Free reusable water bottles

Give the environment an edge and take the pledge

By Beatrice Broderick-Auger

After last years campaign, the Dawson Student Union (DSU) has continued their initiation to reduce bottled water consumption on campus. 

“The campaign has been a huge success! Through our continued efforts to work hand-in-hand with Chartwells, The Plant Facilities and Sustainable Dawson, the college has agreed to carry through with the DSU’s campaign goal within approximately 2-3 years,” Ariel Charney, DSU Chairperson.

Eventually, Dawson could grow to be a leader in Quebec by becoming the first campus to be water bottle free. 

The DSU got involved with the Bottled Water Free Campus campaign last year through their membership with the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS). The CSF is present in over 80 Canadian universities and colleges such as the University of Winnipeg, Memorial University in Newfoundland and Brandon University Manitoba. 

“The advertising of this campaign will continue to take place throughout the semester by letting members know that they have a free water bottle waiting for them [at the DSU office 2F.2 ] if they are ready to take the pledge to not drink bottled water where public water is available,” Ariel Charney explained.

The campaign to promote the Bottled Water Free Campus campaign has however experienced some difficulty. “The Prime setback is mainly that of the use of NAYA recycled plastic bottles. We feel that this is a form of concessionary green washing. Recycled bottles don’t address our concern over the exorbitant energy wasted in production or transport,” Charney said.
The funds for the Dawson branded reusable water bottles come from student fees. The DSU has a campaign budget and part of the money goes to it. 
“The reason we were able to buy the bottles at such a cheap price is due to our membership in the CFS. The CFS runs a bulk-purchasing program that allows for local members to use economy-of-scale to mass-order orientation material,” Charney explained, “Economy-of-scale means that if the DSU ordered 5,000 bottles by themselves, it would cost them less per-unit than if they ordered 1,000. The CFS’s program makes it so that all student unions are ordering from the same place and this creates the lowest possible price per unit. Working together works!”

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