The Green Hope Falcon

Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations

H2O, the pillar of human life.

WikiCommons

H2O, the pillar of human life.

Geoffrey Dean, Staff Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It’s 1:15 PM. It’s fourth period.  One hour remains in the long, exhausting school day.  Your tongue is dry, and you feel a headache coming on.  You reach for your water bottle, hoping to get a cool, refreshing sip of water.  It’s empty. Tipping the bottle back, you attempt to dislodge the last drops of the precious liquid into your parched mouth.  You place the water bottle back down, and look back up at the clock. It’s 1:16. Still fourth period. One hour remains until you can save yourself from the wrath of dehydration that grips your throat and mouth.  This is a troubling and unfortunate reality for many students.

Water is the lifeblood of humanity.  Since the beginning of time, humans have flocked to water sources.  The Nile River in Egypt. The Tigris and Euphrates of Mesopotamia. The extraordinarily advanced pre-Columbian Aztec city of Tenochtitlan.  London on the Thames and Paris on the Seine. New York and Rio, two Western-Hemisphere megacities that sit on the Atlantic coast. Civilization has always revolved around water.  We have the innate tendency to find water. Moreover, water makes up 60% of our body. Without water, we are nothing.

For something so critical to human survival, the amount of water consumed at school is troubling.  Fortunately, after observing and pondering the potential reasons for this, there seems to be a clear and attainable solution.  The installation of water bottle filling stations would improve not only students comfort levels at school, but also their academic performance and the health of the environment.

“I only fill my water bottle up once a day,” says Freshman Natasha Eckert, “it’s so frustrating trying to fill it up sideways at a water fountain.”  Natasha is not the only Green Hope Student who feels this way. In fact many students have expressed their frustration and disgust at the notion of filling their water bottle up with a water fountain.  “I don’t fill my water up at school, people put their mouth all over the spout,” says Senior Kevin Nguyen. By installing water bottle filling stations, people who are reluctant to use water fountains due to their unsanitary properties would be more inclined to hydrate themselves throughout the day.

The general dehydration that many students endure on a daily basis severely hinders their ability to learn and perform their best.  According to the Institute of Medicine, high school students should drink two to three quarts of water everyday. Few kids meet this requirement, and many are not even close.  Erica Kenney, a researcher at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, says, “This doesn’t mean we’re saying kids are dropping like flies or that they’re very seriously dehydrated and need to go to the hospital or anything like that, but even mild dehydration can affect children’s fatigue levels, mood and possibly their ability to learn” (NPR).   An informal study discovered that students who had been hydrating themselves during the school day were able to correctly answer 7.5% more basic math problems than students who were not as hydrated.

While other existential factors may be at play, students who are hydrated will, overall, perform better in the classroom.  Furthermore, providing students an easier method of refilling their water bottles would likely result in an increase in hydration, and in turn, elevated academic performance.

This dehydration does not come by surprise for kids.  “I only bring this small water bottle,” says Freshman James Vanhille as he shows me his water bottle that cannot hold more than 12 oz at the max, “it’s not worth the hassle to fill it up with a water fountain, and besides, it only fills it up halfway.”  This is another benefit that water bottle filling stations would provide. Due to the lack of pressure in the school water fountains, the arc of water shooting out of the fountain is incredibly small. As a result, one must hold their water bottle at an increasingly horizontal angle in order to catch the water in the bottle.  Because of this, a water bottle can only be filled to about 70% of its capacity. Junior Deepak Keshava says, “I would say I feel dehydrated on a regular basis because I can’t fill my water bottle all the way up at the water fountains.  I think that water bottle filling stations would definitely make it easier to refill [my water bottle].” In order to combat this problem, students have started twisting the nozzle on the water fountains.  In doing so, one can hold their water bottle below the water fountain, and the water will fill the bottle as much as is desired by that student.  

While ingenious at first glance, this clever solution poses some issues.  Firstly, it is difficult to predict the path of the arcing water, and as a result water is often spilled on the floor around the water fountains.  This not only creates a potential hazard with the slippery surface, but also leaves behind a mess for the janitorial staff to clean up. As ignorant and inconsiderate as leaving behind puddle after puddle is, students simply don’t clean up after themselves, and janitors end up constantly cleaning up spilled water.  Additionally, the water fountains are not designed to be twisted and turned on a regular basis, so installing water bottle filling stations would increase the lifespan of the current water fountains. With the Elkay Rapid Water Bottle Filling Station, water is shot directly downward, allowing one to fill their bottle to the max.  This feature would incentivize students to refill their water bottles more often if they new that they would be maximizing each trip.

In addition to boosting students’ academic performance, these water bottle filling stations would help the environment by reducing the number of plastic water bottles used.  Elkay, the leading producer of water bottle filling stations, says their product, “Our bottle fillers provide convenient hydration with a rapid fill of filtered water to quench thirst and minimize plastic bottle waste in the environment.”  In fact, their water bottle fountains count how many disposable water bottles as a reminder to the importance of the environment and conservation. “I think the counters that the stations have is a really cool way of being mindful of the actions we take to help the environment, and show that little actions make a big difference,” says Junior Audrey Compiano.  Here at Green Hope, plastic water bottles are running rampant across the school. One primary reason for this is that it provides a quick solution to quench thirst. If a student is out of water, all they need to do is visit the nearest vending machine and purchase a 20 oz Aquafina water bottle. This water bottle will probably be toted around until the end of the day, before it is disposed of.  This cycle will repeat itself day in, and day out, with students purchasing plastic water bottles in order to provide themselves short term relief from the ever present demon of thirst. A group of AP Environmental Science students who were part of the Green Hope Class of 2018 ran a survey, and collected data on the number of plastic cups brought back from off-campus lunch visits. Following their observation, they created a model that estimated the number of plastic beverage containers to be in the tens of thousands over the course of a semester.  “The number of plastic water bottles used at Green Hope is a noteworthy concern,” says Green Hope AP Environmental Science teacher Barb Magee, “many of our AP students have been challenged to try and find ways to reduce this number, and I think these water fountains would be a wonderful solution.” By installing these innovative water fountains, we can do our part to help conserve and protect the environment.

While the upfront cost may seem intimidating, the benefits the water bottle stations would provide would significantly outweigh them.  Improved cognitive function and reduced amounts of student dehydration would undoubtedly help students, and the minimization of plastic water bottle waste will help conserve our delicate ecosystem.  These bottle filling stations would be a rewarding investment, that would benefit students and Planet Earth for years to come.

About the Writer
Geoffrey Dean, Staff Writer

This is Geoffrey’s first year on The Falcon.  He is an aspiring writer, who is now a Junior after spending two years at Green Hope already.  He is looking forward to his favorite class, history. Some interesting facts about Geoffrey is that his spirit animal is either an eagle or killer whale, depending on the day, he is an oldest child, and does not own any pets.  Geoffrey enjoys pop music and will listen to anything that is playing on the radio. His favorite thing about green hope is the teachers, he has not had a teacher that he did not like, and he is a swimmer on the Green Hope team.

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations

    OPINION

    Is It Too Early for Christmas Music?

  • Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations

    OPINION

    Firmoo For You!

  • Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations

    OPINION

    Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” Song Review

  • Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations

    OPINION

    Socks with Crocs: Bop or Flop?

  • Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations

    OPINION

    A Cinderella Story Movie Review

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






For students, by students
Green Hope Should Install Water Bottle Filling Stations