Ditching the plastic bottles

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In keeping with the green theme of this winter, the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union EcoHawks launched their annual Out of the Bottle Campaign across campus this week.

An interactive and educational campaign aimed at reducing the number of disposable water bottles used on campus, the EcoHawks will be stationed around campus from Feb. 27 to March 2 handing out 200 free, reusable water bottles throughout the week.

According to Kaitlyn Samways, an EcoHawks internal activities executive, the free water bottles are just a bonus in comparison to the awareness being raised around the negative impact disposable water bottles have on the environment.

Both the production and consumption of disposable water bottles generate an enormous amount of unnecessary waste, while simultaneously being harmful to the human body due to the toxic chemicals that seep out of the plastic, disposable bottles.

“[We] want to get people to realize the impact a water bottle has. .. [and] get people to walk away with information along with their [reusable] bottle,” said Samways.

The EcoHawks devised a series of interactive games in order to disseminate this vital information in a unique and creative way. If participants are successful in these educational games they win one of the EcoHawks’ water bottles.
Brandon, a third-year biology student, successfully completed a game of Eco-Jeopardy followed by an intense round of water-pong in order to receive his foldable, Vapour-brand water bottle.

Other activities include eco-dares which encourage participants to photo-document themselves completing eco-friendly tasks such as recycling or using the new water refilling stations across campus.

Motivated to participate because of the free bottle, Brandon, when asked if he’ll make the switch to using only a reusable bottle, said, referring to the new refilling stations around campus, “Having the water fill-up thing helps.”

“There’s really no excuse not to carry a reusable water bottle around,” said Samways of the Mr. Water refilling stations located in the Terrace, 2-4 Lounge and Lower Concourse.

Laurier is one of the only schools in Ontario with an environmental group as a student union sanctioned service.

“We’ve made a lot of improvements,” said Samways, “but there’s still room for more improvements.”

The EcoHawks Out of the Bottle Campaign will be in the Concourse on Wednesday, Feb. 29 an in the Dining Hall on March 1 and 2.

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