CANTON — A St. Lawrence University student organization has received a $1,000 grant to help reduce the number of disposable plastic water bottles used across campus.
The Environmental Action Organization (EAO) student group submitted their proposal aimed at altering the campus culture by reducing disposable water bottle usage to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute, headquartered at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
EAO’s proposal was accepted, and the student organization will receive $1,000 to support their efforts.
The students’ proposal builds on a 2012 St. Lawrence’s student government resolution, which supports policies that choose municipal water services over bottled water in an effort to support the University’s commitment of achieving climate neutrality.
“We want to create a social awareness campaign on campus that tries to convince students not to buy bottled water,” said Jeffrey Mogavero of Havertown, Penn., who is co-president of EAO and was the lead author of the proposal. “Right now, people don’t really think much about it or maybe they even think it’s better and healthier than tap water. We hope this gets people thinking differently.”
The group will begin their project next week during the final week of classes. They will hold a water-tasting station in the Sullivan Student Center, where passersby will have the opportunity to compare bottled water to filtered hydration station water and to regular tap water. The results will then be posted around campus.
The group will continue its efforts during the spring semester, using some of its funding to purchase reusable water bottles, which they will hand out to students drinking from disposable water bottles. Students will also be asked to sign a pledge that they will refrain from purchasing disposable water bottles. In addition, funds will be used to purchase a filtered-water hydration station to be located near where bottled water is currently sold. EAO has also been invited to present their project at in exhibition at RIT in April.
While the student organization understands that the university profits from the sale of bottled water, it does hope to eliminate bottled water completely on campus.