October 26, 2015

Dear Division 16,

We have just begun our new Integrated Study on the Hydrosphere, so let’s turn our minds to thinking about all the ways we use water and ways we might think about changing our practices.  We have a guest blog question author with us today, these questions were co-written by Division 16 alumni, coolschoolscout.

This article describes a discussion happening at the Vancouver School Board about the use and selling of bottled water in high schools.

Please read it and then answer ONE of the following questions:


  1. Do you agree with the installation of water bottle refilling stations in schools? Why or why not?  Do you think we should have one at Dickens?
  2. List some pros and cons for selling bottled water from the article and from your own experience.  Make an argument for or against the sale of bottled water in schools as if you were a School Board Trustee.  What changes would you recommend?

I look forward to your responses,



  1. THEMANGO404

    I definitely agree with having at least one water bottle refiling station at our school and I agree with having them, because they reduce the amount of plastic bottled water and plastic bottled water destroys the environment. I think that bottled water is less healthy also. See information bout how bottled water is bad and how tap water is better in link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se12y9hSOM0.

    • dickensdiv16

      Thanks for providing this link, THEMANGO404, you’ve pointed us in the direction of some good information. Do you think a bottle refilling station would encourage the use of more reusable bottles?

  2. den10@sea43

    #1 I think that water bottle refiling stations are a good idea but also I think that it is in someways a wast of money because can’t they just use a sink in there school. But if a school where to agree with water bottle refills then I won’t argue.

    • dickensdiv16

      You’re right, den10@sea43, the sinks serve the same purpose as a refilling station. I wonder if all classrooms in Vancouver have sinks in them… would you have a different opinion if we didn’t have a sink in our room?


    #1 I defiantly agree with the water bottle refilling stations because they will be less use of plastic water bottles and can make Canada more green which is great it can also effect the way that the students think about bottled water maybe some kids think that if schools sell bottled water thens fine but just maybe if the schools got rid of the bottled water they start thinking that bottled water is bad for the environment. I think that it would be great if we had one at dickens but I don’t really think that its necessary because we have a water fountains

    • Rouge

      I 100 percent agree with your statement about Dickens having a good water system and that we don’t really need a water refilling station. What is your point of view on why Dickens has such a great water saving and reducing system?

    • dickensdiv16

      DLTMGYD I think that you might be right – that we get used to things that are in our everyday lives and removing bottled water from schools might have a big effect on our perceptions!

  4. Amethyst

    1. I think that in schools you should just have water fountains or you bring your own water bottle.Well having bottled water isn’t good for environment but, not having water as it said in the article what you have to drink then will not be so healthy. So I don’t think that we should not get bottled water at Dickens. We should just stick to having water fountains and bringing our own water bottles.

    • dickensdiv16

      It’s true, Amethyst, we do have very good quality drinking water in Vancouver, and with the new pipes in our school, there is no reason not to drink bottled water. Do you think that the age of the school (and the pipes) or the quality of drinking water in the taps should affect the decisions of School Boards about bottled water?

  5. Rouge

    #2 Cons: The water bottles can end up littered or in the ocean and can result in creating pollution and making marine and outdoor animals sick if consumed. Not a lot of people recycle their plastic bottles and so it just ends up as extra garbage and goes to the landfill which our earth just doesn’t need. Bottled water has an expiry date because within six months or so the plastic inside rubs off and contaminates the water inside. Tap water never goes bad!! Also a quick fact: if you were to line up all the plastic water bottles that our earth produces in one year end to end it would stretch around the world twice.
    Pros: Students stay hydrated (even thought tap water and reusable water bottles are just as clean and accessible for students). Also schools can make extra money for field trips and special activities by selling the plastic water bottles and making a profit. I don’t think that schools should sell and have plastic water bottles because it is harmful to the environment and the students. I think that as an alternative to plastic water bottles at schools there could be refilling stations and free cups or water bottles so students could still be hydrated and and environmentally healthy as well.

    • dickensdiv16

      Thanks for your in-depth response, Rouge! You’ve clearly read a lot about bottled water and its effect on both us and our environment. I like your idea of having reusable cups or bottles for students to use. Do you think that the cups in our classroom work well in encouraging students to stay hydrated? I agree that this is a real priority!

  6. xaxo6 04

    1. I think that installing water bottle refilling stations in schools are a great way for those schools to cut down on the amount of bottles they send to the landfill. Also if the schools in Vancouver are doing it maybe other big cities and rural areas will follow suit. It doesn’t even have to be in only schools, companies could have there own refill stations. If a lot of places started to do it we would live in a cleaner planet.

      • dickensdiv16

        I agree with The Bean, in many ways, Vancouver is a leader in taking steps to protect the environment. Do you think that a refilling station is beneficial for all schools, or just for those who are currently selling bottled water?

  7. PG Dinosaur

    In our school we have sinks in every class and water fountains, so I don’t think that it would be necessary to put water refilling stations on the property. Maybe it would work for other schools that don’t have access to sinks in their classes. In that case, it would be good to have a few water refilling stations around school. If you could access water that wasn’t in bottles, you would not use as much plastic, and it wouldn’t cost any money for the kids or their parents. The loss in revenue for the school cafeteria selling water wouldn’t be as bad, because we could still sell water in the cafeteria. The profit would only go down by a bit, as kids could buy water if they forgot their reusable bottles. This would be the best of both worlds.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good points, PG Dinosaur, we are lucky to have sinks in our classrooms and mostly functioning water fountains. I know you are one of the students that uses our sink and reusable cups system very well. If I understand, you are advocating a system where there are both water refilling stations as well as some bottled water? Interesting.

  8. The Bean

    #1 I think that the motive behind this idea is good but there are some flaws. If they banned the sale of plastic water bottles in schools it would really help the environment. It turns out there are 24 high schools in the Vancouver area, if they have an average of around 33,500 bottles sold each that’s around 800,000 bottles a year, if they can cut that out it would have a huge environmental impact. On the down side not every kid has a water bottle and they can be quite expensive and easy to lose
    (I would know). A water bottle station would definitely be useful at our school, sure we have water fountains but they can spread germs and you can’t fit bottles under them. It is definitely a possibility that it may cause kids to make less healthy choices but I’d think taking the price OFF water would do the opposite.

    • dickensdiv16

      Great research, The Bean. You’re right, vending machines are not such an issue in elementary schools. Do you think that having refilling stations in elementary schools would help students establish healthy habits such as drinking water throughout the day and remembering to bring their reusable water bottles, and if so, do you think that over time, the culture of bottled water in high schools could change?

      • The Bean

        Well if all the kids that come in to high school had reusable bottles in elementary school then those good habits would carry over, and in around 5 years bottled water would be almost non-existint.

  9. super cheese cake

    1 I don’t really agree with building any water refilling station at dickens because if you are out of water, you can just drink water at the water fountain. I don’t agree with using bottled water either, because plastic bottle is bad for our environment and still, you can just bring your own water bottle or drink water from water fountain.

  10. Crazychicken lover

    1 i think it is important to have bottled water at school because if your water bottle is empty, than u can refill it and my old school
    in richmond has a refilling station AND a water fountain and it is very convenient and consistant. And i also think we should have one at dickens because i think it will stop kids especially in high school to not buy unhealthy drinks like soda and etc. Also it is enviromenatlly friendly because than instead of throwing away the cans of pop u can recycle a plastic bottle of water.

    • dickensdiv16

      Thanks for sharing your experience in Richmond, Crazychicken lover. I know that you always have a reusable water bottle with you – was this habit started in Richmond and did having the refilling stations make it easier for you to remember to drink water?

  11. the DUDE

    I think that water bottle filling stations are a good idea because it would encourage kids to drink from the water fountain more Some kids don’t like to drink from the water fountain because they know some kids put their lips against the spout. I think we should have one at Dickens because it would be good for the school community and myself. Right now if you run out of water in your water bottle, you can’t fill up your bottle because the spout is too short. The reason we want to cut down on the use of plastic water bottles is that they are really bad for the environment. The factories that make the bottles pollute the air, and you can’t really recycle the bottles.

    • dickensdiv16

      the DUDE, thanks for sharing your opinion about water fountains. Do you think that concern about germs prevents some people from drinking water at school, and if so, do you think a bottle refilling station would solve that problem?

  12. smeagaleater10

    #1 I do not agree with the idea of the installation of water bottle/plastic water bottle refillers because it is doing the water fountain’s work. You can use a water fountain to fill up your water bottle. The bottle refillers would be a waste of resources.

  13. iron lanturn

    #1 I don’t think any schools should have bottled water because people can
    get water from there tap and put it in a water bottle and if it runs out
    you can fill it up at the water fountain at the school.
    so having one at dickens is pointless.

  14. Ginger

    I think that each and every school should have at least 2 water bottle refilling stations. It’s crazy how many plastic water bottles are sold at the average high school-they are so bad for the environment. Personally I think that water tastes better when you are drinking it out of a reusable water bottle, because I don’t feel like I am creating another plastic island* AS I DRINK. Sometimes filling a reusable water bottle from a drinking fountain can be difficult, so I think that more people would stop using disposable water bottles if there were water bottle refilling stations at Dickens and every other school in Vancouver. If every student got a water bottle at the beginning of the year, they could use it all year long and reduce a lot of waste and make this planet a healthier place.
    * https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

    • dickensdiv16

      Thanks for the link, Ginger, it’s a really terrifying prospect, isn’t it! I know how much you care about marine life and animals in general, and I love the idea that feeling good about your actions improves the taste of the water!! Do you think that refilling stations alone would be enough to change people’s behaviour?

  15. Theawesomest

    1. I think that it is a good idea to have water bottle refilling stations because if your water bottle is empty then you can refill it (hence the name). I think that it is fine that we dont have one at Dickens because we have lots of water fountains and sinks that you can refill your water bottle at but I think for schools that dont have that many water fountains this would be very convenient.

  16. crazymemeslol123

    1 I think I agree with the idea but I sorta don’t at the same time why I agree is because that when children like us that don’t have fresh water might need this source for water and why I don’t a agree is because many things can go wrong like the machine can like stop when you use too much water or the machine will just stop working instantly because of a blackout or something worse what I’m basically saying is that some things can go wrong and somethings can go right with this new technology I think we can have a try at our school with just trying one

    • dickensdiv16

      Thanks, crazymemeslol123, you’ve raised some important issues. Having access to drinking water is super important, I agree. Do you think there is an easier way than refilling stations to help students drink more water?

  17. Joaquin

    I agree that we should have at least a couple of these refill stations at all schools because it is probably the fastest way to refill your water bottle instead of waiting in line at the slow water fountain that takes forever, then you might feel like its a waste of time so its better to bring a few plastic water bottles. I strongly believe that these will encourage kids to drink more water because of how easy it is to use, the water would be nice and cold and ready to drink and enjoy. In my family we all have our reusable water bottles and we never go out without them so that we don’t have to buy water if we are out and thirsty; its usually my mom who packs them but my sisters and I also try to remember to pack water when we go out.

    • dickensdiv16

      Joaquin, I agree that it can be really difficult to refill a water bottle at the fountain and I do notice that there are often long lineups there or low water pressure. I wonder how much convenience affects people’s willingness to make environmentally responsible decisions!

  18. The Baconator

    Here are my recommendations and my opinion to this issue
    PROS other drinks to school.
    I: the school could make a lot of money from kids buying it. Kids could get water at easy access.
    CONS: it could make a lot of garbage around the school and around the world. kids could start bringing
    think that schools function great the way they are.

  19. baconguy

    #1. I don’t agree that people should install water bottle refilling stations in schools because, assuming that the schools that we are talking about don’t already have them, I think people should just install drinking fountains. Most, in fact all, the schools I have been in have lots of drinking fountains already installed, so it would save a lot of money, too. I don’t think that we should have one at dickens for the same reason.

    • dickensdiv16

      Thanks, baconguy. I agree that saving money is something that school boards ought to consider in their decision. Do you agree with the posts above where students have concerns about the use of water fountains?

  20. balloongirl123

    1 New water bottle refilling stations will pop up around campus next quarter as the undergraduate student government recently received funds to pay for the project.

  21. Purple Pickle

    #1 I agree with water bottle refill stations at schools because it’s promoting healthy drinking and it’s probably more efficient than trying to refill your water bottle through a drinking fountain. I think we should have a water bottle refill station at dickens, it could replace the drinking fountain by our classroom because that one doesn’t work anyways and I bet it would make a lot more people happy.

    • dickensdiv16

      Do you think the fountain doesn’t work as a water bottle refilling station or that it doesn’t work in general? I know that sometimes the pressure is quite low. If it isn’t working, do you drink from a cup in the classroom? What other options are there if fountains aren’t working?

  22. Sr.Fruitcake

    #1 I definitely think that water bottle refill stations should be put in schools. I am a strong supporter of what we can do to help the environment ad I think that we would reduce the amount of energy used in schools and the energy that goes into producing all those bottles. I think that efforts to sell reusable containers for water is very smart and should be addressed. I think that phasing out the bottled water sold is a good idea rather than cut it right off which could cause temporary protest on the matter. I do think we should have one here at dickens and I think that because our excessively environmentally friendly community we could be significantly impacting to our school.

    • dickensdiv16

      I think you’ve made a good assessment about our community and their values, Sr. Fruitcake. I also like the idea of phasing out the use of water bottles so that everyone gets a chance to create an alternate plan. Do you think high school students would buy school bottles?

  23. Arctic owl

    1# I think that water refiling stations are a good idea we may already have water fountains but is really hard to fill your bottle of water in a water fountain over all I think it is a good idea . I think we should have one at dickens

  24. TechNerd

    #1 I feel that having Water bottle refill stations and water bottle vendor machines is a good idea, Why? Because it gives kids and adults an easier way to get and drink water, although I think this is a Good idea I still think that these “water bottles” should be sold at a low price not too high so nobody buys them or people cant afford them, Water is for everyone in my opinion I feel that this would be a great idea to replace water fountains as these filling stations have way less bacteria and water fountains will have a lot of germs and bacteria.

    • dickensdiv16

      TechNerd, you’ve hit on the importance of hydration for all humans. I know we talk a lot about drinking water throughout the day, but it is hard to always remember where you’ve left your cup or bottle, and goodness knows we are always finding those things under the couches or in the hallway in Division 16. I wonder how much convenience plays into people’s decision to drink water!

  25. Soccerboy123ABC

    #1 I really agree that we should have 2 water bottle refill stations because you will be able to reuse bottled water many times and the amount of singular bottles bought compared to if we have refill stations , you could probably circle the world at least once with the amount of re-bottled water.I think that they should be modified so that you can also drink from them because they will have less germs and bacteria in them.

    • dickensdiv16

      Waste is an important consideration, Soccerboy123ABC. Are you suggesting a device that works both as a water bottle refilling station AND a drinking fountain? Interesting!

  26. Koshka2

    I mean….. I saw one at my brother’s college and this is a web to see what it looks like : https://www.google.ca/search?q=water+filling+station&client=tablet-android-samsung&biw=962&bih=601&site=webhp&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAWoVChMIv9LdgpzwyAIVDMFjCh295As1

    So I think we should have one because when I try to full my bottle it ALWAYS tip over a lot, so I only get about 75% of the water but I want it to be 100%. Maybe some kids are having the same problem as

    Why we should have some: Because the other Fountain That we have here at Dicken are okay but some of them are so short for the big kid and we don’t want kid to get there backs hurt, or there feet hurt.

    Why not: because this may cost to much money for the schools and also if you have a really big schools and lets say that there are about 6 fountians and we have to put it on each one sooooo that could, cost a lot of money and maybe the parents will have to pay for that too if they want there kids to have a nice water source.

    • dickensdiv16

      Effectively filling water bottles from water fountains is difficult, for sure, Koshka2, and if a refilling station makes it easier to refill the bottles, that might encourage people to drink more water! You’re right to raise the cost issue though, as it is always a consideration for both the School Board.

      • Koshka2

        Yes I think so too. It may bring more people to drink water, the filling station is a great idea but it can cost a lot. It would take a lot of time for it to be built if we want it right away. Let’s say that right now it school time, and this may be super messy can it can break when building it. So the the kid will possible lose a lot (HUGE) school time, Maybe we will be home school when they are building it.

  27. Shadow145

    #1 I agree with having only 1 water bottle refilling station because having 1 in each school would not waste a lot of water and you can always reuse the plastic water bottles on he refilling stations as much as we want instead of using the plastic bottles and dumping them away when your finished with it. And there would be less bacteria because water fountains would have a lot of germs in them

    • dickensdiv16

      Ah, so you’re suggesting a mix, Shadow145 – Some sale of plastic bottles and 1 refilling station? Do you think many people will reuse plastic bottles? I hear a lot of concern among the class about the germs in water fountains. Do you think this prevents people from drinking from them?

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