Having been directly involved with the University of Melbourne’s GoTap! campaign last year, aquaBUBBLER was thrilled to see it recently shortlisted at the 2012 Australasian Green Gown Awards. The awards recognise excellence in sustainability and there were many worthy winners. (You can read all about them at the Green Gown Awards website).
In 2011, Go Tap! saw the University of Melbourne’s Southbank and Burnley campuses go completely disposable bottled water free, and their Parkville campus is preparing to follow suit. The University is working with companies such as aquaBUBBLER to implement sustainable measures and increase community awareness about plastic water bottle concerns.
aquaBUBBLER’s Brendan Lynch wasn’t surprised that GoTap! was shortlisted; the University of Melbourne is using its considerable influence to help reshape ideas about water consumption, and this campaign has proactively engaged their 58,000 students and staff to make more sustainable choices.
“Go Tap! was superbly executed”, said Brendan. “It covered all bases every step of the way: comprehensive research, new infrastructure installed, and education and engagement across the board. Student groups helped generate awareness, and strategies were developed to encourage tenants, onsite retailers and vending machine operators to discontinue bottled water sales.”
“It’s set an inspiring standard that other tertiary institutions are following: Monash and Victoria Universities are preparing to launch similar campaigns.”
To allay concerns about not having access to portable water, free reusable water bottles were distributed to all new students during Orientation Week and a free iPhone app, Water Water Everywhere, shows where water bottle refill stations are located.
And in response to suggestions by the Australasian Bottled Water Institute that water bottle bans achieve little if other bottled drinks remain, Sustainability Manager Harry Troedel said, “We’d love to see all plastic use reduced, but free soft drink or juice fountains just aren’t available yet! Meanwhile, there is simply no arguing that going water-bottle free is the environmentally and socially responsible choice when refilling our water bottles is such a simple option”.
Producing, transporting and refrigerating bottled water is energy and resource intensive, and plastic water bottles make up a large proportion of landfill. Melbourne has access to some of the world’s purest tap water and GoTap! makes it easy to access this bounty and minimise environmental impacts..
GoTap! is part of a growing global movement to reduce plastic water bottle use.