Students working out in War Memorial Gym have found something new that is good for both their bodies and the environment.

Facilities Services recently added five new water bottle refilling stations throughout War Memorial Gym -- two on the first floor and three on the ground floor. These stations allow students, faculty, and staff to refill their own reusable water bottles rather than using single-use bottled water to rehydrate after working out.

“Plastic water bottles are inherently wasteful,” said Erica Largen of Dugspar, Va., a senior majoring in environmental policy and planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and one of the students who proposed the project. “Working to reduce the amount of waste from plastic water bottles will help reduce the amount of waste the university produces and the costs associated with that waste.”

The project is expected to save 1.5 tons of plastic from the landfill each year. While plastic is recyclable, it is more sustainable eliminate the need to recycle it in the first place.

Water bottle refill stations are already located in Squires Student Center, Newman Library, and McComas Hall. The hope is that by having more of the refill stations, students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to move away from bottled water and carry their own reusable water bottles around campus instead.

The project was funded as part of the Green RFP program. Now in its fourth year, the program encourages students and student groups to submit proposals for funding campus sustainability projects that support Virginia Tech’s Climate Action Commitment. Preference will be given to proposals will produce tangible savings and those that require one-time rather than ongoing support.

Last year, the Green RFP program funded more than $92,000 in projects.

For more information about this Green RFP program and other sustainability initiatives at Virginia Tech, visit the Office of Energy and Sustainability website.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Written by Emily Schosid.

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