H2Oak Floods Campus


Jacob McCready

Vacuum-sealed water bottles are on sale at schoolcasholine.com for $20. Once refillable stations are installed, students are encouraged to use bottles to save on plastic use.

The DECA organization is encouraging environmental and global awareness along with health on campus and in the community by selling reusable H2Oak water bottles.

We want to inspire everyone in the student body to believe they can make a difference by not using plastics,” junior Theiija Balasubramanian, DECA president, said.

Water bottles are sold for $20 each on School Cash Online and during lunches. The H2Oak initiative has the opportunity to win KO the $25 thousand “Lead the Spark” grant from Klein Education Foundation, allowing ezH2O water bottle filling stations to be installed around campus to replace outdated drinking fountains.

“This really is a campus-wide concern and not just a handful of kids,” DECA adviser Julieanne Ash said. “When the grant is being considered, they can see that it is going to impact our community as well as student learning across the entire school.”

The 25 ounce water bottles are inscribed with “H2O: Bring It” and come in three colors: gray, white and pink. They are specially designed with a double vacuum seal to keep beverages cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. The bottles have a loop attached to the cap for easy carrying. Nearly 500 water bottles have been sold so far in the campaign.

“It’s a very good product,” junior Robert Cashman said. “The bottle keeps my water cool and allows me to show off my school spirit.”

The H2Oak initiative is one that can aid and unify the whole KO community. Many students and staff members don’t feel like they have reliable access to water on campus due to deteriorated drinking fountains. This leads to indulgence in sugary drinks or caffeine like soda or coffee instead of water. The grant from Klein Education Foundation and the installation of water filling stations would allow reusable water bottles to be filled with cold, clean water in a matter of seconds.

“We need to be aware that our actions now affect generation to come, and if no action is being taken, then our descendants will be living very different lives than us.”

— William Ash, 10

“It doesn’t matter what type of student you are, where you’re from, where you live,” Julianne Ash said.  “There’s plenty of room for everyone to join in and be a part of this.”

The goal of the H2Oak initiative is to inspire awareness and positive change in the community. The campaign is inspired by the efforts of Zahra Hassan, creator and president of Recycling Club, who graduated last year. Hassan brought tremendous environmental change to the campus, and the DECA leadership this year wanted to continue that focus through reusable water bottles that encourage students to consider their impact on the planet. After new trade tariffs were introduced in our country, China stopped buying American post-consumer plastics. Without a customer to purchase it, this plastic waste languished in recycling plants before being dumped into a landfill, where it can take half a century to completely decompose. Decreasing the number of plastic bottles thrown away through the adoption of reusable bottles would have a positive environmental influence on the world.

“We need to reduce how much we use plastics,” sophomore William Ash, DECA officer, said. “We need to be aware that our actions now affect generation to come, and if no action is being taken, then our descendants will be living very different lives than us.”


Please fill out this brief survey  about your water drinking habits to support the initiative here or at https://goo.gl/AnvJNE

Visit h2oak.org for more information.