This year, Mentor HS student led his school in conducting a waste audit. Things have come a long way since that initial audit. Matthew submitted the following report:
The biggest distaste, the biggest gripe I have is when I see people use disposable water bottles, especially in the house. Sure it is convenient, but is it necessary? Not many people know about the harmful effects that disposable water bottles have on the body. Heated plastic leaking into the water, added ‘ingredients’, and so forth are some of the many hidden facts plastic water bottles have, especially with young children. If you are reading this, I strongly encourage you to research both the health AND economic aspects of disposable water bottles, as I think you’ll be surprised.
The Mentor College’s Eco-team’s initiative this year was to eventually have a disposable water bottle free school. At the start of the year we performed what is called a ‘waste audit’ (waste analysis) with the help of Ecosource Mississauga. We found a staggering 306 water bottles thrown out. If we extrapolate this it comes to over 50000 in a school year!
The Eco-team devised a ‘water hydration station’ initiative in order to combat these results. What these stations are is both a fountain and a place to refill reusable water bottles. With the aid of Mr. Philbrook and the MTPA we were able to get 4 of these bad boys in total! Two will be going in the main campus while one will each go to primary campus and TEAM school and should make its debut next year.
After our hydration station initiative was successful a new waste audit was upon us in April. Thanks to awareness of the results of our first waste audit total waste was reduced to about a third, and a dramatic decrease in disposable water bottles!
Again, a big thank you to the MTPA, staff, and students for being increasingly environmentally conscious as well as helping the Eco-team out with all we’ve accomplished this year! Eco-team, we’ve all done a great job and let’s hope for the best in the future!