Reusable water bottles and hydration stations to reduce plastic waste at Commencement

As part of its sustainability initiative, Vanderbilt University will distribute 2,000 reusable water bottles and offer hydration stations for guests to fill their own reusable containers at its main Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 10, reducing thousands of single-use plastic water bottles at the event.

In past years, more than 18,000 single-use plastic water bottles have been distributed at the main Commencement ceremony on Alumni Lawn. After evaluating the needs of the event and past years’ waste, the Office of Commencement and Special Events set a goal of reducing its water bottle distribution by 20 percent for 2019.

In addition, the Commencement office collaborated with Vanderbilt Facilities to build two new hydration stations offering filtered water for guests to fill their own reusable containers. The hydration stations will be located near Tollman Hall and Neely Auditorium along the perimeter of Alumni Lawn, and 2,000 reusable containers will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis at these stations.

Other sustainability efforts being incorporated into this year’s Commencement exercises include donating strawberries left over from Friday’s Strawberries and Champagne celebration to the Nashville Zoo, and redesigning the more than 20-page Commencement handbook mailed to parents and graduating students each year to be a one-page, two-sided piece.

For more information, visit the Commencement website.