Bottle Battle: Choose Wisely

Gillian Torres, Staff Writer

1.3 billion plastic bottles are used every day worldwide, with only about 30% of those bottles recycled.  Here at Burroughs we contribute to that waste every time we don’t bring a reusable bottle to school. 

While plastic waste has always been an issue on campus, the situation worsened during COVID when water fountains were shut down. In order to ensure students had access to water during summer heat, Burroughs teachers were distributing plastic bottles upon request — dozens of cases’ worth.   Those bottles ended up everywhere: tossed outside trash bins, left inside classrooms, simply littered around campus. Such disregard can make our school look dirty and endanger the environment. 

Each of those cases of water held 24 bottles. In total, Burroughs teachers passed out 2,016 bottles. How many of these were recycled properly? We need to be more aware of our choices and how they impact our environment. 

Now that the fountains are back up again and plastic bottles are no longer being given out, it is a good opportunity to invest in a reusable bottle. There are many great reasons to get one if you haven’t already: they are good for the environment, they remind you to drink water throughout the day, and they prevent you from having to drink out of the school water fountains. 

We also have to take into account the environment we live in.  Living in the desert means that the weather here is at an extreme. It’s finally September and temperatures are still in the upper 90s. No one wants to faint from dehydration in the middle of class. Now that the school is not providing water bottles, students should take the safe route and bring their own water. 

If you have trouble finding a reusable water bottle, our local stores offer plenty of choices. Inexpensive options are available at Walmart, Dollar Tree, and the Dollar General. If not, you can just refill the same plastic bottle instead of grabbing a new one every time. Take advantage of the open water fountains.

By bringing a reusable bottle to school, we can promote good environmental habits, keep our school clean, and do our part to keep the planet green.