With a growing trend toward environmental sustainability, college students nationwide are taking steps to conserve our natural world through recycling, buying organic food, and generally “going green.” Parkside’s Environmental Club, in particular, takes steps to help conserve the environment and live more sustainably. Recently, the Environmental Club has proposed a campus-wide water bottle ban to reduce plastic bottle wastes in the Kenosha/Racine area.
Though the proposal is a very new concept, plans to initiate it are already under way. Club members got the idea for the ban when they attended last week’s featured documentary “Blue Gold”. However, before they approach Sodexo and Parkside Student Government about putting the ban in place, the Club has decided to conduct a survey of the whole campus, encompassing both students and faculty, to find out how often bottled water is actually purchased. The survey will begin next week, and if not enough people buy bottled water on a regular basis, the ban would be pointless. However, if it is discovered that bottled water is purchased frequently enough, then the plan will not be put into place. It is important to note, however, that this ban would only outlaw the sale of water bottles on campus. Students would still be able to bring their own plastic water bottles from home or an outside source.
If the ban goes into effect, reusable plastic or steel water bottles will be sold instead of disposable, one-use plastic water bottles. Students who purchase the reusable bottles will have the option to either fill them at home, at water fountains, or at filtered water refill stations that will be placed at various locations around Parkside. Not only will students be doing their part to help the environment, but they would also be saving a considerable amount of money in purchasing a reusable water bottle. Environmental Club member Jackie Rosner had this to say: “People often don’t think about the price of buying bottled water on a day-to-day basis; it can really add up.” The reusable water bottles will be sold for about the same price as a disposable water bottle, so the investment would be inexpensive and pay off in the long run.
The process of instituting a ban on the sale of water bottles would be a long one, at least one school year. However, if you would like to get involved in promoting the water bottle ban, or any other environmental issue, the Parkside Environmental Club meets every other Friday at noon in Molinaro 112.
Story by Rachel DePalma