Dal and Halifax Water Commission reduce bottled water during frosh week
In an on-going effort to remain sustainable, the Dalhousie Student Union, Office of Sustainability, and the Halifax Regional Water Commission have teamed up to reduce bottled water during orientation week by installing temporary water fountains outside the Henry Hicks administration building. The taps were installed Thursday, Sept. 1 and will be removed Monday, Sept. 12.
The Halifax Water Commission took every precaution to ensure the water was safe for drinking. Each fountain head was bagged, tested, and once results were generated several hours later, the taps were opened.
Each new student this year at Dal gets a reusable coffee mug and water bottle in their orientation week kit.
This is only one way Dal is working to reduce its carbon footprint at this year's orientation week. Orientation week teams will also be purchasing carbon offsets to account for greenhouse gas use—particularly for items like flights for DalFest bands—and, for the first time, there will be a baseline number generated that accounts for the total waste generated and energy consumed during the week. It will provide future o-week organizers something to build and improve upon.
The Office of Sustainability trained a number of DSU student auditors who are looking at the sustainability of the events surrounding orientation week to do carbon offsetting and make improvements for next year.
“I think this makes a bold statement of where Dalhousie wants to go in order to reduce our impact of single use items. Generally speaking, I think these taps are a great idea for an event.” –Rochelle Owen, director, Office of Sustainability, Dalhousie University
“Providing these water stations for Dalhousie orientation week is one way we help students reduce their use of bottled water and encourage environmental awareness.” -James Campbell, Halifax Water Commission.
“We don’t want to compromise a great time, but we just want to keep our city and planet in mind, keep them awesome. We want to show our new students that we care about the environment here at Dal." -Haley Williams, third-year student, orientation week leader who is helping support a number of sustainability initiatives.
“We provide these water stations, free of charge, to send out the message that our municipal water is the cleanest, safest, and cheapest water you can get around here. Bottled water takes an outrageous toll on the environment and we want to encourage Dal students to stop buying bottles of water and start filling up their reusable ones.” -James Campbell, Halifax Water Commission.
- Katie McDonald, Communications Officer, 494-1323, firstname.lastname@example.org