By Sam Horner, YES! Northeast Coordinator
The Northern Lights Community School received some fantastic news this year for their school. A few weeks ago, they were awarded $500 from the McKnight Foundation and $500 from Waste Management to help them put in a hydration station in their school this year. A hydration station is a water fountain that comes equipped with a water bottle filling spout. Most models of hydration stations also have an electronic counter that will count how many water bottles have been saved from being used or manufactured. After the Thanksgiving break, Donna Hanson and her YES! Team will be putting in their new hydration station.
There a lot of great reasons why the NLCS team wanted to go with the hydration station. First off, it will help reduce the single use plastic bottles that the students are potentially using. Without the need for these single use plastic bottles, they will not need to be recycled or produced, because students can use reusable water bottles. It will also help to reduce water from flowing down the drain, because the water bottle spout will send all the water right into the bottle. The counter on the machine will also help encourage the students to use the station instead of buying single use water bottles. The electronic counter is a great tool, because it is useful to have something that the students will be able to see every time they use the hydration station.
In addition to putting the hydration station, the YES! Team will be working on some other parts of their project. The students are working to create posters to help generate some attention to the new station. Their plan is to have the students use this hydration station instead of the other water fountains. They will also encourage their fellow students to stop using single use water bottles and to bring reusable water bottles from home. They will also be collecting the data and checking on how many water bottles are being saved. When the YES! Team gets everything implemented, it will be awesome to see what the results of this project will be.