More Students Using Reusable Water Bottles

Dunbar students and teachers are making an effort to reduce waste.

According to the Ban the Bottle anti-plastic bottle movement, “The U.S.’s recycling rate for plastic is only 23 percent, which means 38 billion water bottles are wasted each year.” With so many wasted bottles, the plastic begins to pile up in landfills; however, many Dunbar staff and students are using reusable water bottles.

Rohan Palla
The water bottle refill stations keep track of how many plastic bottles are saved with each use.

In attempts to do more about this plastic waste issue the Bluegrass Youth Sustainability Council implemented several bottle refill stations at Dunbar and other schools across Lexington in 2012. Since then, these stations have saved approximately 54,000 bottles at Dunbar alone.

This initiative to help the environment by replacing plastic water bottles with reusable ones has become a noticeable trend at Dunbar. “When you’re a singer, you drink tons of water so I used to waste ten or so water bottles every single day,” said English teacher Mrs. Brooke Jackson. “I figured I should probably have something that I can just refill wherever I go, so I started carrying a thermos.”

Not only are students and teachers switching over to reusable bottles, but they are also turning them into their own works of art. Many times students are decorating their bottles to reveal more about their passions and who they are as people. They do this through the form of stickers and colorful straps and braids.

Junior Maddy Jenkins is one of the many students who have picked up this trend. “I have stickers all over it,” she said. “They’re usually just from places I’ve been to.” Through the use of stickers, Jenkins is able to personalize her bottle, and share many things about herself such as a climbing gym she goes to, her favorite coffee shops, and even the different movements she supports.

“It’s a way to combine helping the environment and also highlight my personality,” she said.