UNSW’s Commitment to Sustainability

The University of New South Wales prides itself on its dedication to sustainability. With it’s state-of-the-art facilities, campus-wide projects, and year-round research, UNSW is one of the most environmentally conscious universities on a global scale.

However, UNSW has yet to tackle the issue of bottled water on campus. The university has installed a few refill stations across campus, but not enough to quench the thirst of 50,000 students.

When UNSW bans bottled water on campus, we are going to need to make it easy for students to stay hydrated. And convenience is key – it’s the reason people are willing to pay for bottled water. If UNSW can make using a reusable bottle easier than purchasing a single use water bottle, beating the bottle will be easy.

So how do we make it convenient? There are plenty of ways to make reusable bottles mainstream.

  1. Provide students with a free durable reusable water bottle – Nalgene, Camelbak, Vapur, anything. It doesn’t matter, so long as it invalidates the excuse that students don’t have or can’t afford reusable bottles.
  2. Flood the campus with new water refill stations. If students are never more than 50 meters from a refill station, buying bottled water becomes the hassle.
  3. Explain the switch from bottled to tap. With official signage and messaging that lets students know why they can no longer buy bottled water and how UNSW is making the switch to tap water simple, the transition will be much smoother.


2 responses to “UNSW’s Commitment to Sustainability

  1. Have written on your Facebook page but wanted to engage with your blog. Refund for Recycling strongly supports your campaign to stop the selling of bottled water on campus at UNSW. Reusing a bottle to drink water is so simple yet people often just forget to bring a bottle to uni or can’t be bothered. I can’t stand seeing empty water bottles lying about when they could be recycled either in a recycling bin or Envirobank machine. Although a complete ban is ideal, until then recycling remains the most sustainable form of dealing with empty water bottles.

    • Recycling is a big part of the problem, but the issue with bottled water extends far beyond plastic waste. For me, recycling is just something I’ve always done, but I realize that’s not the case for everyone. It’s hard to change the behavior of an entire population, that’s why TapThat has such a specific goal. If we can show the UNSW population why bottled water is bad or why recycling is good, then we might be able to change the behavior of a few. However, if we enact a change at the university level, people will be forced to recognize that their decisions impact the environment. I support recycling 110%, but it’s hard to convince others to do the same. Best of luck with your campaign! – NC

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