News


Gunn installs first water bottle filling station on campus

Effort to curb use of plastic water bottles

Student organizations and individuals at a Palo Alto high school have unveiled the school's first water bottle filling station, according to school officials.

The first filling station was installed on Earth Day on Gunn High School to curb the use of plastic water bottles on campus. Students Aitan Grossman and Josh Kaplan began campaigning last March to stop the sale of single-use water bottles and asked for money for filling stations.

The students recognized that single-use bottles are a burden to the environment, a user's health and the economy.

The stations allow students to fill up and drink from refillable water bottles, a more environmentally friendly way for students to stay hydrated.

A documentary called "Tapped" inspired the students and they gathered 500 signatures in support from students and teachers. Palo Alto residents also showed support.

"Josh and I were blown away by the support we received from Gunn students and staff, and even concerned Palo Alto citizens," Grossman said in a statement. "We started out afraid that our petition would be seen as radical, but our campaign was met with high fives and enthusiasm all around."

The team that secured the stations believes that they are more than a step for health, the environment and the economy.

It's about fostering a community of "resilient, responsible, respectful, contributing citizens," as Gunn High School's mission statement says.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

4 people like this
Posted by Mom of Gunn Alumni
a resident of Ventura
on May 17, 2015 at 11:19 am

Palo Alto's water is from Hetch Hetchy reservoir in the Sierras and has won awards for its taste.

Reusable bottles make sense here!


4 people like this
Posted by Marc Vincenti
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 17, 2015 at 1:00 pm

There once was a need for hydration,
But Gunn lacked a fill-'er-up station.
Then Aitan and Josh
Heard the call of the slosh,
And brought us this bottling station!

M.V.


6 people like this
Posted by But, but......
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 17, 2015 at 1:06 pm

However, this can cause more waste than a drinking fountain, considering that most kids pour their water bottle out at the end of the day. Most bottles hold far more than a person will drink from a fountain.


6 people like this
Posted by But, butt....
a resident of Gunn High School
on May 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm

There is also the fact that most teachers will not allow you to drink from a bottle in class, even though THEY do.


2 people like this
Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Green Acres
on May 17, 2015 at 1:13 pm

Thanks for your efforts, Aitan and Josh. Aitan delivered an impressive plea to the Sustainability Committee, and keyed right into what the district needed in order to overcome problems to reducing plastic water bottle waste from the lunch program.

Here's another reason to reduce plastic water bottle usage - plasticizers that affect regulation of fat storage:

Web Link
“I would not want to say that obesogen exposure takes away free will or dooms you to be fat,” he says. “However, it will change your metabolic set points for gaining weight.
...
Blumberg believes it’s good to reduce exposure to all kinds of endocrine-disrupting chemicals. “Eat organic, filter water, minimize plastic in your life,”


Web Link
Minireview: The Case for Obesogens


Congrats on your success in changing the way things are done so the school uses less disposable plastic!


3 people like this
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2015 at 1:31 pm

Wonder which is a greater burden on the environment--the single use water bottles which are recycled, or the cars that so many PAUSD students drive to campus every day?


4 people like this
Posted by Greenacres
a resident of Green Acres
on May 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

@Wondering,
The two efforts are not mutually exclusive, and they are different. I don't think the cars are contributing to the giant plastic gyres in the Pacific the way the water bottles are.

Around half of the students walk or bike already. This is an astonishing number for a high school that large. Even though many of them probably then have to spend a lot more time going to and from school.

It would probably be higher if Arastradero were a more walkable street without so many dangerous crossings and there weren't so many major barriers to cross from home, Alma, the railroad tracks, El Camino. It looks good until you actually spend time walking, next to busy street, mostly single file, with fairly dangerous crossings. It's very unpleasant, you can't carry on a conversation while walking abreast unless someone walks in the gutter, which is not safe on Arastradero.

If you support kids all walking and biking, you should have supported those of us calling to reopen Cubberly as part of the bond work. A lot of those cars would be unnecessary.


Like this comment
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2015 at 3:01 pm

> I don't think the cars are contributing to the giant plastic
> gyres in the Pacific the way the water bottles are

And you are certaint that all of the plastic water bottles used by Gunn students end up in the oceans of the world? Given how easy it is to throw the bottles in a recycling can--it's really hard to believe your claim.

Given the impact on local traffic by schools--getting students out of their cars would offer a huge reduction in congestion in the transportation environment of Palo Alto.


Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 17, 2015 at 5:17 pm

I admit, I am one of the few parents who drives her child to Paly on my way to work. I can tell you that there is never a back-up in parking lots at either end of the school. I know 1000 students ride bikes to Paly according to the principal. Don't know how the other students arrive, but there really aren't a lot who are driven or drive.

Gunn is a different situation. It's not real safe to bike to Gunn.


5 people like this
Posted by Abitarian
a resident of Downtown North
on May 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm

Umm, I don't get it. Didn't the school already have "water bottle filling stations"? I mean, water fountains have been standard equipment at schools for many decades.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Barron Park
on May 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm

Mom of Gunn Alumni - we used to get our water from Hetch Hetchy, but due to the drought we get our water from Sunol.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 17, 2015 at 10:03 pm

Fancy name for a water fountain?


Like this comment
Posted by Slow Down
a resident of Community Center
on May 17, 2015 at 10:44 pm

Slow Down is a registered user.

@Resident - it wasn't the drought, but because of construction on the Hetch Hetchy tunnels that there was a temporary switch to the Sunol reservoir.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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