Starting this fall, the Dining Hall will be providing powdered Gatorade packets in lieu of Powerade bottles for travelling teams in an attempt to cut down on Deerfield’s plastic consumption. The unanticipated consequences of this change, however, threaten to undermine the goal of this new policy.
Ideally, in place of Powerade plastic bottles, students would use the reusable Gatorade bottles provided by the Trainers Office and mix in the Gatorade powder provided by the Dining Hall. Instead, some students are going directly to the Greer and purchasing Gatorade. In an interview, Mr. Davis said, “On the first Saturday of sports [games], roughly half the football team was buying Gatorade from the Greer.”
As a result of the policy shift, parents also occasionally bring large coolers of Gatorade to games. If the total increase of purchased Gatorades is significant, it could defeat the purpose of the policy change. “On account of this policy shift, I would speculate that Gatorade sales would rise in the Greer, and I would ask, is that ‘circumstantial, or intentional?” said Mr. Davis.
At this point in the season, data from the Greer is inconclusive and does not show any noticeable increase in Gatorade sales, but the data does show that Gatorade sales make up more than 50% of total beverage sales.[pullquote_right]“On the first Saturday of sports (games), roughly half the football team was buying Gatorade from the Greer.”
Athletes can fill up water bottles in the Greer before departing for games, but it can be difficult to refill water bottles during bus rides and at other schools.
Patrick Hadley ’14 stood in favor of amending the new policy. “I think reducing the amount of Powerade instead of eliminating it entirely is a better alternative and would help us learn to recycle more efficiently,” he said.
In the end, it all comes down to plastic bottle use. “I haven’t had firsthand experience because I don’t coach in the fall, but if it cuts down on our plastic bottle usage, I’m all for it,” said Mr. McVaugh. “It requires kids to be more responsible with their Deerfield reusable water bottles.”
The bottom line for most people is that if the policy cuts down on plastic it is a worthwhile sacrifice. When asked about this change, Mr. Scandling promptly replied, “It’s about darn time.”