S’Well asks students to BRING IT

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In light of NYC Climate Week, from September 24-30, S’Well provided 320,000 high school students with free S’Well water bottles.

On Monday, October 1, each Townsend Harris student that purchased an SU card  received one S’ip by S’Well bottle, a $25, 15 oz stainless steel mini version of the original S’Well model during their gym or health band. The bottles were offered in two designs: “Lemon Drop” and “Sour Apple Green.” Teachers had students sign their name on a roster to keep track of recipients.

The move is a part of the company’s new BRING IT campaign: a partnership with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Sustainability to promote environmental action among youth. De Blasio hopes to eliminate all landfill waste by 2030 by encouraging reusable alternatives in order to decrease global plastic consumption. According to a public statement by BRING IT, one million plastic bottles are purchased globally every minute only to be “used once and then thrown away.” This un-recycled plastic disintegrates into the soil, negatively impacting our food supply in the process . However, with 320,000 more people making the switch to BPA and toxin free containers, BRING IT has the potential to get rid of 54 million single-use plastic bottles and positively impact the environment. “I think it’s a really cool thing,” said freshman Shania Jugdeo. “It helps students a lot and also helps the environment, and in the long run, our health.”

In its efforts to educate youth about their role in the environment, BRING IT asserts that “one person’s actions make a difference for our city and our planet.” This message, posted on BRING IT’s website, has been positively received by Townsend Harris students. Senior Max Kurant explained, “I think it’s great because students here are so busy and stressed that being environmentally conscious just isn’t something we think about. This makes it easy to do so.” Freshman Hanna Kurdziel added, “They’re raising awareness about the importance of recycling and conserving water so that people will either protest the actions of large corporations or do small-scale actions that will begin to make a difference.”

During the process of bringing S’Well to Townsend Harris, administration encountered an issue with having enough stock for all students. According to Assistant Principal of Organization and Physical Education/Health, Ellen Fee, “We have an increase of students and our register is now 1,183,” meanwhile S’Well had only sent 1,152 bottles based on last year’s enrollment information. Fortunately, Townsend Harris will most likely see more bottles in the future. According to Kathleen Corradi, Zero Waste Manager, the Office of Sustainability “will continue to connect this water bottle donation to students and school activities throughout the year.”

For more information about getting involved in environmental advocacy, visit bringit.nyc.