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Project Aims at Reducing Plastic Waste
on Campus

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A team of 24 students from the College of Menominee Nation have accomplished an ongoing demonstration project designed to reduce the waste of plastic water bottles.


With funds from a two-month fundraising campaign during fall semester, the team has purchased two retro-fitted water fountains for the College. The units enable re-use of water bottles and encourage conservation by keeping a running tabulation for users of how many disposable plastic bottles have been “saved” from landfills.


The project was funded with money raised by the students and a match gift from the College’s Scott Zager Venture Fund.


Students in the Sustainable Development class of Professor William Van Lopik said the project is intended to draw attention to a major landfill problem. With people in the U.S. buying more than 28 billion plastic bottles a year, reducing the amount of plastic bottles being purchased and recycling existing plastic bottles are both important issues.


The project team notes that their College is especially active in encouraging students and the community “to live with the land rather than pollute or destroy their surroundings.” With re-filling stations now located in Fowler Library and Shirley Daly Hall (2nd Floor), students, staff and visitors have one more option for doing their part toward waste reduction.


Mani Boyd served as project leader and other team members were Stephanie Bugler, Teanna Davis, Ravena Fowler, Oren Hill-Sackatook, Barbara Johnson, Brenda Miller, Chase Quinney, Carol Red Kettle, Beth Schultz, Barbara Warrington, Susan M. Waukau, Chad Courtney, Cierra Dickenson, Delores Grignon, Gwendolyn Hawpetoss, Laundi Keepseagle, Tara Kirchner, Franny Kitson- Denny, Kayle Klitz, Greta Nelson, Monea Warrington, Jenna Waupoose, and Joshua Waupoose.


The Scott Zager Venture Fund was established at the College in 2008 in memory of Zager, a Brown University student from Illinois who was a grandnephew of the late Father David Kiefer of St. Anthony Parish on the Menominee Reservation. Zager’s parents, David and Gina Zager, and his maternal grandmother, Kathryn Peot, created the fund to help support innovative student projects at the College. Including two projects conducted this fall, the fund has assisted 46 students working independently or in teams on activities ranging from the establishment of an on-campus coffee shop to doing research at a biological field station in Costa Rica.