entire healthy hydration initiative.
4. Maintain student interest by rotating beverages or flavors. Survey students to find out which healthy drinks or flavors they want to see in the cafeteria.
For many kids, the word ‘healthy’ means ‘boring.’ It’s up to you and your student task force to show them that healthy drinks aren’t necessarily monotonous, tasteless beverages.
Whether you make infused water or have a flavored water machine, be sure to frequently rotate your drink offerings. You can also easily prevent beverage boredom by getting a machine, like Bevi, that allows students to customize drinks as either still or sparkling.
Send out quarterly surveys to help better understand which healthy drinks your students are interested in. Alternatively, help your student task force organize a flavor tasting in the cafeteria and gauge student interest in new beverages and flavors. In addition, you can leave a flavor suggestion box near the cafeteria’s beverage machines to keep track of what your students are craving.
In short, in order to maintain long-term student interest, plan to regularly rotate beverage flavors or introduce new products throughout the school year.
5. Incorporate healthy hydration trainings into your athletic programs or physical fitness curriculum.
For student athletes, proper hydration is key on and off the field. Turn your student athletes into healthy hydration heroes amongst their peers by showing them how hydration (or lack thereof) can affect their game.
At the beginning of each sports season, many athletic departments have a kick-off meeting in which they go over the academic and health requirements students have to meet in order to join a team. Take advantage of this required meeting and allot time to review healthy hydration habits. To educate students that don’t participate in after-school sports, consider adding a hydration crash-course to the mandatory physical fitness or health class curriculum.
Try your best to make these talks engaging for students by inviting a special guest speaker, such as a recent alumni, a local EMT or even a minor league athlete to speak on their experiences with hydration and dehydration.
Don’t just ban soda: start promoting proper hydration techniques and healthy drinks for kids in your school today.
The best thing about hydration is that your body is good at regulating it for you.
Whether you’re thirsting for a big glass of cold water or feeling like you need just a sip, your body naturally gives you a nudge — in the form of a craving — when it’s time for a refill.
We sat down with Dr. Tom Ronay, Medical Director at Circle Medical (the doctor’s office that comes to you, paid for by your insurance, now operating in the Bay Area), for a deep dive into hydration in the workplace. Since the majority of people spend most of their waking hours at work, how you hydrate in the office can have a big impact on your our overall health.
What is happening on an anatomical level when a person feels thirsty?
Thirst is regulated by your blood vessels and kidneys via a complex and very fast-acting cascade that triggers your brain to crave fluids of any kind. This process all happens automatically: the human body is excellent at regulating hydration and is faster than any laboratory test out there. 1 out of 4 office employees say they don’t hydrate enough.
What do you consider the biggest limiting factor when it comes to workplace hydration?
Access is key. Some offices may not have a filtered water cooler, which forces employees to either buy bottled water at the Starbucks down the street or to try and ignore their thirst. Given that proper hydration can increase employee productivity up to 14%, it’s in every office’s best interest to provide a consistent and healthy source of beverages to their employees. In some larger offices, the water cooler might be tucked away in the corner or halfway across the floor. Small layout changes or adding additional hydration stations is a great way to give employees more immediate access to water.
Another key factor is how you decide to quench your thirst. When you feel thirsty, in reality any fluid can quench that initial thirst, but only some fluids — the healthy ones — will keep you hydrated and balanced.
Let’s chat a bit about the most common beverage in any office: coffee. Can coffee keep you hydrated?
Coffee is limited in how well it can hydrate you. It is in fact a diuretic, meaning it can actually cause you to lose more fluid than you gain. Similarly, it also can move your intestines more quickly than is typically comfortable. It doesn’t have to be coffee either — really any caffeinated drink will have this effect on the body, so it’s hard to work around it. While it is better than nothing, drinking coffee all day isn’t exactly the best way to keep yourself hydrated and focused in the office.
How do our bodies respond to caffeinated drinks and will they actually make us more productive?
How we metabolize caffeine is different from the way in which our body processes something like alcohol. Caffeine is metabolized and removed from your body quickly at first, but after about 4–6 hours its metabolized much slower, meaning it sticks around in our bodies for a fairly long time.
Contrary to common thought, coffee does affect people in the evening, sometimes even disrupting sleep. Besides disrupting the amount of sleep, it can really affect the quality of sleep you get; the time you spend sleeping becomes inefficient, meaning you require more sleep to compensate.
Coffee may give you that extra boost you need to finish out the workday, but it will ultimately affect the amount of rest you get after work.
As the saying goes, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ How can someone like an office manager encourage employees to stay hydrated?
Forcing or shaming people to drink water is counterproductive, especially when there are many creative ways to integrate hydration into your typical office routine. For example, in our office, each person has their favorite mug, cup or glass. These personalized mugs or special glasses are fun and almost a form of personal expression.
Having a unique drinking vessel not only encourages people to fill up their glass, but also helps to lessen the occurrence of anonymous dirty cups in the sink.
What are some different types of healthy drinks an office can keep on hand for those employees that don’t usually opt for plain water?
The variety of alternatives out there is amazing. Many office now stock cold, fizzy drinks, hot drinks like tea, and everything in between!
In recent years, there’s been a national decrease in soda consumption and an increase in demand for healthier alternatives. People are now getting into different types of waters, such as mineral water, seltzer water, and fruit-flavored water, that are more satisfying alternatives to sugary carbonated drinks.
For offices that have a mixture of water drinkers and soda lovers, Bevi is a great compromise. Plain water drinkers can have their fill of plain filtered water, while soda lovers can make the transition to Bevi’s unsweetened fruit flavors.
Hydration is often cited as a form of disease prevention. How do your experiences align with this concept?
As young doctors in training, we learned that providing access to hydration was all that was needed for most of our hospitalized patients. Our patients did not require precise measurements or IV hydration, unless they were immobile or elderly. If you provide access to water, the patient will take care of the rest.
The same thing goes for flu or cold prevention in the office. Sometimes offices will provide their employees with Vitamin C during flu and cold season, but an initiative to hydrate more frequently could have an even bigger impact.
Keep in mind that our bodies are primarily water — somewhere around 60–78%. In general, our bodies are made up of elements that are subject to the laws of chemistry and physics, and therefore have many complex reactions. This means if you’re drinking poor quality water or your water level is simply low, you’re at a serious disadvantage on a chemical level.
When it comes to water, is there ever such a thing as too much?
In my own life, I have received a lot of conflicting advice on this point. My Sergeant in the Air Force always used to say “Drink water until you pee clear,” but this conflicted with what my marathon doctor advised me; he always emphasized that over-hydrating is a real risk for competitors.
These combined experiences taught me that forcing water on people (or in this case, marathon runners) was annoying and counter-productive, but providing access to water was critical in any situation. Unless someone is elderly or has limited access to hydration, they will most likely drink as much water as they need.
Do you have a favorite way of hydrating?
I will admit that I drink one cup of coffee at the office, and I could definitely do more to keep myself consistently hydrated. Having a Bevi in the office would certainly help me take care of that!
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