Grant Supports Student Work to Reduce Plastic Water Bottles

The Environmental Action Organization (EAO), a student group has received funding to draw awareness and to help reduce the number of disposable plastic water bottles used across campus.

EAO submitted their proposal aimed at altering the campus culture at St. Lawrence and to reduce disposable water bottle usage to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute (NYSP2I). NYSP2I is headquartered at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and is a partnership between RIT, Clarkson University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University at Buffalo and the 10 New York State Regional Technology Development Centers. EAO's proposal was accepted, and the student organization will receive $1,000 to support their efforts.

The students' proposal builds on a 2012 Thelomathesian Society resolution, which supports policies that choose municipal water services over bottled water in an effort to support the University's commitment of achieving climate neutrality.

"We want to create a social awareness campaign on campus that tries to convince students not to buy bottled water," said Jeffrey Mogavero '16 of Havertown, Penn., who is co-president of EAO and was the lead author of the proposal. "Right now, people don't really think much about it or maybe they even think it's better and healthier than tap water. We hope this gets people thinking differently."

The group will continue its efforts during the spring semester, using some of its funding to purchase reusable water bottles, which they will hand out to students drinking from disposable water bottles. Students will also be asked to sign a pledge that they will refrain from purchasing disposable water bottles. In addition, funds will be used to purchase a filtered-water hydration station to be located near where bottled water is currently sold. EAO has also been invited to present their project at in exhibition at RIT in April.