Gaffney High makes effort to reduce plastic waste

Gaffney High makes effort to reduce plastic waste

Allison Cantrell, Staff Writer

They’re all the rage on college campuses, and now they’ve made their way to Gaffney High School. They’re water bottle re-fillers within a water fountain. The machine that has been installed in our commons area is manufactured by Halsey-Taylor, and the machine is meant to “help reduce our dependency on plastic water bottles which often end up as landfill waste.” The water in the fountain is filtered, the machine saves energy and doesn’t require any effort to fill, which would reduce the spreading of germs. Halsey-Taylor’s Green Counter™ counts the amount of bottles saved from landfills. At the time of publication, the Counter was at 486 bottles saved.

This is the next of many efforts to reduce waste at Gaffney High. An AP Environmental class is attempting to get rid of the Styrofoam trays in the cafeteria. Our Green Teens club comes around every Friday and picks up paper and plastic and recycles it.

This summer, sophomore Tyler Norris and Mrs. Christina Cody attended a Fuel Up to Play 60 summit at Perdue University, where the water bottle re-fillers were all over campus. Norris suggested that they be installed at GHS, and when they returned, Mrs. Cody looked for ways to make it a reality. She found out that Freightliner had the same fountains installed in their factory. She contacted Mr. Lee Barrett at the company and asked if they would be interested in donating fountains to Gaffney and Blacksburg High Schools. He immediately contacted Cherokee County School District and Freightliner was able to donate the fountains to the schools.

“I’m sure it’s possible to get more with a little grant writing or business sponsorship if our students or staff have some ‘connections’! Asking never hurts.  The worst that could happen is a ‘no,'” Cody said about getting more fountains installed at school.

“Hydration is so important and many of students and staff drink enough water daily.  Sometimes our water can be a little too chlorinated and some students don’t like the taste.  I hope the filtered water will encourage students to consume more water.  Also, the new fountain keeps a count of the number of water bottles refilling your own bottle saves from the landfill.  It helps us to reduce our environmental impact.”

Cody encourages the student body to “bring your water bottles, use the station, and turn up! (sic)” She says that staying hydrated helps our digestive system, moods, skin, and brain. She also encourages the student body to thank someone they may know at Freightliner for their support of both schools.

She says that the feedback from the installation of the fountain has been “very positive.”