By Andy Ivens, The Province March 22, 2012
Staff and students of Vancouver Community College came together on World Water Day on Thursday to pledge to eliminate the sale of bottled water on campus by the spring of 2013.
VCC said it is expanding the number of water fountains and retro-fitting its existing fountains to make it easier to refill bottles.
“We’re extremely excited,” Tiffany Kalanj, executive director of the VCC student union, told The Province.
“It’s really a common-sense solution to sustainability on campus.”
Kalanj said the initiative will reduce waste and ultimately save students money.
“It’s so much cheaper to have tap water, and Metro Vancouver . . . has the best water in the world,” said Kalanj.
Hundreds of students who attended the campaign launch took advantage of a bottle giveaway.
“They are reusable, plastic bottles. They are ethically made out of recycled plastic,” said Kalanj.
She noted VCC is the second post-secondary institution in B.C. to take the pledge. Vancouver Island University made a promise in September to go bottled water-free by June of this year.
Helen Carkner, spokesperson for VCC, said more than 9,000 bottles of water were sold last year at the college’s downtown campus.
“The number at the Broadway campus would be somewhat more,” she said. “So, it is a cost to the college, but we think it’s worth it.”
VCC president Kathy Kinloch said in a press release, “As a college, we are striving to reduce our environmental impact, and today’s announcement is an important step in the right direction.”
The program does not forbid students from bringing their own bottled water on campus, said Carkner.