Message In A Bottle

A quick update on the new girls’ dormitory – the construction has been going according to plan and everyone is very excited about the progress. All that is left is to paint the dormitory and install electricity! The Move-In Day is still as scheduled July 20th; look out for more updates on this huge project soon.

Today we had what I believe is a microcosm of Arrive, and it came to us in the most unlikely form.

Last year the average American used 167 disposable water bottles and only recycled 38 ( The bottles that are not recycled pollute the environment and virtually never break down. As Fran (an Arrive volunteer from Australia) and I were drinking coffee a few mornings ago, we discussed Arrive’s use of disposable bottled water and how destructive the bottles are to our earth. Fran had an idea – Arrive should buy each child a reusable plastic water bottle! Fran donated $100 online; Arrive bought 50 Nalgene-sized (1,000 liter) water bottles for $2.00 each. Volunteers routinely come with their Nalgene or Hydro Flask bottles, and now the kids have their own bottles too.

As we gave distributed the bottles, Fran explained why. The benefits include:

  • Each child now has an opportunity to stay hydrated with his/her own water bottle.

  • Each child has been given knowledge about the issue of pollution of plastic water bottles as a local issue (keeping our home and compound clean) and global issue.

  • Each child understands the importance of sustainability and how a re-usable water bottle helps to reduce the number of disposable bottles we use.

  • Our children are now role models for the rest of the community as we create sustainable habits and practices.

  • Nurturing pride and caring in the kids’ own possessions by giving them a bottle.

  • Because of the bottles’ material, the children have the ability to carry a variety of drinks - cold liquids or hot liquids (chai tea every morning going to school), which they could not do with the disposable bottles.

  • We are reducing trash and waste as an organization and as individuals; we are keeping our environment clean.

  • The bottles are re-usable, representing a long-term solution to reducing our dependence on disposable bottles.

Why is this small $100 project a microcosm for Arrive? Just look at the bolded word from each bullet point above: opportunity, knowledge, sustainability, role models, pride, variety, clean, and long-term. These might be buzz words to some people however they are absolutely applicable to this project – one which has given us a tangible solution to a relevant issue for only $2.00 per child.