A dedication ceremony for a second water bottle filling station donated by the Greenlove Foundation was held at Rogers High School cafeteria on October 31, 2017.

Present were RHS Principal Jared Vance, NEEC Member Elizabeth Blank, Council Woman Susan Taylor and Greenlove Board Members Linda Pickin, Kathy James-Bowers, Mary O’Connor and Michael Bowers. Faculty and students now have daily access to the sensor activated water bottle filling station in the school’s cafeteria and outside the gymnasium. The WBFS dispenses filtered, chilled water and displays the number of times a reusable bottle has been filled.

In the recent past, the City of Newport, advancing its vision to increase access to free high-quality drinking water and to encourage a reduction of single-use plastic products for residents and visitors agreed to evaluate the installation of water bottle filling stations throughout the City.   Thus, the NEWPORT ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT COMMISSION (NEEC) extensively researched the matter and ultimately produced a comprehensive detailed report.  The report written by Elizabeth Blank, member of the NEEC, was presented to the Newport City Council on October 25, 2017.  In the report, there are many facts presented to improve the access of water while protecting our environment.

Some of the facts, as stated in the report, that correlates directly to the benefits of the water bottle filling station installations, are, among others:

  1. WBFS provide a healthy alternative to sugar-sweetened beverages.
  2. WBFS reduce plastic waste and plastic bottles
  3. Water is available at all times and available to everyone.
  4. Reduction of water use in the production process of single-use water bottles
  5. Reduction of fuel consumption to transport single-use water bottles; less carbon monoxide emissions
  6. WBFS use is more hygienic than traditional water fountains
  7. Use of WBFS decreases the detrimental impact of single-use water bottles ending in our streets, our oceans, rivers, polluting our environment and marine food chain

In addition to the two installations at RHS, the Greenlove Foundation has installed water bottle filling stations at Ft. Adams State Park, Perrotti Park, Norman Bird Sanctuary, Melville Elementary School, Johnston High School, St. Michael’s Country Day School, Gaudet Middle School and the South Carolina Aquarium.

Collectively, to date, approximately over 100,000 single-use bottles have been considered saved.

The Greenlove Foundation was founded in loving memory of Newport resident, Kendra L. Bowers.

For more information about the Greenlove Foundation, visit www.greenlovefoundation.org.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).