Back to School Shopping? Don’t Forget Your Reusable Water Bottle!
It’s that time of the year again – when parents are excited and kids are sad – it’s Back to School season! While Back to School shopping this year, make sure you pick up a reusable water bottle because four more schools have banned the bottle: Mount de Sales Academy in Georgia, Green Mountain College in Vermont, University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, and Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Connecticut. Mount de Sales Academy’s environmental club decided to work to ban the bottle after watching the short film, The Story of Bottled Water.” The club prepared and offered a presentation to both the school administrators and the student body. The student body then decided to end the use of bottled water on campus. Mount de Sales Academy installed bottleless water coolers at both the middle school and high school. The environmental club is also selling reusable water bottles with the school’s logo to encourage students to switch. Like Mount de Sales Academy’s ban, Green Mountian College’s ban on bottled water, which started on August 15, started as a student-led project. Andrea Roebuck worked with Green Mountain College’s sustainability coordinator, Aaron Witham to develop the most effective way to ban the sale of bottled water on campus. Roebuck concerns were economic and environmental as well as about the commodification of water, an increasingly precious resource. “The more we buy and sell bottled water, the more we engage in a culture of treating water as a commodity, incentivizing businesses to extract it from the ground in one community and selling it elsewhere, with little benefit to the people or ecosystem in the community from which the water was extracted,” he said. The school’s food service provider, Chartwells, and outside vendors, including PepsiCo, stop stocking bottled water in the school’s vending machines. After gathering dozens of signatures at a taste test booth last November, students of the University of Saskatchewan Environment and Sustainability Student Association are moving forward with their final petition to ban the bottle on the school’s campus. The University of Saskatchewan has added over 18 bottle filling stations throughout the campus to encourage students to switch to reusable water bottles. The students in Letitia Garcia-Tripp’s environmental science class at Housatonic Valley Regional High School watched the documentary, Tapped, and were inspired to ban the bottle at their school. After presenting to the region’s Board of Education, Board agreed to the purchase of water-bottle filling stations for Housatonic Valley Regional High School as well as another local high school and in the public area of town, Falls Village, CT. Congrats to Mount de Sales Academy, Green Mountain College, University of Saskatchewan, and Housatonic Valley Regional High School! Join in the Ban the Bottle movement and switch to a bottleless water cooler from Quench today!