Faculty receives reusable bottles

In a school-wide effort to decrease the use of disposable plastic water bottles, reusable metal water bottles were distributed to all faculty and staff last month and are being sold in the school bookstores.

Middle School Dean of Faculty Susan Kallok pitched the idea of giving faculty and staff reusable water bottles to Vice President John Amato. Kallok said she first thought of the idea earlier in the year, but did not act on it until Director of Annual Giving Alan Ball came to her with the same idea.

“We are being encouraged to use the filtered water in the drinking fountains around campus, thus cutting back on the amount of plastic bottles we are sending to the land fill,” Kallok said. “If you’re going to encourage someone to do something why not give them the tools they need to do it — in this case, reusable water bottles.”

Ball said the water bottles had originally been given to volunteers at the Fall Phone-a-thon in October.

“Our goal was to thank everyone in a way that was a little more green, and to help people reduce the size of their environmental footprint,” Ball said.

The same water bottles, which carry the Harvard-Westlake logo, are also being sold in the bookstores on both campuses.

The water bottles, which come in blue, black, silver, green and red, cost $4.05. The same water bottles sell in stores for $15-20, Ball said.

The Environment Club is also joining in the effort. At Winterfest Monday, the club had a sign-up sheet to buy the water bottles, and it will also be holding an event after Winter Break during which students will decorate their water bottles with stickers, Environmental Club adviser Martha Wheelock said.

“[What we are trying to do] is make students and others less dependent on buying plastic bottled water. And the decorating day will be fun and bring us together for the cause,” Wheelock said.

Kallok received positive feedback from the faculty, especially considering that they have already had an opportunity to personalize their water bottles.

“The stickers that were provided at the Middle School to help faculty personalize their individual bottles were quite the hit,” Kallok said.  “Everything from initials to robots to cars to circus performers to the Muppets.”

The water bottles were purchased from Los Angeles merchandise company Public Identity, and were paid for by Mr. Amato and the Deans of Faculty, Kallok said.