Nov. 13, 2014 | POLAHS Take a Walk on the Water Side

Last year, former Vice President Al Gore spoke to the POLAHS community in a special presentation at the Warner Grand Theater. Following the event, many students became inspired to make a difference environmentally. Our US History instructor, Mr. Yourman, discussed in his classes possible ways students could help the environment. From this discussion, a group of motivated students formed the Bottle Free Club.
What are your Club goals and outcomes?
We started small, and gave a presentation to faculty and students about our cause. There was an overwhelming number of individuals who took our pledge - to stop using single-use water bottles. We brought the details of our initiative to the POLAHS Board of Trustees and petitioned them to install hydration stations on campus. They voted to pass a resolution that banned single-use water bottles on campus and at campus events. Last month, THREE hydration stations were installed.
The Club is aiming to eliminate the use of ALL plastic bottles and is currently researching ways to replace the bottled drinks in our vending machines with other, eco-friendly options. We will also partner with other schools educate students about the benefits of living plastic bottle free!
How is Bottle Free raising money to support the cause?
• Food/Drink Sales
• T-Shirts
• Reusable Water Bottles
• Currently looking for Outside Group Sponsors
• School Board Support

How do plastic bottles impact our health and our environment?
Our Health:
• Plastic is made from petroleum
• Most plastic bottles are made in petrochemical plants
• Antimony is found in the plastic, which can cause dizziness, nausea, and depression

BPA (Bisphenol A):
• Has been linked to cancer
• Plastic containers may leak BPA or DEHA (a toxin) into the water over time

• 90% of the cost of water bottles is due to the plastic

• Bottles used to package water take over 1,000 years to biodegrade and if incinerated, produce toxic fumes.
• US landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone. Chemicals affect future plant growth and soil quality.

Has the club already made an impact at POLAHS or in our community?
Yes! As we mentioned, there are three new hydration stations on our campus. They allow students to fill up reusable water bottles. They provide high quality, filtered tap water, for free! In just a few weeks, the stations have been used 2,593 times. That has saved our students $1 per water bottle and has reduced the carbon footprint necessary to produce and distribute those bottles. We’ve established a growing community of people who care about making small, daily changes to help our environment.
Congratulations, Bottle Free Club!