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Manlius Pebble Hill students get aluminum water bottles to reduce the use of plastic bottles

Manlius Pebble Hill students get aluminum water bottles to reduce the use of plastic bottles

Published: Monday, January 10, 2011

Manlius Pebble Hill fifth-grader Liza Bruno was thrilled to get a silver aluminum water bottle from her school, with her name and the school logo printed on it.

“Plastic water bottles are one of those things that usually end up in landfills,” said Bruno, of Cazenovia. “When I use my aluminum bottle, I feel like I’m helping the universe by not using plastic. And plastic bottles get worn down and can have mildew if you try and reuse them.”

Bruno is among 183 MPH students in pre-K through fifth grade who were given stainless steel water bottles from the school before Christmas break.

It’s the latest and most visible step in MPH’s effort to go “green” and be environmentally responsible, said Jayne Charlamb, who chairs the MPH Green Committee. MPH no longer supplies or sells disposable plastic bottles in its shop or anywhere else on campus. Filtered water coolers, fountains, and filling stations for reusable bottles are located throughout the campus.

The school used to sell its own plastics water bottles with the school’s name on it. “But we realized disposable bottles aren’t environmentally friendly, so we’re no longer stocking them,” Charlamb said. MPH also is no longer providing bottled water at any meetings or events.

Once the bottles were distributed, classroom discussions took place about environmentally responsible behavior. Middle school students are next in line to get the aluminum bottles, which were donated to MPH, Charlamb said.

The older students, whoever, don’t want carbon-copy aluminum bottles. “It’s not cool for teens that age to have the same thing,” Charlamb said. “They have their own.”

Also, some of the older kids complained when the school stopped selling disposable water bottles because they missed the convenience.

“There was some resistance,” Charlamb said. “But what’s convenient and easy isn’t always what’s best for the environment, and kids are getting used to it now. Part of all this involves educating the kids, and then getting them to go home and share what they’ve learned.”

The students learned that about 140 million disposable plastic bottles end up in landfills each day, which lined end to end would reach from New York to China and back. MPH used to order 10 cases of 24 bottles each every two months from September to May.

The school also installing solar panels on the roof, has switched to recyclable brown paper napkins, is increasing its recycling and composting and cutting back on its paper consumption and mailings.

Fifth-grader Bianca Melendez Martineau of Manlius said plastic water bottles usually aren’t recycled, use up landfills and pollute the ocean.

And second-grader Max Mimaroglu of Jamesville said he’s very pleased to have a personalized water bottle. “These are way better for the environment,” he said. “and they don’t have chemicals in them that cause pollution.”