Harriton Environmental Club Builds New Statue


Claire Weiss, Staff Writer

Accompanying our ram in the lobby of the school now lies the Environmental Club’s hard work to inspire Harriton to start using refillable water bottles. A plastic bottle sculpture, thought of and executed by Shana Herman, is a collection of about 3 days worth of disposable plastic water bottles! What is the goal of all this hard work? To get Harriton to stop using disposable water bottles and start using refillable ones!

For the past week, you may have seen posters hanging on the walls displaying uplifting messages like “Love our planet, don’t hurt it,” or “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” These are the works of the Environmental Club. Hoping that the signs would inspire students to make a difference and start using refillable water bottles, these posters were hung up all around the school, giving students the opportunity to realize that disposable water bottles are damaging to the environment and they should try to reduce their use.

As well as the posters, every day this week the Environmental Club has been holding a bake sale to raise money to for purchasing water bottle filling stations, which will be attached to the existing water fountains around Harriton.

Each day after school last week, a group of students from the Environmental Club collected the plastic bottles from the yellow recycling bins in the cafeteria. They then went through the process of separating the caps -which can be recycled as well- from the bottles and cleaning them in the cafeteria kitchen. Once cleaned, the group of students stayed after school last Friday to make the sculpture! The bottles and caps were put in plastic bags and assorted along the the ram in the lobby of the school. The bags are filled to the brim with bottles and cover the ram which leads to one question: How can Harriton use so many plastic bottles and how can the students of Harriton stop the disposal of them?

Many students might not realize this, but there are hundreds of bottles being recycled every day at Harriton. From those at the cafeteria, the breakfast table, or even bottles from home, the amount of them recycled each day is enormous! Though Harriton does recycle, disposable water bottles are still a threat to the environment and the amount recycled needs to be decreased.

Outside of Harriton, disposable plastic water bottles are the number one cause of pollution in the oceans next to plastic bags. The world uses 17 million barrels of oil each year to produce disposable water bottles. 1500 disposable water bottles are consumed each second in the United States! How can disposable water bottles be good for our environment?

There is an alternative: refillable water bottles. This was the main point of the Environmental Club’s sculpture, to get Harriton to use refillable water bottles as opposed to disposable ones. Shana Herman, a junior at Harriton and the one to set up the sculpture, says “We, [the Environmental Club], will hopefully encourage the Harriton community to use reusable bottles, thus reducing our consumption of disposable plastic bottles.” By using reusable water bottles, Harriton can help in reducing the amount of environmental damage done by disposable water bottles. The Environmental Club’s example is the first step to Harriton making a difference in the environment.