Deakin University making its mark in water conservation

Case Study

August 29, 2013

Working towards its ‘Green Star’ goal

Challenge: Environmentally sustainable initiatives to help reach goal of becoming a ‘Green Star – Education v1’ enterprise.

Solution: Water refill stations and drinking fountains across three Deakin campuses.

Result: A sustainable initiative in the effort to achieve best practice water conservation.

Working towards its goal of being a ’Green Star – Education v1’ enterprise that integrates environmental sustainability principles into all of its operations, policies and activities, Deakin University has installed aquafil™ water refill stations and drinking fountains in key locations across three campuses.

This is one of several environmentally sustainable initiatives implemented by Deakin in an effort to achieve best practice water conservation, stormwater management and waste management practices, following detailed water audits that were undertaken at each campus.

Detailed research around accessibility was carried out to determine which water units would be best suited to the University’s needs.

aquafil™ offers a wide range of water refill stations and drinking fountains to choose from. As well as being wheelchair accessible, the units have a range of optional features, such as water meters to track usage, filtered or non-filtered options, dog bowls and display panels for advertising.

‘The units met accessibility requirements from an OHS perspective and the choice of optional extras made aquafil™ the perfect choice,’ says Amanda Neilson, Deakin University’s Senior Sustainability Officer.

Thirteen aquafil™ water refill stations and drinking fountains have been installed across three Deakin campuses – Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus, Melbourne Burwood Campus and Warrnambool Campus.

The initiative, coupled with the ’Be Smart Choose Tap‘ awareness campaign, has helped encourage staff and students to refill their own drink bottles instead of purchasing water in plastic bottles, aligning with the University’s objective to reduce waste to landfill.

Melbourne is reputed for having some of the best drinking water in the world, but each year Australians still spend more than $500 million on purchasing bottled water. This means Australians are paying 700 times more per 500ml of bottled water than they would for tap water.

Not only are millions of dollars wasted annually on bottled water, the plastic waste that ends up in landfill, waterways and oceans has a severe impact on our environment. Plastic bottles, which take an average estimated time of 450 years to break down, kill our bird and marine life when they mistake them for food.

The installation of aquafil™ water refill stations and drinking fountains addresses a key feature in Deakin’s Strategic Plan LIVE the future: Agenda 2020, which provides the opportunity to extend the definition and practice of ‘sustainability’ to include economic, social and environmental concepts.

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Turtles swallowing plastic in record amounts

12 August, 2013

news.com.au

GREEN turtles are swallowing plastic at twice the rate they did 25 years ago, according to a new study.

The finding is based on data collected across the globe since the late 1980s and analysed by researchers at the University of Queensland.

Study leader and PhD candidate Qamar Schuyler says green and leatherback turtles are eating more plastic than ever before and more than any other form of debris.

The ages of turtles and their habitats are also factors.

“Our research revealed that young ocean-going turtles were more likely to eat plastic than their older, coastal-dwelling relatives,” Ms Schuyler said on Friday.

Amazingly, stranded turtles found adjacent to heavily populated New York City showed little or no evidence of debris ingestion.

But all stranded turtles found near an undeveloped area of southern Brazil had eaten debris, Ms Schuyler said.

Read the full story at news.com.au

University Students say No to plastic bottles

9 August, 2013

UWA University News

Students have saved up to 15,833 plastic water bottles from going to landfill this semester.

But they haven’t been going thirsty.

In February the Sustainable Development Office installed a filtered water refill station in the Guild courtyard. The refill station is the first of several that Recycling and Waste Management Coordinator, Alain Twynham, aims to have installed across campus to help decrease the number of plastic bottles that make their way into landfill.

Alain said 9,500 litres of water had been used from the refill station. “That’s equivalent to 15,833 600ml bottles,” he said.

The free refill station promotes a healthier lifestyle for students and staff. It is connected to the mains water supply, and filters out chlorine and other chemicals.

There has been immense support and positive feedback, especially from students.

“The water station is very popular and will hopefully permanently reduce the number of plastic bottles from UWA that end up in landfill,” said Trish Howard from Sustainability Projects.

The Student Guild was supportive of the refill station’s installation in the village and its associated environmental and health benefits.

Say NO to plastic bottles!

Read the full story at UWA University News

Photo courtesy of UWA

aquafil™ Water Refill Stations and Drinking Fountains

Water is essential for healthy living and is crucial for sporting, mental and academic performances. Tap water represents value for money as it’s cheaper for the community than buying bottled water or other soft drinks.

The aquafil range of Water Bottle Refill Stations and Drinking Fountains serve as a dynamic educational tool in the fight to reduce plastic waste and conserve precious resources. Full colour graphics are available on most of the aquafil range and are a valuable educational tool in helping promote a sustainable way of living and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

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