Making a splash


Elizabeth Harmison

In order to promote a more environmentally friendly school, students have come up with an idea to save the reduction of water bottles being thrown away or not being recycled.

Within the next year, juniors Edward Benner, Zach Miller, and Kat Pelosi plan on moving JC one step closer to becoming a green community. By raising awareness of reducing, reusing, and recycling, they aspire to minimize our “ecological footprint.”

There are three parts to their mission: an interactive assembly, informational pamphlets, and selling reusable water bottles at the school store.

The idea originally flourished as an AP English 3 project that revolved around a book called “The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell which explains the phenomena of trends and their effects on society.

The object of the project was to focus on an issue and propose a solution using the techniques explored by Gladwell. “At the beginning, we didn’t really think anything was actually going to happen with it, but then we got responses and were like ‘Ok, let’s actually do this,’” Pelosi said.

According to Pelosi, they have met with Principal Madelyn Ball to discuss an assembly for an H-day next year to kickstart their movement. This assembly will contain a variety of elements such as videos, songs, and skits to present information and promote recycling.

The pamphlet will be filled with positive information about recycling, not about all the negative aspects of why recycling needs to happen. It will also contain a map pointing out where all the recycling bins are located throughout the school. According to Gladwell, having a map directly point out where things are will make students feel inclined to recycle.

Reusable water bottles with the school logo branded on them will be available to purchase in the school store. By selling these bottles, the amount of waste will decrease and overall, make the school cleaner.

“JC wants to spend a lot of money on different facility type of things, and we felt that they overlooked something simple like the water fountains,” Miller said. All the money made from the water bottles will go to replacing the water fountains that fail to do their job.

The plan is to purchase bottle filtering stations that cost $1,000 each to replace the current water fountains. According to Benner, these stations are basically water fountains that purify the water before filling your bottle.

Although they have not decided on a specific design, they plan on finding a brand that is high quality, such as Camelbak, that will make a profit without being too expensive. “Not only will they have these nice water bottles with the school [logo] on it […] but it’s going to save money for students,” Miller said.

Instead of having to spend $1.25 on a plastic bottle in the cafeteria, students can buy a water bottle from the school store and refill it with clean water whenever they want to for free.

“We were discussing with Ms. Ball that we might start a club with other people to help us with this project,” Pelosi said. They want to create a committee that they will be able to leave for other students who share the same interest.

Overall, according to Benner, their goal is to make JC a sustainable community in general. By promoting recycling in a positive manner and selling water bottles, the student body will have an incentive to participate in environmentally friendly activities.

“I think it would just make the student body a lot healthier, and that would make me extremely happy,” Miller said.  

Caroline Cooney is an In-Focus Editor for The Patriot and