Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.02
Liaison Beth Klein
Submission Date Feb. 25, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

State University of New York at Cortland
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Beth Klein
Professor and Sustainability Coordinator
Childhood Early Childhoon
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Water for Life

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Water for Life program discourages use of one time use cups for water or bottled water while encouraging students, faculty and staff to purchase a reusable water bottle at ASC retail facilities with proceeds going to an alumni charity that supports providing access to safe drinking water in Africa. To facilitate use of the reusable water bottles, ASC installed several water bottle filling stations near their retail locations.

Message screens around campus and menu boards and posters at the facilities encourage visitors, students, faculty, and staff to purchase and reuse a reusable water bottle. The idea is that for those that don't have or use a water bottle, supporting the charity would be a good reason to purchase one. The intent was to reach those individuals who need a different reason to use a reusable water bottle than those early adopters.

The charity,"Drilling for Hope", founded by Alumnus, Karen Flewelling,has drilled or repaired over 40 community wells and the purchased more than three dozen cisterns and filters. In 2016, Flewelling was honored by SUNY Cortland in 2016 with a SUNY Doctor of Humane Letters.

ASC Executive Director noticed the popularity of a single water refill station located in our Student Life Center. Next he learned of the staggering volume of container waste occurring elsewhere. For example, in five years the ASC sold 80,000 single-use cups for water at our just our library cafe.

During new student orientation, students are introduced to the new system with a short video clip. Aside from menu boards, information about the program and the short informational video is on the ASC website. Cashiers at dining outlets are also trained to steer students who ask where to purchase commercial packaged water to buy a reusable container instead.

The college didn't go into this initiative to save money, loosing revenue on both single use cups and bottled water, but is reducing the overall trash volume, changing behavior, and giving back to a charity at the same time. This initiative has encouraged a screening of the film "Tapped" and initiated a student desire to ban single use water bottles on campus.

Video is available: https://www.cortlandasc.com/news/news-story/water-for-life/

Information on the Charity, Drilling for Hope: http://drillingforhope.org/

Alumni info on the project: https://www.reddragonnetwork.org/s/1612/social.aspx?sid=1612&gid=1&pgid=1482&fb_comment_id=1045704562193294_1047941301969620

Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Campus Engagement
Wellbeing & Work

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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