The Hydration Station

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Jaclyn Goldstein

Throw away your plastic water bottles and replace them with your reusable water containers instead because Post is continuing its installments of hydration stations throughout the campus.

In October, the Pioneer featured efforts that were being made to make Post a more sustainable campus.  So far, there have been two hydration stations installed at the Pratt Recreation Center and one recently installed in Pell Hall.  A hydration station is a touch-free bottle refill system that also purifies the water.   Elkay, a company that installs the stations, reports that more than 150 colleges and universities have installed them.   If installing these stations was not enough to encourage students to use reusable water containers, the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education claims that several colleges, including Stony Brook University, New York University, the University of Maryland, and Stanford University have banned bottled water in their dining halls.

Associate Professor of Geography Dr. Scott Carlin has his students collect information, such as the costs and benefits of the systems, and pitched the idea to the Provost.  “This is part of a national movement,” affirmed Carlin.   “We are just starting to see these appear on college campuses.  They will become a much more obvious part of daily life in just a few years.  We should call attention to the fact that, as a campus, we are ahead of the national curve (and Long Island’s curve) in installing these devices.”

The hydration system keeps track of how many bottles have been refilled.  So far, there have been just over 19,000 containers refilled in the Pratt and 1,637 in Pell Hall.  The stations not only reduce the use of plastic bottles, but they also save students money so that they do not have to buy water bottles at machines or campus stores.

In the future, Carlin and his students hope to see the hydration stations installed in each of the main buildings on campus and eventually in the dorm buildings.  Senior Childhood Education major Helene Bruckner is a student in Professor Carlin’s Conservation of Natural Environment Resources course.   “We need to come together as a community and take the first steps towards becoming more sustainable because we are the future,” Bruckner stated.  Bruckner is among many students of Professor Carlin’s who are collaborating to make our campus more eco-friendly.

Senior Geography major Abrom Shepard was part of the hydration station project last semester.  “I feel that the hydration station is probably one of the best investments Post has made to prove that it is aiming for a more sustainable campus.  I feel proud to have been a part of the project and hope to see more installments on campus.”

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