• EVERY STUDENT, EVERY CHANCE, EVERY DAY •Dr. David E. Cash, Superintendent • 720 Santa Barbara Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 • (805) 963-4338
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Excerpt from Community Environmental Council news release, April 11, 2012
The Community Environmental Council (CEC) reported that it has installed ten refill stations on local elementary, junior high, high school and college campuses since the beginning of 2010 and is reporting that students have used the stations 137,887 times as of March 20, dramatically reducing their use of disposable plastic water bottles.
CEC launched its “Rethink the Drink” campaign in January 2010, installing six refilling stations at Santa Barbara High (two units), Santa Barbara Junior High, Franklin Elementary (two units, also serving Adelante Charter School), Montecito Union Elementary and the Westmont College gym. The refill stations dispense cold, filtered water with both a regular water fountain spout and a quick-fill mechanism, and electronically display the number of times they’ve been used.
Schools added during the current school year include Adams Elementary, Monroe Elementary, Harding Elementary and Cleveland Elementary. A grant from the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation will add the Hope District’s three elementary schools and La Cuesta High School during the summer of 2012.
All schools are reporting a dramatic reduction in plastic water bottle and cup usage. Prior to the project, a waste audit at Adams Elementary showed that students, faculty and staff were using (and throwing away) 250 single use water bottles per week. Since installing a refill station, they use fewer than 20 per week. Over the course of a school year, that's the equivalent of going from more than 10,000 bottles to less than 900.
Monroe Elementary Principal Celeste Darga says, “The students and staff at Monroe School are very excited to have a water refill station in our cafeteria. Everyone is using it daily, and we are saving 500 water bottles and 2,000 cups a month. Students feel like they are truly making a difference in preserving the planet - one cup at a time. At Monroe School we are "Rethinking the Drink" every day!”
To encourage the students to use the refill stations, CEC and its project funders distributed reusable stainless steel canteens to all students and staff at participating elementary schools and did targeted distributions at the junior high and high schools.