Palo Alto High School’s Tap Out Club is preparing to help the school campus shift towards reusable water bottles in the coming months, according to club public relations manager Maya Akkaraju.
To achieve the club’s goal of eliminating plastic bottle use at Paly and Palo Alto, Tap Out members plan to incentivize reusable bottle use by setting up water bottle filling stations around the school.
“We already have two [filling stations], at the track and in the tower building,” Akkaraju said, “but they’re at such inconvenient locations that not a lot of people use them unless they’re an athlete that uses the track or football field.”
To determine the best potential locations for the new filling stations, Tap Out conducted a survey of roughly 150 Paly students last year, and concluded that the math/history building, library and MAC are the most popular choices.
“We’re going to have to fundraise a lot in the upcoming months to get the stations installed,” Akkaraju said.
In their quest to rid Paly of plastic bottles, club members have also taken their fight to the Palo Alto City Council, according to Akkaraju.
“We started working with City Council when a current Paly alum, Nicole Chen, set us up with [City of Palo Alto Environmental Specialist] Julie Weiss,” Akkaraju said. “Julie … helped us get in touch with the Sustainable Schools Committee, so now we’re working with them.”
The Sustainable Schools Committee has expressed its approval for the filling stations, according to Akkaraju, if the students raise the money themselves.
Following the installation of the stations, Tap Out plans to hold a trial ban on water bottles to see if the committee will place the ban for real. The club hopes that the presence of filling stations will make this transition easy and convenient.
The club also gave city employees a presentation about its mission on Nov. 10, according to Maya Rebitzer, a junior at Paly.
“The goal was basically just to spread our message and educate some City Hall employees,” Rebitzer said. She adds that the meeting “went smoothly.”
According to Akkaraju, after Tap Out achieves its transitional goal, the club has its sights set on other Palo Alto schools, including middle and elementary schools.
“We’re really excited about this next semester,” Rebitzer said. “We want to spread Tap Out across PAUSD.”