Rehydrate with refill stations


Gabrielle Wood/The Lion's Roar

Ashlyn Harris, a sophomore elementary education major, refills water in a station by the War Memorial Student Union Breezeway. Several refill stations have been installed across campus in an effort to reduce plastic waste.

The university aims to make the campus more sustainable by adding water refill stations for its students.

Currently, the university has 36 water stations around campus and is planning to add more. The refill stations have been provided to make the water on campus cleaner and more accessible to drink. The refill stations have helped the environment on campus, and have saved a lot of money for the Sustainability Center.

Alejandro Martinez, sustainability and technology center manager, discussed the effects of these refill stations.

“Each station has a quality filter that removes lead, chlorine and improves the taste and odor of the water,” said Martinez. “Since the installation of the station, over 420,000 of disposable plastic bottles have been reduced to go to the landfill, making a huge impact on the environment. Finally, it saves money and time for the students to buy a bottle.”

The Sustainability Center’s platform is, “I Choose to Reuse.”

“The purpose of this campaign is to reduce the number of plastic bottles and waste on campus, and litter too,” explained Martinez. “Our campaign has been impacting the community such as St. Albert Catholic Student Center, which decided to change the water fountains, as well as Wesley Methodist Church, who is planning to change theirs soon as well.”

In the past, the university has tried to raise awareness for the “I Choose to Reuse” campaign by giving away reusable water bottles to students, faculty and staff.

University art students have designed advertisements for this campaign.

The university has also partnered with departments such as the Sims Memorial Library, Student Government Association, University Health Center, Southeastern Foundation, College of Business, the Wesley Foundation, Lion Designers and Reconnect. These departments and organizations have helped to contribute in campaigns and initiate new ideas.

The Sustainability Center contributed to this campaign last year and measures were taken to ensure a healthy and clean environment around campus.

“Last semester, we gave away 1,850 reusable water bottles to encourage students, faculty, and staff to reuse their water bottles and keep them well-hydrated,” said Martinez.

The Sustainability Center has made these refill stations easily accessible to all students.

Students and faculty requested Martinez to add water refilling stations on campus.

“I received at least one call or email each week with the same phrase, ‘What can we do to get a new bottle filling station in our building?’” said Martinez. “Another frequent question is ‘Where are the water fountains?’ “

Martinez informed that water refill stations can be located by visiting the sustainability map.

“The easy way to locate them is visiting our sustainability map. Then, select the category ‘Water Station’ and a pin will drop in all the locations where there is a fountain. Select the building, and a picture with the location of the fountain will pop up. See the pictures below.”

For more information on refill stations, students can email the Sustainability Center at [email protected]