How did SUNY Oswego students save 9,600 disposable bottles in two weeks?

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Oswego, NY — The Sustainability Department at SUNY Oswego says this may be the biggest environmental initiative the school has seen.

February 8th marked the start of the “Tap In” program at SUNY Oswego — a push to reduce the number of disposable plastic bottles wasted on campus.

SUNY Oswego’s Sustainability Program Coordinator Jamie Adams says it’s a challenge to avoid using plastic in one’s everyday life.

“Plastic is everywhere. With disposable water bottles it’s usually a pretty easy no-brainer fix but most people don’t think about it,” Adams said.

More than 1,250 students have already signed up to participate in the program this year, Adams said.  It’s a sign the message of conservation is getting across.

The Tap In Program allows students to track how many disposable bottles they, as well as the school, are saving through the Cupanion App.

Students can receive a free water bottle every Monday in the Marano Campus Center now through April 1, if they sign a pledge saying they will try to reduce the number of disposable bottles used for the next eight weeks.

You download the app. It’s the Cupanion app — super easy to use,” Adams said.  “Pick it up, you scan it every time you fill your water bottle and not only does it track how many water bottles you’ve no longer put into the waste stream, it enters the students into different prizes through Cupanion.”

Students can also earn points every time they scan their water bottle using the Cupanion app. A free beverage through Oswego’s Auxiliary Services is redeemable  after 1,000 points.

The Sustainability Department used the “Recycle Mania” international collegiate competition as their reason to start the “Tap In” program.

“Last year we actually placed in Recycle Mania for the first time ever. So we wanted to get ourselves out there in a new way,” Adams said.

All students can still participate and take the pledge until April 1.