Ways for PVHS to become more eco-friendly
By Evan Fleischer
Local Jacksonville non-profit organization, Beaches Go Green (BGG), is making big moves towards plastic reduction. BGG, centered in Atlantic Beach, aims to educate and inform the community on the effect of waste on the planet. With hopes to eliminate single-use plastic, the revolutionary organization pushed to provide reusable water bottles to all student-athletes at Ponte Vedra High School.
Beaches Go Green Co-Founder, Anne Marie Moquin, explained the values of BGG through four simple words: “refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle.” With refusing single-use plastic, the idea of reusing comes into play.
The first thing that comes to mind when considering the damages of single-use plastic is recycling. This sparks the idea of just adding more recycling bins on the PVHS campus. Yet, when put into a larger perspective, of the 8.3 billion metric tons of single-use plastics that have been produced, only a whopping nine percent of that has been recycled. Considering this, the idea of reusable water bottles came to life.
Ms. Moquin first thought of the idea about a year ago, presenting it to several local clubs and teams who unfortunately showed no interest. “Nothing much came of it as change takes time,” states Moquin. Yet, after several meetings with PVHS Athletic Director, Eric Frank, and the PVHS Parent Teacher Organization, the masterplan began to take form in order to provide water bottles to all student athletes.
In terms of product, Beaches Go Green favored the water bottle company, SIC Cups, due to their double-wall stainless steel design and easy-to-use sippy top. Having worked with the company in the past, the decision choice was clear. SIC Cups also provided an additional discount for the bottles to support the local schools.
Following a very successful launch of the Beaches Go Green Club at PVHS this past year, the school provided an opportunity for the organization to expand. The club and organization work together weekly at a minimum, and run several operations and events together, keeping in constant communication. “The ultimate goal is to have a greener Earth, to have an environmentally friendly way to drink water,” says BGG Club co-president, Hope Daughtry.
The plan faced a challenge when the COVID-19 pandemic arose. The question of whether fall sports would be played had a large impact on the distribution of the bottles. Though, after the plan was approved in late July, it was pushed forward, and the bottles arrived at PVHS the first week of September.
Overall, Ms. Moquin and everyone apart of BGG believe that this will leave a great impact on the school and community. “Ponte Vedra High School is very open to becoming more eco-friendly and setting an example for the rest of community schools.” says Anne Marie Moquin. The impact and outreach of BGG is growing every day and they hope to inspire other schools and organizations to follow along and become involved.