Reusable water bottles
Our dependency on the use of plastic water bottles is not sustainable. We are using too much plastic in the form of water bottles in our school. We should consider banning them from our school. As we increase our consumption patterns, more and more plastic is added to landfills and sometimes ends up here in the great pacific garbage patch:
We are interested in expanding our recycling program in our school. Currently our entire school population recycles, grades K-8. Our grade 7 students are currently responsible for collection of our recycled materials from each individual classroom. The issue is we only recycle paper as of right now. We want to expand our program to collect drink containers using the collection bins as part of the recycleeverywhere.ca program. We are going to do a pilot to see how we can make this happen.
But to be even more effective stewards of our environment we know that it is better to not have anything at all to recycle — by using re-usable containers.
This project is a step towards this goal by installing, and then using a refillable water bottle station to decrease the amount of plastic used in our school. All students were encouraged to bring reusable water bottles beginning with our middle years students and then our early years students as well.
We purchased an Elkay’s EZH2O® bottle filling station. This provided an opportunity for our students to drink chilled water to quench their thirst and minimize plastic bottle waste in the environment!
We are starting by replacing 1 of our drinking fountains. Our goal over the next 3 years is to replace all fountains in our school with refillable water bottle stations and become a plastic bottle free school to reduce our dependency on plastic water bottles.
The Elkay unit provides us with an ongoing total count of how many water bottles we didn’t need to use every time we fill up a re-usable container.
As of May 31, 2014 we have stopped 10,150 bottles from being added to our landfill.
We are also getting a lot of interest from other schools in our district about this project and they too are considering installing refillable water bottle stations in their schools with similar goals as ours.