Environment

We Need To Talk About Sustainable Drinking Water

Water is essential for survival and, in today’s convenience era, bottled water has become a way of life. Although it takes an average of 450 years for a disposable plastic bottle to biodegrade, often we don’t think twice about the possibility of reusing, refilling and recycling, in favour of buying, consuming and disposing. This is a nonsensical approach, given the devastating effect plastic waste is having on our planet, and also the money we could save in the long run by opting for tap water over bottled water or unhealthy sugary beverages.

It’s Time to Change our Habits

Fortunately, communities, towns and cities are beginning to wise up to sustainability issues and assume some responsibility for their environmental footprint. The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative is just one example of some of the many projects recently initiated to encourage community members to improve the management of energy, waste, water, landscapes and materials.

Local communities and businesses can make a huge difference by discouraging purchased bottled water and instead offering the option to refill reusable bottles via office water coolers, dispensers and drinking fountains. These units not only help to conserve precious natural resources, they also reduce fossil fuel consumed in transporting bottles to landfill sites, as well as cutting down on harmful polluting waste in waterways, oceans and landfills.

The Eco-Friendly Choice

At aquafil, we feel strongly about the detrimental impact bottled water has on our environment and are committed to leading the movement for sustainable change. By promoting and dispensing safe, fresh drinking water in our communities, our drinking fountains and other products provide a substantial saving to the community, help reduce plastic bottled beverages and in turn help to achieve a healthier environment and a more sustainable future.

Our wide range of drinking fountains, refill stations and water coolers offer cost-effective solutions for all budgets and are ideal for a range of purposes, including offices, factories, public areas and schools. Every step of the manufacturing process is designed to be as clean, efficient and sustainable as possible, with a focus on reducing energy, water consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, thereby keeping environmental impact to a minimum. Full colour graphics are available on most of our products and are a valuable educational aid in helping promote a healthy lifestyle and sustainable living.

Help Combat Extravagant Disposable Plastic Waste

aquafil supplies affordable units to suit any application. To play your part in helping to create a greener future, and for more information or to obtain a quote, call us or fill out our contact form.

4 Reasons to Invest in Drinking Fountains with Water Bottle Refill Stations

As an office or school facilities manager, it is possible for you to provide fresh, filtered water to be utilised and appreciated which also encourages healthy habits and waste reduction. Great-tasting drinking fountains and water bottle refill stations have countless benefits, such as:

1. Fresh, Filtered Water without Plastic Waste

The producing, transporting, cooling, and disposing of water bottles consumes energy, wastes natural resources, and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Drinking fountains with water bottle refill stations make it possible to reuse water bottles rather than buying new plastic disposable ones. Having these units around can help encourage the community to reuse bottles and drastically reduce the number of disposable plastic bottles being dumped in to the environment, contributing to a better future.

2. Convenient Alternative to Sugary Drinks

The awareness of the danger and detrimental health effects of excess sugar consumption especially the hidden amounts in fizzy drinks is increasing. If you, an employee, or a student has the option to purchase a sugary beverage or to refill a bottle with fresh, cool water for free, the second option will become increasingly hard to ignore. Having filtered water available helps encourage good habits and avoid the temptation of consuming a bottled sugary beverage. Reaching for a refill means avoiding excess sugars, calories, and waste.

3. Trusted Equipment and Brand

Even if you are new to the aquafil brand, the chances are that you have used one of our drinking fountains or water bottle refill stations. Our equipment is used across the country, as we offer a range of units suitable for schools, offices, parks and community centres. Each high-quality unit delivers fresh water and is built to last.

4. Greener Manufacturing Processes

For aquafil, the fight against disposable bottles and plastic waste starts with us, not the consumer. We use environmentally friendly manufacturing processes to keep our production waste and environmental impact to a minimum. For more information about our unit types, contact aquafil today by calling 1300 400 006 or filling out our online form for a prompt reply.

Why Drinking Fountains Are Good For the Environment

You might not have heard about it but the news from a small Australian town called Bundanoon should have made society sit up. In 2009, the town banned bottled water and instead set up public drinking fountains.

Over the last three decades bottled water has become a way of life and even most governments have started using its price to measure inflation. It is understandable that when you feel thirsty after a run, you will jump into the nearest store and get yourself that ice cold bottle of water. This seems alright because after all it is the most logical thing to do.

Damaging Effects to the Environment

A Roy Morgan Research published in 2015 shows that 4.9 million Australians drink bottled water in a week. These numbers might not mean much until you consider where all these bottles end up. The effect that these bottles have on the environment is tragic and it is no wonder big cities are now seriously considering banning this product.

You might think you are the epitome of contemporary fashion when you step out your house carrying bottled water but you don’t realize the harm you are doing the environment.  If you are an office owner, it is time to leverage a drinking water fountain because this will not only help reduce rubbish in your office but you will also be making a firm statement against further environmental degradation.

An indoor fountain helps curtail the staggering effects that plastics have on the environment in various ways:

  1. Reducing waste in landfills: Millions of water bottles are dumped in landfills across major cities and they are not only an eyesore but also pollute the environment.
  2. Reduce fossil fuel consumption in transporting water bottles to the landfills. Thousands of dumper trucks run on the Australian roads daily and part of the waste they carry is drinking water bottles. A drinking fountain bubbler will help reduce fossil fuel extraction to feed these thirsty trucks thus contributing to environmental conservation in the long run.

Timely Drinking Fountain Innovations

Outdoor drinking fountains have existed for decades but today, manufacturers are leveraging technology to bring you innovative products that can even be used in the office. Portable water fountains are just one of the cutting-edge innovations that modern manufacturers offer. As part of modern day green living, water bubblers should be a part of every property being built today to benefit the environment.

What other solutions are available? Water coolers companies in Sydney have exquisite products including water cooler filters and water cooler dispensers among other products that will discourage office users from grabbing a water bottle from the shop. The range of drinking water fountains for sale are available in multiple styles and designs to suit any type of office or outdoor recreational facility.

Water ‘Kiosks’ – a big part of the solution

Philadelphia Water ‘Kiosks’ – promoting reusable water bottles

Linda Mathieson

November 13, 2015

There is a growing trend taking place around the world as people, communities, towns and cities are realising the devastating affect plastic bottles are having on the environment. With the push to reduce the amount of sugary drinks people consume another problem has arisen, the number of single use plastic water bottles purchased has grown significantly.  Most of these plastic bottles end up in waterways and landfill.

According to the Philadelphia water department, plastic bottles make up more than half the litter removed from the Schuylkill River each time it is skimmed.  Water Commissioner Howard Neukrug recently announced the installation of a network of water ‘kiosks’ that the rowing community and city officials hope will be a significant part of the solution. The ‘kiosks’ will consist of  water drinking fountains and bottle refilling stations in an effort to promote  reusable water bottles.

12000 reusable water bottles were given away at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, which attracts a large audience and where a number of portable water refilling stations were set up for athletes and spectators in an effort to send a message.

Philadelphia’s goal is to build a citywide partnership to eliminate litter from the river, city and watershed.

To find out more about Philadelphia’s water advocacy campaigns you can follow the story on social media using #DrinkTapPHL or read the full story here.

Water Bottle Refill Stations Promoting Sustainability

Local governments providing the public with an alternative water source to disposable plastic bottles

Linda Mathieson

April 1, 2015

The ACT Government has recently undertaken to install 30 aquafil water refill stations across Canberra in an effort to encourage the local community to carry reusable bottles and refill rather than purchase sugary drinks and plastic disposable bottles of water. This is a progressive initiative that will help encourage and build a healthy lifestyle for Canberrans whilst reducing the amount of plastic waste going to landfill. This will also have a positive impact on the cost of recycling waste from public areas around the city.

The water refill stations are due to be installed by July 2015 and provide a refreshing alternative to the old style outdoor water taps and bubblers. The aquafil water stations are bright, modern, and sleek and easily stand out in public areas attracting passers-by with an enticing clean, fresh water refill. The units are manufactured in Australia and are robust and able to endure harsh weather conditions.

The water refill stations will be rolled out in 2 stages with the first 10 fountains to be installed at sportsgrounds around Canberra. The second stage will see 20 fountains installed in popular public areas that were chosen as a result of a vote by over 600 people during a community consultation in 2014. Some of these sites include, Mount Ainslie lookout, Wooden Tower Square, Weston Park and Bunda Street in the city.

Water is an important aspect when it comes to good health. Drinking an adequate supply of water daily is crucial to helping your body function properly but clean drinking water is not always available. This is a problem in both developed and developing countries with people buying individual plastic bottles or jugs of potable water to ensure their drinking water is safe and readily available.

In developed countries the purchasing of plastic bottled water is on the rise and this is taking its toll on the environment with vast amounts of plastic waste ending up in landfill, waterways and oceans. This is an environmental hazard with plastic bottles taking hundreds of years to biodegrade and it is time for local communities to come together and say ‘NO’ to the disposable plastic bottle.

There is no doubt that local communities can help promote sustainability by encouraging the public to refill reusable bottles as an alternative to purchasing bottled water.

View LG Focus article

Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative (AuSSI)

Encouraging and promoting sustainable schools

March 3, 2015

The Australian Sustainable Schools Initiative has a  holistic approach to support schools and communities to live and work more sustainably.

AuSSI encourages staff, students and community members to improve the  the management of energy, waste, water, landscapes, products and materials whilst integrating these activities into the curriculum to teach the key elements of sustainability.

By taking part in activities designed to teach, students achieve a better understanding of the environment in which they live. They are better equipped with the knowledge and skills to help build a more sustainable  future and have the motivation to do so.

Read more about AuSSI

 

Cheltenham Girls High School Fighting Plastic Waste

Creating Green Initiatives and New Long Term Traditions

Case Study

February 13, 2015

Challenge: to reduce the amount of disposable plastic water bottles being purchased and disposed of at the school that end up in landfill and to educate students on the negative environmental impact of plastic waste.

Solution: the installation of an aquafil™ Fresh Water Refill Station and Drinking Fountain that has a green ticker to measure the number of plastic bottles saved from landfill.

Result: an increase in the number of students carrying reusable water bottles to refill at the Water Station and a decrease in the amount of plastic waste produced by the school.

Cheltenham Girls’ High School is a comprehensive High School for girls situated in the leafy suburb of Cheltenham in Sydney’s North West. It was established in 1958 on the former residential estate of the Vicars family who are linked to the early history of Parramatta.

Miss Bessie Mitchell, the founding principal was awarded an MBE for her services to education and following her death in September 1998 she is still remembered as an inspirational figure and vital part of the school’s history.

The school values the strong partnership between staff, students and parents which emphasises the importance of open and regular communication and current students continue to strengthen the schools culture whilst creating new traditions and initiatives as well.

In 2014, the Student Green Team Leadership Group saw a need to reduce the amount of plastic disposable water bottles being purchased and thrown away. The environmental impact of this plastic waste is vast. Not only does the plastic end up in landfill, but also in the oceans and waterways where it is killing the bird and marine life because they mistake it for food.

It takes an average of 450 years for a disposable plastic bottle to breakdown so every plastic bottle saved from landfill helps the environment. In Australia over the period of one year, the manufacturing of plastic bottled water generates more greenhouse gas emissions than 13,000 cars do in the same time. This is as a result of electricity and fuels being used for water extraction, transportation, refrigeration, recycling, disposal and manufacturing. It is also expensive with Australians spending over $500,000,000 a  year on bottled water when the quality of tap water is excellent. One bottle of purchased water can cost $2.50 for 500ml compared to a few cents per litre of tap water.

Working towards the goal of providing students with free good quality chilled drinking water, the Green Team looked for a sustainable solution that was best suited to the school’s needs.

The aquafil™  range of Water Refill Stations and Drinking Fountains offers a wide range of units 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 and display panels that can be used for artwork, advertising or displaying notices and messages.

The wheelchair accessible wall mounted aquafil Fresh unit best suited the schools requirements offering chilled water, hands free automatic bottle refilling with a 20 second shut off timer, soft mouthguard drinking fountain, anti-bacterial protection and a green ticker that records how many bottles have been saved from landfill.

The installation of the aquafil Fresh unit has helped encourage both staff and students to refill their own drink bottles instead of purchasing bottled water whilst also increasing awareness of the negative impact plastic waste has on the environment. It also helps encourage students to drink more water by giving them easy access to an unlimited supply of fresh chilled drinking water which has a positive and healthy impact.

This has been a great result for the Cheltenham Green Team Leadership Group who have reduced the amount of plastic waste produced by the school whilst providing free chilled drinking water creating a WIN WIN situation for the environment and the school community.

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Refill Revolution

Encouraging the water refill

Linda Mathieson

February 5, 2015

We live in a disposable world due to convenience. It is easier to buy, consume and dispose of rather than reuse, refill and recycle even though the later can save us money in the long run and importantly help save our planet which is slowly drowning in plastic waste.

The common thought process seems to be, “What difference can I make, so why bother.”  Well, what a load of rubbish, literally!

If everyone bought one plastic bottle of water daily for a year, that would equate to 365 plastic bottles used and around $730* spent per person annually. Imagine the cost saving and plastic waste reduction if only 100 people changed their habits and chose to reuse, refill and recycle. The result would be $73,000 saved and 36,500 bottles saved from landfill, oceans and waterways.

So the message is simple, everyone can make a difference, you just have to make the right choice and change the plastic convenience mindset.

In America the Refill Revolution has a mission to encourage individuals, civic leaders, event organisers, industry and corporate to Rethink and Reject the disposable mindset by encouraging the use of reusable bags, bottles, cups and food containers at all times.

Their message is simply “Your simple actions will inspire others and help spread this positive movement at work, school, play, and gatherings large and small.”

I think it is time we all made an effort to change bad habits and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Refresh!

Find out more about America’s Refill Revolution

* Based on a 375ml bottle costing $2

Dehydration may lead to poor productivity

Linda Mathieson

December 16, 2014

Do your employees have easy access to fresh, clean, chilled drinking water?

Dehydration is a common problem and by the time a person feels thirsty the chances are they are already mildly dehydrated. Our bodies are made up of 65% water and a loss of 1.5% of water is enough to become dehydrated.

It is an issue that bosses and HR managers should consider as employee dehydration may affect your business. The effects of this can include changes to mood and energy levels, dizziness, headaches, thirst and fatigue and this may lead to poor productivity. Severe dehydration can lead to blood clots and seizures which may have potentially fatal complications.

Symptoms that indicate dehydration include:

  • Bad bread due to a lack of saliva
  • Muscle cramps as a result of overheating
  • Dry skin as there is not enough water in the blood
  • Sweet food cravings due to a lack of water needed to release some glycogens from your energy banks
  • Headaches due to the fluid sack in your skull not having sufficient water and this may cause the brain to push up against the skull causing headaches

You are probably thinking that it is up to the employee to ensure they remain adequately hydrated,  and it is if drinking water is readily available, but by the time thirst hits, it is too late and could result in a negative impact on your business. We have all suffered from dehydration at some point without even realising it especially when we are very busy so it is important to address the issue of dehydration in the work place.

Employees working in factories, workshops and large facilities where the work can be hot and strenuous are more likely to become dehydrated. Raise the problem of dehydration with you staff and educate them on the benefits of drinking water and eating well.

Tips to help keep your employees hydrated

  • Give them easy access to drinking water throughout the day
  • Supply reusable water bottles
  • Install a water cooler or refill station that is within easy reach
  • Supply fruit as it is healthy and also contains water that can help in keeping dehydration under control

Local Communities Embracing Arts and Culture

Linda Mathieson

August 27, 2014

Local communities are rich in history, culture and arts and local councils are actively involved in supporting cultural and artistic growth within local communities in an effort to improve social cohesion.

Arts and culture can be promoted within communities through cultural activities and events, library and gallery exhibitions and public art displayed in local parks and gardens. This leads to a growing sense of community and pride within local areas.

In 2004 The Australian Expert Group in Industry Studies (AEGIS) carried out a study on ‘Social Impacts of Participation in the Arts and Cultural Activities. This came about due to increasing focus on how community participation in arts and cultural activities intersect with areas of public concern such as education, crime prevention, community identity and development.

The study claims that some of the community benefits of locals participating in arts and cultural programs include:

  • Increased employment rates
  • Reduced levels of crime
  • Public art with a sense of public ownership
  • Improved social cohesion and community
    empowerment
  • Development of a community identity
  • Improved understanding of different cultures

Encouraging the local community to participate and identify with local culture and arts is an ongoing task. Creating visibility and accessibility is key to educating and encouraging people to embrace, experience and identify with the local culture. The end result is a growing sense of community pride and belonging.

Local councils are looking for new, versatile and innovative ways to relay the area’s history and display local and cultural artworks.

The City of Canada Bay has developed a place based approach to Public Arts and Cultural Development by creating meaningful installations and activities in a range of localities such as:

  • Liwi’s Place Mural at Timbrel Park, Five Dock
  • Public art work at Fred Kelly Place, Five dock to celebrate Aeolian Migration
  • Development of the Rainbow Serpent, a sculptural piece on the Bay Run
  • An artistic visual rundown of the area’s history on the panels of a Public aquafil™ Water Refill Station and Drinking Fountain

Arrow Alpha’s aquafil Water Refill Stations and Drinking Fountains are a great tool in promoting Arts and Cultural awareness within local communities.  They have highly visible modular panels that are versatile and have ample space for art work, storytelling, branding and promotional messaging. The aquafil units enable local art, history and culture to be taken outside and put on display for locals who would never normally visit the local library or art
gallery whilst offering them fresh drinking water at the same time.

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