By Fiona Burrows, Staff Writer
// Reusable water bottles, the unsung heros of the backpack, are never seen as too important. However, they keep students well hydrated and lower the waste produced by plastic bottles.
With the installation of three hydration stations around campus, Acalanes plans to increase hydration and the use of reusable water bottles by making water more accessible for students and faculty.
The water bottle filling stations are located in three locations around campus, one by the sports medicine office, another nearby the cafeteria in the hallway, and the other by the freshman quad restrooms. The new installations show the school’s effort to become more eco-friendly.
Acalanes principal Travis Bell said. “It encourages students to bring their own water bottles and fill up that way. It also encourages students and staff to drink more water.”
Acalanes has recently made strong efforts in order to become a cleaner, greener school. With the installation of the hydration stations, healthy vending machines, new solar panels, and two gardens on the Acalanes’ campus, it’s apparent that the school is focusing on becoming more sustainable for student health and the environment.
“I think it’s important to be Eco-friendly because we only have one world. If you go around with reusable water bottle instead of disposable water bottles that you just throw away, you can make the world more beautiful,” junior Trevor Stripling said.
According to Bell, the administrative staff and district alike are always looking for ways to improve student well-being. Administration hopes that easy access to filtered water promotes a healthier lifestyle.
In addition to keeping students well hydrated, the new hydration stations also work to prevent the spread of disease. The new and improved water bottle refilling stations are sensor activated, allowing easy access to clean water, but also limiting the spread of germs.
Junior Maddie Starbuck has noticed the filling stations’ convenience benefitting students and faculty who use reusable water bottles.
“You don’t need to tip your water bottle sideways anymore,” Starbuck said.
Normal water fountains do not allow bottles to be filled completely, nor do they provide the cleanliness provided by the sensor activated, filtered hydration stations.
Bacteria and mold can flourish in the moist environment of a water fountain spigot, which is a big concern in school environments, especially during flu season. However, the water from the hydration stations is filtered and because no one can drink directly from it, the spread of bacteria and illnesses is small compared to normal water fountains.
Despite their benefits, Acalanes High School has only recently installed these hydration stations. Many schools in the Lamorinda area, such as Stanley Middle School and Lafayette Elementary, have installed them in previous years. Acalanes only made the addition over the past summer.
The timing of this was all dependent on funding, timing to avoid impact on the school, and following district protocol, according to Bell. Because of this, no more stations will be installed in the near future.
Although the hydration stations are a recent addition, a large amount of students and staff can be seen filling up reusable bottles at these stations. In fact, as of the time Blueprint went to print, refills from the hydration stations have eliminated waste from 17,703 plastic water, and that number is increasing everyday.
“You can carry your water with you them filled up periodically throughout the day,” sophomore Alex Young said.
“If I didn’t have a plastic water bottle, I wasn’t drinking water,” Bell said. “Knowing that we have these hydration stations with filtered water has encouraged me to go out and drink more water.”