Posts Tagged ‘Sustainability’

Single-use plastic containers big culprit in toxic marine contamination

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Most of us are aware that plastic finding its way in oceans and waterways is a growing ecological problem. Plastics have been found throughout the marine food-chain, in the tissue and digestive tracts of all manner of creatures from whales to tiny aquatic worms.Julia Reisser from the University of WA is studying pollution in Australian waters and has found each square kilometre of seawater carries an average of 4000 pieces of plastic. And it’s not only the plastics themselves that cause problems, but that they attract and concentrate oil-based pollutants in the sea, adding to the toxic load on the unfortunate sea creatures that digest them.
Marine Life

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!

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-28/plastic-polluting-wa-waters/5123062?section=wa

It doesn’t make sense to buy bottled water

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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.

All things green in Emerald

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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.

Emerald Primary School container deposit scheme

Emerald Primary School container deposit scheme



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.

Emerald Primary School Students open their Yarra Valley Water Choose Tap aquaBUBBLER with water bottle refill station

Emerald Primary School Students open their Yarra Valley Water Choose Tap aquaBUBBLER with water bottle refill station



“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.

 

aquaBUBBLER is proud to be a prize partner of Cool Australia’s ENVIROWEEK.

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ENVIROWEEK is all about young Australians taking positive action to raise awareness for a sustainable future.

Cool Australia Enviroweek 2013

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!

Cool Australia Enviroweek 2013 Go Tap

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/. 

 

DDA compliant drinking fountain for CEFPI conference.

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The new DDA Compliant Universal Access aquaBUBBLER Drinking Fountain with water bottle refill station.

The new DDA Compliant Universal Access aquaBUBBLER Drinking Fountain with water bottle refill station.



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. CEFPI Australasia Region logo
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/

Love your planet? Love your aquaBUBBLER!

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aquaBUBBLER is very proud to be supporting Cool Australia’s 2013 Love your Planet fundraising lunch next week.

Cool Australia is a not-for-profit organisation whose work is very close to our hearts: they are dedicated to teaching younger generations about the importance of sustainability and protecting our environment.

Part of Cool Australia’s charter is to empower educators by providing free, Australian curriculum-linked environmental resources to educators and students. Their team of leading teachers, curriculum writers and sustainability education experts create original learning activities that teachers can download and take straight into the classroom.



Cool Australia founder and CEO, Jason Kimberley said, “It’s great to have aquaBUBBLER on board. Their long-established collaboration with schools on issues of sustainability, and their development of a product which responds to many of the environmental challenges the world currently faces, make them a perfect orgnisation for Cool Australia to be associated with.”

aquaBUBBLERCool Australia’s annual Love Your Planet lunch involves an auction to raise money for their education programs. This year we are donating an aquaBUBBLER drinking fountain, and are delighted to be in the company of IKEA, Quicksilver, Top Shop, Willow, Mr Wolf, Kozminsky, Silo, Mars Gallery, Bounce, and Husk who are also contributing items.

At the lunch, teachers and students will share their experiences about how Cool Australia’s resources have helped them fulfill their potential in sustainability education. The fundraising target is $60,000, and all funds will go towards further development of Cool Australia’s education resources.

Well well well! Here’s an inspired way to celebrate sustainability week!

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At the end of each year Epping Views Primary school hosts a Sustainability Celebration afternoon to celebrate their impressive range of sustainability activities (they recently won Resource Smart School of the Year.)



They usually gather together to compete in a fun-filled competition to test their knowledge about sustainability. But this year they decided to celebrate by sharing how fortunate they are to have clean water and sanitation by raising money for an extremely worthy cause. They undertook a week of activities and events to raise $1425 to help an African community get improved access to clean water.



The program, run by World Vision, uses the money to combine water infrastructure (i.e., sinking new wells, repairing damaged hand pumps and building toilets) with hygiene education to help stop the spread of deadly waterborne diseases and ensure better health for children in impoverished communities.

Epping Views Primary school also made student education part of their fundraising process. They kicked off the week with an assembly of around 600 people watching a World Vision video clip called A Day in the Life of Lucy. Students, staff and parents were all very moved, and this led to fantastic involvement in scheduled classroom and lunchtime activities, a ‘sustainability dress up’ day, selling badges and drink bottles, and an all-in, hands on activity making the word WATER from coin donations, which alone raised $334.



“We’ve been learning how important it is to drink water to stay healthy”, commented one student, “so we are very happy to help other kids who need water too but can’t just go to a tap like we can”.

Jan Hare, the school’s Wellbeing and Sustainability Teacher, added: “Sustainability is about helping to build better communities everywhere. That includes building an active community spirit here at the school regarding global issues like access to clean water, to building stronger, healthier villages in places like Africa”.



Read up on water World Vision’s work towards water sanitation and hygiene here.  Or get their series of 6 lesson plans on water and other teaching material here.