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Civil Engineering Junior Brings Water Bottle Refill Station to Janssen through U of I Sustainability Grant

January 11, 2019

U of I College of Engineering students will use less plastic in 2019. Students can now refill their own water bottles in the Janssen Engineering Building, thanks to civil engineering junior Andrea Boyd. Boyd used funding from the U of I Sustainability Center to install an Elkay EZH20 Bottle Refill Station on the main floor of the Janssen Engineering Building in Moscow in order to promote water conservation and a reduction of single-use plastic water bottles.

When Boyd, a transfer student, first came to U of I in fall 2018, she said she immediately noticed the limited number of water bottle refill stations on campus.

"I planned my day based around where I could refill my water bottle," she said.

Boyd said producing plastic water bottles to meet U. S. demand requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel more than one million cars and light trucks over the same year.

"Plastic water bottles are an inefficient and wasteful use of resources in a country with free, accessible, and palatable drinking water," she said. "Water refill stations in all buildings on the U of I campus is a crucial step to promoting a sustainable campus environment and reducing the university's contribution to the plastic crisis."

Boyd is one of five students to receive funding from the U of I Sustainability Center to strengthen campus sustainability and support carbon neutrality on campus.

Melissa Marsing, chemical engineering senior and president of the Vandal Clean Energy Club, was also awarded a grant to install a new biodiesel fueling station behind the Agricultural Engineering Building to serve the U of I Biodiesel Education program and energy plant vehicles. The old fueling tank has been removed, and installation of new equipment will be completed in spring 2019.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at uidaho.edu