Staying hydrated at the high school has never been easier, or better for the planet.
Thanks to high school librarian Patricia Laurence and her husband, Richard, students and staff can now easily quench their thirst while helping to preserve the environment. The Laurences donated two water fountains known as bottle filling stations to the high school. Both were installed over spring break — one near the library entrance and one near the upper cafeteria entrance — and each allows a old-fashioned drink of water and a quick fill of a water vessel.
According to Mrs. Laurence, the plan for the new fountains was hatched about two months ago. A Google search revealed that the bottle filling stations cost nearly $1,500 apiece. However , Lawrence said she and her husband made the purchase before Earth Day and thus were able to buy two for the price of one.
“We had this plan for a while. We wanted to do something for the school while I was here,” Lawrence said.
The top right corner of each station features a small digital display that tallies the number of disposable water bottles that the filling station saves from entering landfills. According to the Earth Policy Institute, 80 percent of the 29 billion plastic waterbottles made in the United States each year wind up in the garbage or as litter. The EPI states that 17 million barells of oil are used to manufacture those bottles.
It takes approximately 10 seconds to fill a water bottle at the stations. At the time of this post, the station by the upper cafeteria displayed a water bottle count of 46, and the station near the library a count of 153.
Nurse Paula Damm is enthusiastic about the new fountains. “I think it’s great because it gives you a place to fill your water bottle,” she said. She believes the new fountains will bring the amount of water students drink per day closer to the recommended amount of 6-8 cups. “[The fountains] will remind us that we need to refill our water bottles. It’s cool, so people will want to use it, so it’ll promote drinking more.”
“I think it’s cool,” senior Jasmine Coles said. “I like it.”
Senior Tamiya Portis agreed. “I we don’t have to go through the hassle of pressing [the regular water fountain button] and waiting for it to fill up,” Portis said. “This is so much easier. It’s really cool.”