Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Green Society Helping Others Live Green, One Water Bottle at a Time

Green Society members Rosemary Mruk,
Jesse Roberts and Owen Despre
MWCC's Green Society is making another splash toward sustainability with a new addition to the Gardner campus. The new water cooler and bottle filling station, located in the Commons area near the financial aid office, is part of an outreach campaign to provide students, faculty, and staff with an alternative to plastic water bottles.

The water bottle station, which was funded jointly by The Green Society, the Student Government Association and a $1,000 grant from the United Way Youth Venture, is environmentally friendly because it allows people to refill reusable water bottles. In just a few weeks, it has already saved nearly 400 plastic water bottles from being used. "It's turning out to be a great compliment to other sustainability efforts at MWCC," said Rosemary Mruk, treasurer of the Green Society.

Students from The Green Society researched and presented an action plan and budget to the United Way Youth Venture and members of the college community last spring to receive funding for this project. The UWYV provides opportunities for young people throughout the region to create their own positive social change. The process is non-competitive and open to students ages 12 to 22, said Kumar Raj, United Way Youth Venture Coordinator.

Beginning this month The Green Society will sell reusable, stainless steel water bottles to help raise money for replacement filters for the water station. In the future, The Green Society would like to see a water bottle station on each floor of the Gardner Campus, as well as at the satellite campuses in Leominster and Devens.

"We are excited to see how the campus receives the new water cooler and bottle filling station, and we hope that this station can pave the way for more on campus," said Professor Tom Montagno, the club's advisor.

"At MWCC, we don't just want people to 'Go Green,' " said Owen Despre, president of The Green Society. "We want them to 'Live Green.' "

- Angela Marini

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