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In lieu of rubber ducks, UCF's Reflecting Pond will be filled to the brim with 250,000 water bottles April 8.

In an effort to raise awareness of the amount of plastic waste UCF generates every day, the water bottles are part of the first-ever event aptly named "Reflect on Sustainability."'

"Students may realize 250,000 bottles is quite large, but they probably have little conception of what 250,000 looks like," said SGA Health & Sustainability Coordinator Emily Dovydaitis. "We want to give them an understanding of the waste they're contributing to.

"One often hears the phrase, 'The first step to fixing a problem is admitting you have one.' I would really love for students to see the 250,000 water bottles in the Reflecting Pond and realize 'Hey, maybe my single-use plastic bottles habit is one I should get rid of."

The number 250,000 isn't a symbol for the amount of waste UCF itself produces, but simply the number of water bottles that can fit in the Reflecting Pond. The Student Government Association arrived at the number after taking into account square footage per bottle and a little help from Google Earth.

"Remember those difficult math questions from elementary and middle school, where you had to calculate some number for a ridiculous made-up event? Figuring out 250,000 water bottles felt like one of those problems," Dovydaitis said.

SGA is still in search of volunteers to help fill the pond during the event, which is currently scheduled from 4:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

From 4:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., bags of water bottles will be unloaded into the pond, and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., as students walk by, volunteers will disperse information about how to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. Then from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the bottles will be fished out of the pond and, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., bagged and shipped off to a recycling facility.

Students and non-students are welcome to sign up, although both are required to fill out a Volunteer Services Agreement, which can be found on the SGA website.

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Caroline Glenn is the News Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @byCarolineGlennor email her at CarolineG@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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