By Kylee McDonald, Marissa Mitchell and Sophia Lopez
Quick. Clean. Green. Those are the words inscribed on the new water fountains that are popping up on the Saint Thomas Aquinas (STA) campus. Thanks to the approval of the school’s administrators, these new, earth-friendly water fountains have made their way to STA.
Mrs. Lowe is STA’s Marine Biology and Environmental Science teacher and the moderator of both the Marine Biology and Recycling Corps Clubs. She is extremely passionate about protecting the environment. A major issue that negatively affects our environment is the widespread use of plastic water bottles. “Plastic is meant to stay around for thousands of years and if we continue to use it at the rate that we do, we will be essentially creating a ‘plastic planet,’” she said. Dedicated to preserving the planet and banning the use of plastic water bottles, Mrs. Lowe started pushing for the new fountains a few years ago.
These water fountains are specifically designed to refill reusable water bottles. With a motion-censored and filtered waterspout, the fountains allow for hands-free filling and delicious drinking water. Many students truly appreciate the new appliances. Junior Emily Petruska said, “The fountains are cool because they save the environment and you can actually fill your water bottle up to the top.” The new water fountains are not only popular among the students, but also among the teachers. Taking a sip out of his recently-filled water bottle, Mr. McCormack exhaled with contentment and said, “So nice and cold. This is what we should have everywhere.”
In a short amount of time, the water fountains have increased the use of reusable water bottles on campus. To date, more than 7,500 plastic water bottles have been saved. With the three fountains located around campus – one in the breezeway, the main hallway, and the cafeteria hallway – students have been able to refill their bottles easily while contributing to a healthier environment.
Mrs. Lowe’s ultimate hope is to completely eliminate the use of plastic water bottles on campus. With this new project and the recent installment of solar
panels that were donated to the school, STA is on its way to a greener future.