Ecocitizen Water Project - 200 Construction Workers @ ACS

NEWS: City student takes the initiative to promote sustainability in water usage

Posted on 18.02.16


In a climate that’s hot year-round, we’ll often grab a bottle of water without worrying about anything beyond quenching our thirst.

But one green-thinking teen is trying to change all that and get people thinking about the consequences of bottled water.

Julia Grifferty, an 18-year-old student at the American Community School, distributed reusable flasks to construction workers at her school in a bid to get them to ditch the plastic.

“I identified bottled water as a huge cause of carbon emissions,” explained Julia.

“We have three million labour workers in this country, and from research I know that they’re going to buy two bottles of water a day,” she added.

“These labourers may not be the ones using the most energy, but if you change this habit then the effects are going to reverberate.”


No stranger to sustainability, Julia set up her first green campaign ‘Boot the Bottle’ aged just 14, after being inspired to reduce waste in school.

“My first thought was that schools are a huge consumer of bottled water, so I wanted to make a change.”

After successfully getting her fellow students to swap their plastic for reusable containers, Julia is keen to spread the message to the wider community.

“My hope is to sow the seeds so that other schools and companies can provide for their labour force,” she explained.

“The UAE and other GCC countries are a model for the rest of the world because they started from scratch,” reflected Julia. “We’re a place where innovation can occur and we can show how modern society can be.”


Abu Dhabi Week

Water bottles sponsored by Cure  

Water bottles sponsored by Cure

Spreading Love and Light at the Ladies Labor Camp in Abu Dhabi

Screen Shot 2017-10-18 at 8.29.09 PM.png

I would like to thank members of the ACS community especially Julia Grifferty and Nuno Andrade for inviting me to be part of a magical afternoon at the ladies camp in Khalifa City A. The purpose of the gathering for me was to have a time away from the daily life, both for the students and workers. The students were presenting a water filtration system that they had purchased by doing different fundraisers, each of the workers were gifted with a reusable water bottle.

I was invited as a guest to do an “Expression Session”,a means of bringing poetry therapy or poetry as a way of self-expression to the ladies in the camp.


BTB Vice Director Vidushi Saxena translates for Bahareh

BTB Vice Director Vidushi Saxena translates for Bahareh

Woman reflects on what Bahareh has said

Woman reflects on what Bahareh has said


There was a wide range of nationalities represented in the camp. There were ladies from the Philippines, India, Pakistan, and Indonesia. It seemed that for the most part everyone understood English, but we did have a wonderful student translator Vidushi Saxena who translated into Hindi.

Here is part of the write up in the ACS newsletter.


This final service event captures the multi-layered dimensions of REAL service learning and community engagement. This was an entirely student driven event, born out of the experiences, training, and personal commitment of the best the service program can offer.

  • Deep passion for social justice,
  • A genuine relationship with the Cleanco Women’s Worker Camp,
  • A vision for a sustainable future – one water bottle AND dispenser at a time,
  • An understanding the human connection is where real “service” happens,

Boot the Bottle invited Bahareh Amidi, a professional at using language and poetry as a means for therapy, took 150 women through a 40 minute “Expression Session”. She opened up her expression session with “How do you say hello your language?” going from villa to villa, seeing which group of women would cheer the loudest. By the end of the session eight women took hold of the microphone to share their thoughts and feelings that Bahareh’s poems induced. In fact, women took hold of the mic to sing in front of everyone else. Throughout the entire session Vidushi Saxena, junior at ACS, and a Boot the Bottle leader, provided translation.

Volunteers, students from Gems American Academy, the British International School joined ACS students to facilitate the session, took some of the women through the activities, made sure every woman was equipped with paper and pens and reusable bottles. Most importantly, we got to know some women more personally and became more aware of life as a migrant worker.

At the end, the volunteers distributed reusable bottles that were sponsored by the Advanced Cure to each woman, and opened the newly installed water dispenser. Before so, Vidushi Saxena delivered a speech in Hindi about the importance of drinking water from a sustainable source for health, finances and environment.

I would like to say that none of this would be possible without the vision and mission that Anne Russell has brought to us in the ACS community and in Abu Dhabi. I will forever be grateful for this and other such experiences of heart.

Be blessed all always and share your blessings.


Geraldine and Julia Grifferty next to the newly installed water dispenser donated by Boot the Bottle 

Geraldine and Julia Grifferty next to the newly installed water dispenser donated by Boot the Bottle