Mar. 8th, 2012
PELHAM - E.L. Crossley students rose to the challenges and took the pledge on Bottled Water Free Day 2012.
During the lunch break on Wednesday, members of the EARTH (Environmental Advocates Ready To Help) club launched Project Flow. It encourages fellow students to take a pledge to avoid single-use plastic water bottles.
In exchange, their names were entered into a draw for a stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottles.
Students also took on challenges to build a tower of water bottles within a minute and to estimate the number of plastic water bottles it would take to fill the cafeteria. There was also a poster contest on a theme of promoting a more sustainable lifestyle.
EARTH member Alexandra Watson said the club had 25 stainless steel bottles to award as prizes in Project Flow.
It was financed by a $500 grant from the R4R Water Action Project, a Learning for a Sustainable Future program. LSF is a non-profit Canadian organization created to integrate sustainability education into Canada’s education system.
Emma Giesbrecht, who signed the pledge, said she already uses reusable water bottles especially during sports training and games.
“I’m entering because I need a new one.”
Over the past few years, Crossley students have taken to the water campaign, said teacher and club adviser Sharon Keller.
The EARTH club has promoted the use reusable bottles since it started to sell Klean Kanteens as a club fundraiser.
“They are still among the best,” said Keller.
In January 2011, the school put in its first EZH2O bottle filling station. The combination chilled-water fountain and bottle refiller measures the number of plastic water bottles its use replaces. The number, which changes with each filling, is displayed on a digital screen.
In essence, it diverts plastic water bottles from landfill sites and encourages drinking of municipal water.
Crossley now has three filling stations and, with the help of a $1,000 Speak Up grant, it will install a fourth in the next month.
As of March 6, the stations have diverted 78,647 plastic bottles, said Keller.
“It increases every day,” she said.
The water stations have become popular with the school’s 800 students who compete to fill their bottles at benchmark settings such as 1,000, 10,000 and so on.
Keller said, with a water station beside the gymnasium, community groups using it also use it.
Plastic water bottles are still sold at Crossley. In fact, dispensing machines are beside the water station outside of the school’s gym and near one in the cafeteria.
But Keller said you see the difference in the weekly recycling bins.
When the EARTH club tried to find enough plastic water bottles to fill a large recycling bin for the cafeteria challenge, it couldn’t find enough. It used a smaller blue bin.
Crossley has set an example for the District School Board of Niagara.
Keller said about 25 schools in the system now have stations including a new one at Glynn A. Green Public School in Fonthill.
She has received inquiries for information from other school boards and last week one from a Winnipeg teacher, who read a news story about the first Crossley station.
The EARTH club has carried environmental projects including planting trees and gardens around the school.
It surveyed the school to find unnecessary lighting in preparation for Earth Hour, an international demonstration to reduce energy use.
View original story: http://www.wellandtribune.ca/2012/03/08/crossley-drinks-in-bottled-water-free-day
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