Water use at the ARC drops

by Stephanie Saccente , Senior Staff Writer

In an effort to become more sustainable after the declaration of the California drought, the Aztec Recreation Center set a goal earlier this year to reduce its water use by 20 percent. With the cooperation of students and members, the ARC recently announced that it surpassed its goal, coming close to a 50 percent reduction in May. Since then, the ARC has continued to surpass its 20 percent water use reduction goal.

With one of the core values for Associated Students being sustainability, ARC Director of Recreation Mark Zakrzewski said the ARC is constantly looking at ways to support that effort. He said signage through out the facility helped to make people more aware about the issue.

“At State students are aware of sustainability issues,” Zakrzewski said. “They know it matters and it’s something for a while students have been rallying behind and that’s neat to see.”

One of the biggest changes the ARC made is the distribution of its towels. In the past, towels were left on the counter and members could take as many as they would like at a time, now a member of the ARC staff issues the towels. While members are still welcome to ask for more than one, Zakrzewski said this helps members take only the number of towels they need. In addition, this helps reduce the amount of laundry the ARC has to do. Zakrzewski said laundry and shower use make up the greatest majority of the ARC’s water bill.

ARC Floor Supervisor Michael Lowe said members were first resistant to the towel change but since educating people about the ARC’s water conservation efforts, members have been bringing their own towels to help out.

“We felt that if a large facility such as the ARC could cut back by as much as we have, we could motivate others and other larger facilities to do the same,” Lowe said.

Kathryn Andrews, a business sophomore, thinks it’s great that the ARC has implemented these changes. She believes students can go beyond taking part in sustainable acts at the ARC and make small changes in their personal lives to help reduce water use.

“If we change our ways now, then in a few years we won’t have to worry as much because we will be accustomed to using less,” Andrews said.

In addition to reducing water, Zakrzewski said the ARC is in the process of becoming LEED certified as an existing building. He hopes students and members can continue to promote sustainability efforts by spreading awareness.

“It’s the right thing to do, it’s the cool thing to do; you want to respect the environment,” Zakrzewski said.