Victoria – A steady stream of students, staff and faculty came by the CUPE 2081 booth to take the tap water pledge and get a free water bottle on March 10. At the end of the day 530 people had taken the pledge.
The event was part of the national Bottled Water Free Day campaign that includes CUPE National, the Canadian Federation of Students and the Polaris Institute as sponsors.
CUPE 2081, with support from CUPE BC and the CUPE Vancouver Island District Council took the lead at Camosun. The event also had the endorsement of Camosun College, the student association and the faculty association. All are working toward making Camosun a ‘Bottled Water Free Zone.’
Jerry Oetting, CUPE 2081 president, said that everyone can play a role in ensuring that our water remains a public resource. “It was fantastic to see the community support today for public, not bottled, water. Water is our most precious resource and the bottled water available for purchase undermines the public’s trust in our water supply.”
Oetting said that CUPE gave away close to 500 refillable water containers at Camosun, along with information on water resources including examples of how damaging bottled water can be to the environment and the water supply. For those anxious to fill their new bottles, CUPE posted signs indicating where free access to public water could be found on campus.
“It was a great opportunity to share information. For example, many people were surprised to know that producing a bottle of water takes 3 litres of water and that massive amounts of fossil fuels are wasted in the creation and transportation private water,” said Louise Oetting, president of the Vancouver Island District Council.
CUPE 2081 was also encouraging participants to check out the Ten Percent Shift campaign to help support vibrant local economies.