A warm welcome back to the new academic year for all our readers in education. And warm it’s been indeed. It’s becoming routine for records to fall each year for strings of hot days and maximum temperatures, and this summer has been no exception.
With the mercury soaring, it’s timely to look at the issue of hydration. Most of us are aware of the dangers of severe dehydration, but it’s less well-known that even a moderate lack of hydration can have significant effects on health and performance. And children are particularly vulnerable.
Every school should have a sound hydration policy and suitable facilities to encourage good hydration for students. AquaBUBBLER has put together a [link] fact-sheet about the risks and consequences of dehydration [/link], and if you get in touch with us we can advise you about developing or improving your hydration policy and ensuring your drinking water facilities are up to scratch.
Archive for the ‘aquaBUBBLER’ Category
Reisser pin-points single-use plastic containers as being a major source of marine pollution, and encourages efforts to reduce their usage. Yet another reason to ditch the bottled water and soft-drinks, and go tap!
The ethos behind aquaBUBBLER has always been to offer the best-engineered, most usable and most appealing drinking fountains on the market.
This is partly about encouraging the public, and children especially, to choose tap water (over soft drinks, or expensive and ecologically costly bottled water) by using visually appealing design, creating a clean and hygienic drinking environment, and making sure everything is as convenient and easy-to-use as possible.
The other side to this philosophy is access. The Classic aquaBUBBLER is designed to be easy for children and adults to use and has a handy water bottle refill station to enable users to meet their hydration needs away from the drinking fountain. And being positioned at a lower level, the water bottle refill station also allows better access to those who have difficulty reaching the top of the unit. The Universal Access aquaBUBBLER goes a step further by meeting DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliance standards for universal access by those with disabilities including the wheelchair-bound.
Universal access is becoming ever-more important for architects, planners and designers, especially those involved in creating public facilities and spaces. This reflects an understanding of the benefits for individuals and society in providing those with disabilities the best opportunities to reach their full potential without being hindered by their physical environment. It also recognises that in an ageing society the numbers of people with limited mobility or other disabilities is increasing rapidly and better infrastructure can play an important role in prolonging independence and reducing the care burden.
As manufacturers of the Universal Access aquaBUBBLER, we’ve taken the opportunity to be product sponsors and exhibitors at the upcoming ACAA (Association of Consultants in Access Australia) National Conference and Trade Exhibition starting on the 18th -20th November at the Waterview Convention Centre near Olympic Park, Homebush in Sydney.
The conference is a great meeting-place and ideas exchange for those involved in designing and specifying for universal access, with a wealth of content from speakers from Australia and around the world including the keynote speaker, Dr Satoshi Kose, Professor of Graduate School of Design, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, Japan, who has more than a decade of experience in disability access in Japan. Japan is one of the most rapidly ageing populations on the planet and is in the forefront of dealing with issues of access and mobility.
For more information about the ACAA visit the ACAA website, or www.access.asn.au/conferences_and_events for details of the conference.
No matter how simple, compelling and logical the message, a dose of humour and ingenuity can really help to make it stick. We’ve been selling the benefits of choosing tap water over bottled water since launching aquaBUBBLER, often working with other interested organisations that share similar goals.
Yarra Valley Water’s Choose Tap Programme is a great example of raising awareness and consumption of tap water through sponsorship, education and community involvement. Travelling to schools, sports and community events with mobile ‘Choose Tap’ drinking fountains and water bottle refill stations, banners, mascots and information resources, this campaign does a great deal to keep the ‘Choose Tap’ message front of mind.
However, marketers of bottled water direct a great deal of skill, and many millions of dollars into positioning their products as being desirable and imparting fashion and status to their consumers, and it can sometimes be perceived that putting out the common-sense message of appropriate hydration – a fundamental human function just like breathing or taking in the sunshine – is maybe a little austere or wowser-ish in comparison.
And this is where the spark of genius lies in Yarra Valley Water’s latest ‘Choose Tap’ campaign. Rather than just pushing the sensible, fiscally and environmentally prudent line, it actively de-constructs bottled water marketing and turns it on its head. The campaign, with a YouTube video and associated parody website, uses a simple analogy to show the buyer of bottled water to be a ‘dupe’, conned into paying many hundreds of times the price they might pay for quality water from the tap.
It’s fun and, in my opinion, really cuts through. Being sensible and responsible by choosing tap is, of course, an excellent thing; but being seen as a hapless dupe for buying ridiculously over-priced and over-packaged bottled water will resonate with an entirely different audience.
Kudos, Yarra Valley Water, from the team at aquaBUBBLER.
“Sustainability,” “Organic” and “Environmentally Friendly” are important words and concepts that we increasingly notice as we go about our daily lives.
At aquaBUBBLER we also love coming across the words “do our bit” – especially when used in relation to saving water and looking after the environment.
That’s why the following plaque grabbed our attention when we recently passed through the Gold Coast Airport in Queensland:
Airports are not necessarily the first places that come to mind when we think about sustainability and environmental restraint – all those travel miles, expensive fuel & pollution.
But a bit of imagination and ingenuity from those in charge at the airport has resulted in the harnessing of rainwater from the extensive roof area to recycle through the public toilet/amenities.
aquaBUBBLER celebrates clever, practical use of environmental resources. Bravo Gold Coast Airport!
Environmental & sustainability education at Emerald Primary School is a great example of a school living what it teaches.
Nestled in a beautiful, picturesque part of Victoria it’s easy to understand why the school community is inspired to look after the environment.
Leigh Johnson, the environmental and sustainability coordinator, says the students love being part of the process: “It’s in and about their world. It’s about learning by actually putting ideas into practice”.
Some of the many impressive projects include:
— A school windmill – creating sustainable energy for the school & pumping water into the schools taps
— water tanks – storing rainwater for use in the school’s toilets
— a container deposit scheme
— school weather station – measuring temperature, air moisture, wind chill, air pressure and a rain gauge
Mr Johnson adds, “The idea is to ‘normalise’ the experiences the kids learn about in environmental studies. So that they expect to see veggie patches everywhere, wind turbines and solar heating.”
There is a “Loo Crew”, a group of students who want to help raise awareness of the sanitation crisis facing many countries (with the assistance of WaterAid – see http://www.wateraid.org/) . And the “Don’t Palm Us Off” crew – a group of students who want to educate the school community about the harmful effects of the palm oil trade and the threat to orang-utan habitats.
“These student-led initiatives are examples of where social action meets sustainability”. These activities are part of students embracing their responsibility and contributing to the wider world and sustainable communities.
Emerald Primary School recently received its own aquaBUBBLER as part of Yarra Valley Water’s “Choose Tap” initiative.
ENVIROWEEK is all about young Australians taking positive action to raise awareness for a sustainable future.
From August 25-31 schools, classes, and individual students are taking up the green challenge. There’s a “Green Thumb” challenge to plant a veggie patch, a “Shopper Challenge” to resist buying anything new for a week ,and a “Sparky” challenge to save energy.
Our favourite is the Go Tap challenge – swapping all bottled and canned drinks for refreshing and healthy tap water!
There are competitions and prizes – an Eco-Fundraiser competition and a Creator competition. And best of all you could win an aquaBUBBLER with water bottle refill station. For more details see http://www.enviroweek.org/.
aquaBUBBLER is thrilled to be launching its new Universal Access aquaBUBBLER at the CFFPI (Council for Educational Facility Planners) Conference in New Zealand next week. The new aquaBUBBLER is designed in accordance with the principles of Universal Design – a concept at the heart of members of CEFPI.
The Universal Access aquaBUBBLER is DDA compliant. It features 3 state-of-the-art, drip-free taps including a water bottle refill station. The taps are designed to be used simultaneously without any major reduction in water pressure/flow.
It is ideal for heavy traffic/high activity areas – where time is limited and demand for having a drink and refilling water bottles is high.
It can be accessed by children, adults, people using mobility aids and people who might otherwise experience difficulties accessing drinking fountains.
The conference kicks off on 28 May for 3 days. For more details, see http://disruption.cefpi.org.au/about/
Kangaroo Ground Primary School has just installed their Choose Tap aquaBUBBLER. “Our school has two aquaBUBBLERs already and jumped at the opportunity to install another one,” said Kangaroo Ground Primary School, principal Laurie Murray.
“The kids love using the aquaBUBBLERS. They are specially designed for them and encourage great health and hydration habits. The Water Bottle Fundraiser meant that the school had already raised the money required to have the aquaBUBBLER installed. It’s a great idea. Other schools should jump on board!”
“…It’s a great idea. Other schools should jump on board!”
aquaBUBBLER has teamed up with Yarra Valley Water’s Choose Tap campaign – an initiative which promotes the environmental and health benefits of drinking tap water.
Schools in the Yarra Valley Water area can receive a FREE aquaBUBBLER – the modern, stylish, environmentally-friendly drinking fountain with water bottle refill station.
There are only 100 aquaBUBBLERS available
aquaBUBBLER and the “Choose Tap” campaign are the perfect combination – there is no better way to encourage kids to drink tap water than to provide a new, inviting aquaBUBBLER drinking fountain with water bottle refill station that is especially designed with schools [or “kids“] in mind!
To qualify, the school needs to participate in the Drink Bottle Fundraiser – the school purchases a minimum of 50 Choose Tap drink bottles at cost price (only $4 each), to on-sell to their community for a profit. They retail for up to $15 each. Alternatively, the school can purchase 10 1 litre Choose Tap sports bottles (which come with a free sports bottle carrier).
For more details, visit www.yvw.com.au/Home/Inyourcommunity/ChooseTap/index.htm
Reusing disposable plastic water bottles might make you feel better about the environment. It makes buying water seem not quite so bad. “At least they’re being used a few times”, you might think.
It’s the same feeling you might get from lining the bin with a plastic bag from the supermarket. But the plastic still ends up polluting the planet. Best to avoid them altogether.
And anyway, what’s the deal with “BPA” and “PET”? And all those curious “plastics” labels? Is it actually safe and healthy to use those water bottles?
The answer is that it depends on what type of plastic the bottle is made of and how long you continue to use it for. It also depends on how thoroughly you wash it after each use. The small “neck” can easily attract harmful bacteria.
Most “single use” water bottles that you buy at the petrol station or supermarket are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It’s a cheap and lightweight plastic. Although deemed safe for single use, there is evidence to suggest that the bottles release harmful ingredients when exposed to sunlight and heat. In addition, repeated hot-water washing and handling of PET water bottles may break down the plastic, leaching toxic compounds, such as DEHA, into the drink inside.
Repeated use of PET water bottles has been shown to increase harmful bacteria levels. Bacteria from your hands and mouth, for example, accumulate when the bottle isn’t washed between uses. But then, repeated washing risks toxic ingredients being leached.
There are even more sinister concerns resulting from less commonly used plastics such PVC which leaches phthalates, shown to cause developmental and reproductive damage. Polystyrene which leaches styrene and can cause nervous system effects and liver damage. Polycarbonate has been shown to leach Bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone disruptor that mimics estrogen.
Why would you risk toxic compounds in your water or harmful bacteria lurking around the mouth of the water bottles? The simple solution is to drink water fresh from the tap or drinking fountain, or use well designed, hygienic water containers specifically intended for repeated use.