Cafeteria sells disposable water bottles, Prefects launch new green initiative

By Arielle Maxner

The cafeteria resumed the sale of bottled water on Oct. 31, the first time it has been sold since the cafeteria stopped selling plastic bottles at the start of the 2009-2010 school year in an effort to reduce the waste of plastic on campus.

The Prefect Council played an integral part in advocating for the re-introduction of water bottles.

Head Prefect Brooke Levin ’12 said the original reason for banning the water bottles, an attempt to reduce the amount of plastic used on campus, now is reversed, in that plastic water bottle companies have made an effort to decrease the amount of plastic in their bottles, whereas other drink companies have not.

“There is not only the nutritional benefit, but also with buying more water bottles, [students are] buying less of other bottles, which means there’s less plastic,” Levin said. “The school is healthier and greener.”

Additionally, the cafeteria now sells reuseable water bottles, which can be filled in the cafeteria. This and the plastic water bottles are part of the Green Initiative, headed by the Environmental Club and the Prefect Council.

The initiative also includes the placement of additional recycle bins around campus to raise environmental awareness and the gradual replacement of plastic dishes and utensils with biodegradable alternatives.

To help promote selling plastic water bottles and consuming less plastic, Prefect Henry Hahn ’14 created signs that have been posted around campus comparing the amount of plastic in different types of bottles, the sugar content and number of calories in each drink.

“[The Prefects] are continuing working with the Green Club,” Levin said. “We’ve placed more [recycle] bins around campus. The cafeteria’s still working on going biodegradable and we’ve heard wonderful ideas from the Green Club that they’re already starting to work on. We’re very pleased that the Green Initiative is rounding out.”

“We don’t have statistics, but water bottles have been really popular in the student body,” Head Prefect Rishi Bagrodia ’12 said. “Basically, the Green Initiative is well on its way to being as complete as it can be, enriching ourselves and our community. It’s good that they’ve been popular.”

However, not all water bottles are making it into the recycle bins.

The librarians have taken all water bottles left in the library and put them on top of a bookshelf, reminding students to pick up their trash.

“When the policy changed, the next day, we had lots of abandoned water bottles in the library, and prior to the new policy we had very few abandoned drinking bottles,” Head Librarian Maureen Frank said.

Water is not the only new beverage in the cafeteria. Coconuts, filled with coconut milk, have been sold in the cafeteria for $3 each.

“There are coconuts in the cafeteria,” Andrew Sohn ’13 said. “How could I not get one?”