If you didn’t read our last #WasteFreeWednesday post All About Plastic Water Bottles, stop right here and read that first!
Now that you’re informed about the issues surrounding bottled water, we have compiled a few ways that YOU can help lead the world towards a water bottle free future. Plus, check out Maddy’s account of Waterstock 2017!
What can YOU do about it?
Don’t buy bottled water. If we stop buying it, retailers will no longer profit from carrying it, and corporations will stop benefiting from its creation. This is a money game we’re talking about, so put your money into what you care about.
Bring your reusable water bottle everywhere. Lots of places have water bottle fill-up stations, especially outdoor events such as music festivals. Restaurants and other food vendors are often more than happy to fill up your water bottle if you ask politely. If others see you getting your water filled up they will be more likely to start doing so themselves. We need to normalize reusable water bottles, not single use plastic bottles!
Invest in solutions for getting water to marginalized communities. This doesn’t have to be a monetary investment, it could be an investment of your time. Check out Water First, a group that is workings towards having safe drinking water for all First Nations communities. You can also sign this petition from Amnesty International. And do some research! There are a ton of groups around the world working towards getting clean water to various communities and countries – way too many for us to list!
Educate yourself. Being knowledgeable helps you effectively explain to others the issues surrounding the use of single use plastic water bottles. It can be hard to convince others to stop using plastic water bottles unless you can give them the facts. Reading our blog is a great first step, but make sure to keep up to date on all things water bottle.
Be an advocate for the cause! This may be as easy as signing petitions (ex. Boycott Nestle), or more involved such as joining groups that are working towards a future you believe in. Some examples of groups to be a part of in Guelph are Plastic Free Guelph, Wellington Water Watchers, The Council of Canadians Guelph chapter and SaveOurWater.Ca. If you don’t have time to be an active member of a group you can still lend your support. Spread their message on social media and through word of mouth, and attend large events, such as Waterstock!
Continue reading for Maddy’s experience of Waterstock…
Wellington Water Watchers (in partnership with Riverfest Elora) hosted Waterstock at the Erin Fair Grounds on June 11th. This event was organized as a protest against Nestlé and their bottling of water in Wellington County/Guelph for their own profit. It was also a really fun, and sustainable day! I (Maddy) was happy to go to support this cause and it was a great way to spend time with my family (also, shout out to my grandpa for buying my ticket!)
There were a lot of Canadian performers there, including Jim Cuddy from Blue Rodeo, Oh Susanna, and my personal favourite, Reuben Bullock from Reuben and the Dark.
There were also many different food vendors, most of them local to Guelph and Wellington County. In order to purchase food, you had to buy a food ticket for $5 and then you could get something to eat from any one of the vendors. So if you spent $20, you could try 4 different places (or alcoholic beverages ;)).
I got sweet potato and goat cheese mac and cheese, as well as a sandwich, ice cream, and local cider. My sister got some very nature-y ice cream that was served on a piece of bark and a maple leaf!
The other thing about the food that I loved was that they encouraged everyone to bring their own plates, cutlery, and cups to reduce waste. I actually saw very few garbage cans there and NO litter on the ground! This was super refreshing at a music event.
Because the event was particularly promoting not using plastic water bottles, there were stations where you could fill up your reusable water bottle with cold, clean water. These are great options to have at any event to reduce plastic water bottle use because you can use any drinking cup to fill up. Since outdoor events are usually very hot, it is important to stay hydrated, so having an alternative to bottled water is amazing!
Throughout the event there was the opportunity to sign a huge scroll saying that you are against the privatization of water. After the event, this scroll with thousands of signatures will be sent to Premier Kathleen Wynne to advocate her to “protect our water from corporate control and exploitation”. There were also lots of different booths for various water protection groups in the area, such as Save Our Water, and Quarry prevention groups.
Overall, this was an incredible day full of great food, wonderful performers and speakers, and a ton of like-minded people coming together for an important cause. If this sounds like something that might interest you, you can always check out Riverfest. This isn’t a protest-framed event but there are a lot of similar practices, such as not selling water bottles and providing fresh drinking water from the Quench Buggy. If you’re interested in taking further action after Waterstock (whether or not you were able to attend), here are 5 actions that you can take to continue the movement!
Stand up with us and say #WaterForLifeNotProfit:
(1) Endorse the 4-point plan for phasing out water bottling in Ontario (just a couple of clicks): www.saynotonestle.ca
(2) Buy ‘water shares’ to support the Water for Life campaign: http://www.ourwaterstock.ca/watershares
(3) Donate to Wellington Water Watchers: http://wellingtonwaterwatchers.ca/donate/single-donation/
(4) Post a photo holding a sign “Water For Life Not Profit” saying what water means to you and post it to your social media platforms with the #’s below and tag us!
(5) TEXT “Waterstock” to +1 (226) 798-4684
#SayNoToNestle #Waterstock #WaterForLifeNotProfit
And here is a recap of the event from CTV news: http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1144223
Check out http://www.ourwaterstock.ca/ for more information about the event and its objectives.