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Drinking It In: Eliminating Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Drinking It In: Eliminating Single-Use Plastic Bottles

Rethink the Drink started in 2010 with a simple concept: provide schools with an alternative to single-use plastic water bottles and see if habit change followed. Four years later, we are proud to report that habit change is indeed possible. There are now 39 water refill stations in schools and community facilities across Santa Barbara County, and they have been used more than 870,000 times. Creating a single plastic water bottle emits 2.6 pounds of carbon dioxide, thus the amount of carbon dioxide emissions mitigated by our refill stations is more than 2 million pounds.

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Students Are Part Of The Plastic-reduction Solution

Students are part of the plastic-reduction solution

“I want to do something about all the plastic waste. I want to be an environmental scientist.” Those words of wisdom and hope came from a seventh-grade girl at La Cumbre Junior High earlier this month. The Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) Rethink the Drink staff visited the school and spoke to over 300 students about the importance of reducing our dependence on single-use plastic products.
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Local Students Refilled Over 164,000+ Times

Local students refilled over 164,000+ times

The project

As a part of an overall vision to lead the community away from energy-intensive products, CEC launched its "Rethink the Drink" campaign in January 2011, aiming to reduce single use plastic bottles by 75% in two pilot schools. With funding from the Orfalea Foundations and other local partners, we have thus far installed nine refill stations in local schools.

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