Huron Announces Commitment to Becoming a Blue Community
In honour of today being World Water Day, Huron is proud to announce its commitment to becoming a Blue Community.
“Huron champions leaders with heart, and in becoming a Blue Community, we’re ensuring students, staff and faculty have access to drinking water while minimizing the environmental impact. This demonstrates that our whole community will be taking a leadership role with respect to sustainability, and I’m proud to be a part of that” said Cogie Cogan, Huron University College Students’ Council (HUCSC) Sustainability Commissioner.
Being designated a Blue Community means that Huron has pledged to recognize water and sanitation as a human right; will end the sale of bottled water products; and, will only use publicly-financed water and wastewater services.
Cogan said they initially brought the idea to Dr. Barry Craig, Huron’s President, in January and that almost immediately, changes were implemented. “It was amazing. Huron was agreeing to phase out single-use plastic water bottles three weeks later,” they said.
All water bottles have been removed from vending machines on campus and, once inventory is depleted at the Dining Hall, will no longer be available for purchase there, either. All staff and student meetings will have pitchers of water available along with cups as will all outside events.
Huron has always used publicly-financed water and wastewater services.
The HUCSC ratified the pledge to the Blue Water Project earlier this month. Effective immediately, bottled water is no longer for sale at the Beaver Dam or available at any HUCSC-sanctioned club gatherings.
Sustainability and ensuring the commodification of water doesn’t continue to happen is uppermost in Cogan’s mind as they just returned from Kenya where they attended the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 5.2). Being selected as one of only six Canadian youth to attend the assembly in Nairobi and being part of the resolution to rid the world of plastic pollution, was awe inspiring for Cogan.
“Taking plastic water bottles out of the environment by ending the sale of water on campus will be a game changer,” Cogan said. “Everyone deserves the right to drinking water. Huron supporting this initiative show’s the university’s leadership is looking towards the future to try to help people and the planet.”