Mr. Scimone (far right) and members of the LA Climate Action Club with the newly installed water bubbler.

Mr. Scimone (far right) and members of the LA Climate Action Club with the newly installed water bubbler.

Last week Lincoln Academy installed a new water bubbler in the main hallway, thanks to the efforts of the school’s Climate Action Club, which raised about $1400 to replace the old water fountain.

“No one would drink from the old water fountain because the water tasted so bad,” says Charlie Scimone, an LA science teacher and faculty advisor to the Climate Action Club. “This one filters the water, and everyone loves it–it’s the talk of the school!” The fountain also has a spigot where water bottles can be refilled and an electronic counter showing how many plastic water bottle have been saved by refilling at the bubbler. About two weeks after installation the count was over 800 bottles saved, and counting.

The Climate Action Club is also selling metal water bottles to get the LA community in the habit of reusing water bottles instead of reaching for a disposable one. The bottles are stainless steel and painted bright green, with “LA” printed on one side. “We have already sold half of what we bought. They are going fast. At $5 each they are a really good deal!” says Scimone, who says the club is not making any profit on the bottles, but just hopes students and staff will use them. Student club members are selling the water bottles to friends and family, but anyone in the community is welcome to stop by and purchase one at the Lincoln Academy front desk.

LA's new water fountain filters water and counts the number of plastic water bottle saved.

LA’s new water fountain filters water and counts the number of plastic water bottle saved.

The Climate Action Club was founded in 2007 by Lincoln Academy student Chloe Maxmin, who is now a senior at Harvard. Currently in its eighth year, the club has about 25 active members, who meet during lunch on Fridays. Every year the club raises funds by participating in (and often winning) Clynk, a statewide bottle collection competition run through Hannaford supermarkets. “We have ten solar panels on the roof,” says Mr. Scimone proudly. These panels have have saved the school an average 6 KWH per month in electricity costs since their installation.

“I joined the Climate Action Club because I wanted to make an environmental difference in a small town,” says junior club member Kate Laemmle. “To make a global difference, you have to start small!”

What’s in store for the Climate Action Club? “We’d love to put in another bubbler down the hall,” says Scimone. Until the next Clynk drive, however, the club is out of money. Meanwhile the Climate Action Club will work to educate both the LA and wider community about issues that impact the planet. “We have plans to reserve carpool spots in the student parking lot and educate people about recycling at the transfer station. Students decide what we will do next.”