Wellesley High School last year installed a couple of newfangled drinking fountains that let you sip from a stream as usual, or fill up your water bottle via a special spigot. Anecdotally, we’d heard the students weren’t blown away by the advance initially, so I was skeptical when I recently came across a Sustainable Wellesley newsletter item about Upham Elementary School getting such a water dispenser amidst claims that “These have been a huge hit at Wellesley High School, saving thousands of plastic bottles from landfills.”
So I asked for some numbers to back up the claim, and they’re impressive.
The town’s Facilities Maintenance Department points to a digital readout for the first unit, which has diverted what amounts to 24,429 plastic bottles from landfills as a result of students/faculty/staff filling reusable bottles.
The second High School unit, installed in the Cafeteria this past February, saved the equivalent of 18,329 plastic water bottles in an eight-month span, says Joe McDonough, Facilities Director.
The Upham unit, funded by the school’s PTO and installed outside the gym at the start of the school year, has diverted 2,270 plastic water bottles in 7 weeks, he says.
The School Department plans to request at least one of these water dispensers in every school as part of the FY16 capital plan, according to Sustainable Wellesley.
Hardy Elementary School and Wellesley High School students and supporters on May 6 went to the State House, where they were honored as part of the 20th Annual Secretary’s Awards for Excellence in Energy and Environmental Education program.
The Wellesley Green Schools collaborative of students, parents and staff has worked to reduce the schools’ ecological footprint and inspire the community to be ecologically minded.
Green Schools partnered with the Sustainable Wellesley volunteer group, which has spearheaded green certification for Wellesley Public Schools (90% of classrooms have been certified and others are close). Efforts have included reading books with eco-friendly themes, recycling, using both sides of paper as well as turning off lights, computers and water when not in use.
Wellesley High students were honored for their “No Idling Campaign”. Hardy School’s Green Team was singled out for certifying classrooms by following a checklist to minimize energy consumption and maximize recycling.
Overall, the Patrick Administration recognized 22 schools and 5 nonprofits. Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard Sullivan doled out the awards.
(Thanks to Rama K. Ramaswamy for passing along the info/photo)
Whole Foods Market’s Community Room
Does the irritating exhaust from idling cars drive you crazy? Idling has a serious impact on our health—and it has legal and financial consequences too.
Come watch “IDLE THREAT: Man on Emission,” the story of one man in New York City who has decided to do something about this pesky problem.
Wellesley Green Schools and Sustainable Wellesley invite you to a one-hour, award-winning film about George Pakenham, a New Yorker who was tired of sitting “idly by” while the air in his neighborhood filled with exhaust. His inspiring efforts show that one passionate person CAN be an agent of change in combating pollution and global warming!
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Please email [email protected] to save your seat.