Crookston Students for Sustainable Development Lead the Way to Reduce the Use of Plastic Water Bottles at U of M Crookston

Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) are doing their part to reduce 
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disposable plastic water bottles use on campus. The University of Minnesota Crookston followed Bemidji State University's lead by installing a combination water fountain/bottle filler outside of the Center for Sustainability Office in Hill Hall. Today there are five of these "hydration stations"  and a 6th is on order. Rich Connell, director of the Office of Facilities Management on the Crookston campus and his staff coordinated purchase and installation of the hydration stations.

Megan Luxford, a student sustainability assistant, has been leading the effort within the Center for Sustainability. "We've been looking for a product to give back to students who pay the Green Fee as well as promoting sustainability," according to Luxford. "After discussing this within the CSSD, we thought refillable water bottles would be the perfect complement to the hydration stations. After researching a variety of products we found a model with nice messages, made of recycled materials in the U.S.A., and with the option of being personalized for our campus." 

CSSD purchased a supply of the attractive water bottles made from 100% recycled aluminum from Liberty Bottle Works and are making them available for free distribution to U of M Crookston students. 

The campus hydration stations allow for a quick fill activated by a motion sensor that is faster than the traditional drinking fountains and provides a touchless, sanitary option. Although the campus fountain water is high quality well water, the stations are also equipped with a filter and a counter to measure how many disposable plastic waste we've eliminated. Thus far, we've reduced over 20,000  bottles. 
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Bottles are available for pickup from the Center for Sustainability office in 109 Hill Hall. A limited number will be available for purchase by faculty and staff on the Crookston campus.  

For further information, contact Megan Luxford by e-mail at or by  phone at 712-310-0638.

Today the University of Minnesota Crookston delivers 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo, top, right: Chancellor Fred Wood fills the very first "Go Green" refillable water bottle sponsored by the Crookston Students for Sustainable Development (CSSD) and the UMC student green fee. Pictured in front of a hydration station is Laura Gabrielson, Chancellor Wood, Ben Williams, and Megan Luxford. The students are all sustainability assistants supported by the green fee to promote sustainability activities on campus.

In photo, left: Students pick up their "Go Green" refillable water bottles in the Center for Sustainability in Hill Hall. 

Contact: Dan Svedarsky, director, Center for Sustainability, 218-281-8129 (; Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (