A few weeks back I wrote a blog post that discussed how Social Media can be used to make the World a better place. I explored the amazing possibilities that are available to today’s society with the emergence Social Media and new technologies. The way the World communicates and exchanges information is changing. Now more than ever, people Worldwide are using these tools to raise awareness, generate ideas and solve global issues.
Every year on October 15th, thousands of bloggers from over 100 countries unite to blog about a specific global issue. In the past, bloggers have discussed environmental issues, poverty and climate change. This year’s topic? Water.
Yes, water – that refreshingly quenching liquid that you think is in abundance. Well, it’s not. Most people don’t think twice while leaving the tap running as they brush their teeth or when they buy a bottle of Dasani for $2 at the local corner store. Water, in fact, is one of the World’s most diminishing and scarce resources – and the vast majority of us take it for granted. There are many issues faced when talking about water; dirty oceans, lack of clean drinking water, the footprint made by technology, fashion and food – but I’m going to dive into one of the most pressing issues – Bottled Water.
Here in Canada, we are lucky – we have an abundance of water. In fact, we have the World’s third largest supply of renewable fresh water, behind Brazil and Russia. But we continue to consume an incredible amount of bottled water annually. Not only is bottled water often not any cleaner than tap water, sometime it is tap water – bottled, and sold to you at an astronomical price. Think about the effect that this has on the environment. Instead of drinking water from a tap or a fountain, you buy a bottle of water. The amount of energy and resources used to make the bottles, bottle the water, and transport the water to your local store is huge. And then there is the cost to collect the waste created by these bottles. This is not only a burden on the environment, but also on the taxpayers.
The bottles of water that you buy from PepsiCo, Nestle and Coca-Cola are in fact municipal water – bottled and slapped with a brand name label. So are consumers stupid? Are we naive? (Ironically, spelled backwards is Evian, a popular brand of bottled water). What makes us shell out millions of dollars every year on something that is essentially free? Annie Leonard explains:
Many people have taken Leonard’s advice, and stopped buying bottled water. More now than ever you see people walking around with refillable water bottles. One of the growing trends in Canada is for companies, and Universities to ban the sale of bottled water on their campuses.
Last year, students at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec began the “Think Global, Drink Local” campaign in an effort to ban the sale of bottled water on campus. The campaign was a huge success on campus supported by the “Rock 4 Water” concert series featuring Canada’s own The Wooden Sky and a lecture by World renowned water activist Maude Barlow. The campaign was topped off by a student referendum in which 3/4 of the students voted to ban bottled water on campus. This September Bishop’s became the first University in Quebec to ban single-use bottled water on campus.
Do you still buy bottled water? How will you help save one of our most important natural resources?