After months of imagining the small aluminum bottles, her face lit up with pride as she tore open the first box filled with the end result of all her hard work.
Junior Kit Crane’s idea to design reusable bottles and give them as a gift to incoming freshmen had been in the works for almost a year from the day they were distributed.
Last year, as a transfer student, Crane walked into Fred Meyer Lounge for orientation and was hit with inspiration.
Next to the orientation table sat the green team, and across from them, a stack of single-use plastic water bottles.
“I remember I could see [the frustration] in their eyes every time somebody handed a student a water bottle,” Crane said. “You could just tell they were thinking we don’t have to be doing this, there’s a better way. If you want to be hydrated and healthy there’s a way to do that in harmony with our environment and community, and that’s why I’m passionate about it.”
Since that first day at Linfield, Crane developed her plan, wanting to not only help the environment, but also teach the students that Linfield is eco-friendly, and they can help make it that way.
Once she had enough research, power and people behind her, she put her plan to action.
The largest hurdle was finding the funding because the bottles were about $15 to $25 per bottle.
“When creating a budget for my position as the service and sustainability coordinator, I requested $3,000 to put toward it,” she said. “I submitted a request to get a sustainability grant to help funding for it, as well as asking for money out of the orientation budget.”
With all of her requests received, Crane said that she felt empowered by all those people who stood behind her to continue working toward her goal.
One person in particular was incredibly supportive and Crane said that she couldn’t have done it without her.
Senior Rachel Coffey, the Associated Students of Linfield College president said that she was determined to help Crane succeed because she saw her passion and the benefits that it would bring.
“The idea emerged from a couple things,” Coffey said. “One, she wanted to give a sustainable, reusable gift to the freshman class and tell them that [environmentalism] is something Linfield stands for. And two, there are students, including [Crane], that are really striving to educate Linfield about using reusable water bottles. So it was the dual idea and to me, both ideas sound great and I think it’s a great gift to give the freshman class.”
Between Coffey, Student Affairs, Student Admission, ASLC Senate and Cabinet, Crane said that the support she gained from all different sections of the campus was empowering.
“I’ve never felt so supported,” she said. “That’s one of the best things about Linfield—the various clubs on campus and all the great faculty and staff. They so badly want you to succeed so if you want to do something like I did, the support is there. You just need to be clear about your goals and be reasonable and realistic.”
With all the funding and planning in place, Crane designed the logo, which displays the recycling arrows growing from a small green leaf and the words “Associated Students of Linfield College Service and Sustainablility.” The logo was finalized for the bottles, and the order was placed.
Soon after, more than 500 reusable water bottles were in the hands of new Linfield students.
Crane said that walking through campus and seeing the bottles being used is one of the most rewarding feelings she has experienced.
“It’s super empowering to be able to say ‘Oh yeah, I did that’ every time I see a student with the water bottle,” Crane said. “Just seeing it and knowing it’s one less [plastic bottle] makes me so happy and really proud of our school.”
Andra Kovacs/News editor
Andra Kovacs can be reached at email@example.com.