On December 12, 2018, the South County YMCA (SCYMCA), in Wakefield, had a dedication ceremony for a Water Bottle Filling Station (WBFS) donated by the Greenlove Foundation.
The Greenlove Foundation was founded in memory of Kendra L. Bowers who was an environmental science student at UVM. Kendra’s infectious passion to preserve and protect our land encouraged others to admire and to enjoy the beauty the Earth. The foundation continues to fulfill her life’s dream of protecting and taking care of the Earth by encouraging others to reduce single use plastic bottles and to carry a reusable water bottle.
SCYMCA Executive Director, Sheila Litty, Operations Manager, Lisa Kennedy, and Sarah Bell, joined Greenlove board members during the dedication. Also, a crowd of enthusiastic SCYMCA members ranging in age from pre‐kinder children to senior citizens, attended the ceremony and enjoyed using the Elkay rapid filling WBFS that provides ready access to filtered drinking water and hydration by using a reusable water bottle to eliminate single bottle usage. Some converted from using single use plastic bottles by purchasing their very first reusable water bottle sold by SCYMCA!
Sarah Bell, an SCYMCA yoga teacher and child care provider formed the SCYMCA Green Team a year ago. She shared facts about the global disposal of single bottle usage:
1. One million plastic bottles are discarded every minute 2. 20% of those discarded bottles are recycled 3. 20 billion bottles end up in landfills, waterways, etc.
The SCYMA Green Team’s goal is to promote environmental awareness and to encourage and support sustainability efforts at the SCYMCA by changing habits and taking responsibility to make the earth a “greener” environment.
The team’s initial proposals were:
1. Having a rep from RI Resource Recovery to visit the facility and make suggestions for enhancing more efficient means to recycle and to reduce trash
2. An energy assessment from National Grid in order to transition to more efficient lighting for energy conservation (the Y administration approved the lighting proposal and National Grid did the lighting efficiency upgrade)
3. A raised garden bed and compost bin for the kid’s program (2 beds and a barrel composter were generously donated by fitness trainer, Christian Luginbuhl) 4. A water bottle filling station to be installed (GREENLOVE FOUNDATION HAS DONATED the WBFS).
On November 2, the Green Team set up a Green Table for SCYMCA members. Several options and merchandise were available:
1. People willing to committee to an Eco Pledge to their change habits to reduce plastic consumption and reduce plastic waste
2. A “did you know” topic of reusable, refillable water container vs. single bottle usage 3. A variety of reusable containers for purchase (low cost BPA free bottles, coffee cups, and smoothie bottles) 4. Children involved in the day care program made “Green Team” posters and signs that lined the hallways.
For more information about the Greenlove Foundation, visit www.greenlovefoundation.org.