This year, Albion College added 60 new water bottle filling stations in a variety of locations around campus thanks to a generous donation from alumni, Bruce and Jane Harper, last spring.
The “Harper Earth Day 50th Anniversary Gift,” as the donation was titled, intended to promote a better environmental profile on campus. After reading about the nation’s most “green” educational institutions in Sierra magazine, the Harpers were prompted to help assist Albion’s environmental action plan.
“They came to me to ask how the college could effectively use a gift to fulfill any [environmental action] desires,” said Doug White, associate director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE). “I had a CSE meeting last spring, and I asked students what initiatives they would like to see and more water-filling stations came up. I worked with Institutional Advancement to present this gift to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.”
The Harpers hope their actions will help propel environmental sustainability projects around campus. Previously, there were only six water-filling stations located around campus.
“The water-filling stations will encourage the use of reusable water bottles and reduce the use of plastic water bottles, while also connecting people to water that came locally rather than from somewhere far away,” said White. “It’s not unusual to see young people carrying around water bottles in their backpacks today, so this is just one step we could take towards environmental sustainability.”
The donation for the water bottle filling stations marks the beginning of a larger initiative to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, coming up in 2020, throughout the entire academic year.
“The college has a long tradition of using Earth Day to promote sustainable practices,” said White.
Earlier this year, the CSE helped distribute LED light bulbs to all first year students on move-in day to reduce the amount of energy being used in the dorms. Future plans of the CSE include an environment symposium with alumni this spring, as well as planting trees around campus in celebration of the anniversary.
The location of the new water bottle stations can be found below:
Dow Recreation Center