University of Canberra Bans Bottled Water

University of Canberra : Australia's Capital UniversityThe University of Canberra is the first Australian university to ban the sale of bottled water on its campus, according to a blog post by Stephen Parker, the school’s vice chancellor. The school plans to stop selling bottled water on campus by World Water Day, which is March 22 of this year.

Many schools in the United States and Canada have undertaken similar bottled water bans, and even more schools have considered such a ban. Of course, if a university or college bans bottled water, they should make sure that they have a plan in place to provide clean water to students.

The University of Canberra did that and then some.

The university has installed water bubblers and water refill stations throughout the campus so that its students have access to clean, filtered water. And, unlike bottled water, this water doesn’t cost students a thing.

But the University of Canberra didn’t stop there. They also had Water Vend machines installed. These machines provide “flash-chilled” filtered tap water, which students may have still, sparkling or even flavored. Sigg also supplied the school with reusable water bottles.

If your campus is considering a bottled water ban, you would do well to take a page out of the University of Canberra’s book. There is no point in even considering a ban on bottled water if you don’t have a clear alternative, as the University of Canberra clearly did.

Celebrities for Clean Water Spotlight

Just like bottled water companies, clean water advocates in nonprofit efforts have caught on to the best advertising tool in the market: Celebrities. Many celebrities have given their fame and money to good causes. (Sadly, many celebrities endorse bottled water, also, but that’s a post for another day.) The latest trend among stars like Mark Ruffalo, Adam Lambert, Alyssa Milano and Matt Damon is clean water. We thought we’d take some time to highlight what these celebrities are doing to ensure access to clean water in the U.S. and beyond.

Mark Ruffalo – The Fight Against Natural Gas Fracking

The grassroots organization, Frack Action, was struggling to garner media attention for their opposition to natural gas drilling in New York State, until they brought Mark Ruffalo on board. Fracking is a process that involves injecting water and chemicals under high pressure into rock formations, in order to extract natural gas. Filmmaker, Josh Fox, recently portrayed the consequences of fracking in his documentary, Gasland, in which farmers across the U.S. can be seen to light their tap water on fire from natural gas contamination. ┬áRuffalo dedicates himself to the cause with full force, as an unpaid volunteer. He has attended meetings and hearings, lobbied with activists and visited colleges to raise awareness among students. His fame is helping to bring attention to an issue that, otherwise, may have received very little. In fact, it was rumored several months ago that his private screening of Fox’s film may have landed him on the government’s Terror Watch List. Whether or not the rumor is true doesn’t matter; Ruffalo is one celebrity who won’t sell out. He is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in.

Adam Lambert and Alyssa Milano – Happy Birthday to the Less Fortunate

2009 American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert is donating his 29th birthday to charity: water – one of many water charities dedicated to bringing clean water to those in developing countries. The concept is simple: instead of asking for gifts for your birthday, ask your friends and family to make donations through your mycharity: water website (which is very easy to set up). All of the proceeds will go toward funding clean water projects in countries like Africa, Asia, Honduras and Haiti. With the mycharity: water website, everyone can follow in Adam Lambert’s footsteps. In fact, Lambert is not the first celebrity to donate his birthday to water charity. Alyssa Milano’s mycharity: water campaigns raised over $92,000 for her 37th birthday in 2009, and another $39,551 for her 38th birthday at the end of last year. Lambert’s goal, is $290,000 by the 29th, as he said in a recent tweet.

Matt Damon – Water.org

If you follow us on twitter, by now you probably know that we are big fans of Water.org. Like charity: water, this organization is dedicated to funding clean water, hygiene and sanitation projects in developing nations. Matt Damon co-founded Water.org with Gary White, and has since been heavily invested in its work. Recently, he accepted the Joel Siegel Award for his work with Water.org, at the Critic’s Choice Awards. We think you should follow them on twitter: @Water.