Thursday 12-02-2015 - 11:34
Are your students tired of paying through the nose for something as readily (and freely) available as water? For this week’s Hot Seat Celia Briseid tells us why Roehampton is joining the GiveMeTap movement.
Celia Briseid is the Environmental and Fairtrade Officer at Roehampton Students’ Union and as part of Go Green Week, she’s using social enterprises and behaviour change campaigns to take action on the needless waste of bottled water on her union’s campus.
Why do you think it’s important to take part in Go Green Week?
We are living in a world where taking care of the environment is getting more and more important. It’s therefore essential for schools, colleges and universities to provide their students (and staff) with information related to environmental issues, and to provide this information in fun, creative and engaging ways.
The goal should be to inspire, not to point fingers, and I think Go Green Week presents a great opportunity for this.
What campaign are you launching this week?
This week we’ve launched a great project called GiveMeTap. This is a social enterprise founded by a student from Manchester who was tired of constantly buying bottles of water, when we live in a country where access to clean water should be easily obtainable.
GiveMeTap sells stainless steel water bottles, and by buying one, you get access to tap water from over 700 shops in nearly 150 cities. Wherever you are, you just look at the app or online for nearby shops, cafes and restaurants which offer water from their taps, and you can fill up for free!
What’s more, GiveMeTap gives 70 per cent of its profits to fund water projects in Africa.
Roehampton Students’ Union’s own Hive café is now a registered tap, and will be selling these bottles in the cafe. This is just the start of our wider 'Water is Free' campaign.
Why do you think we need to take action on bottled water?
First of all, it suddenly dawned on my one day, 'why am I buying water?! Water is free!’ We are so lucky to live in a country where we have free access to clean drinking water, so why are we not taking advantage of this?
Second, bottled water causes tremendous harm to the environment. Did you know that it is estimated that 13 billion bottles of water are sold in the UK every year, but only 3 billion of those are recycled? Or that it requires 162g oil and seven litres of water to make just a single one litre volume plastic bottle, and that this amounts to the release of 100g CO2?
How are you going about it?
Our 'Water is Free' campaign, will encourage staff and students to stop buying water bottles on campus, by making water stations more visible. We’ll create more awareness about the negative impacts bottled water has on the environment, our health and our wallets. And as students, I think we really can appreciate the opportunity to save that money.
What do you want to see as a result of this campaign?
I hope that the water stations around campus are being used more frequently, and that there will be a decrease in sales of bottled watered around campus. The end goal would be to get a ban on bottled water sold on campus, which not only would reduce a great amount of waste, but may encourage students to become less dependent on buying bottled water outside of the university.
Less waste, money saved and happier environment. Water is free.
Are you thinking of taking action on bottled water on your campus, or have you ever taken action on this issue? If so get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org! You can find out more about Roehampton Students’ Union by visiting their website at www.roehamptonstudent.com or by following them on Twitter at @RoehamptonSU.