Need a water bottle refill? Look for the big, blue W
If you notice a large, blue ‘W’ in the window of your local grocery store or library, feel free to drop in and fill up your water bottle.
The sign means that businesses and organizations in the community are participating in a national tap refilling initiative called blueW. Anyone can fill up their refillable water bottles with municipal tap water at these premises free. The goals of the program are to help people make healthy choices for hydration, avoid single-use plastic and to appreciate the hard work of municipal water providers, says Evan Pilkington, Managing Director of blueW.
Good for your health
As part of the first formal blueW project in Manitoba, Morden is one of nine (9) municipal governments within the Southern Health-Santé Sud region partnering with Public Health-Healthy Living to bring the blueW program to the area. Morden was one of the first five to sign up with the cities of Winkler and Portage la Prairie, the Town of Niverville as well as the RM of Westlake ‒ Gladstone. “We want people to recognize what the blueW is and what it means” says Healthy Living Facilitator, Cheryl Pearson, who will be working with Stephanie Dueck City of Morden Recreation Programmer and Courtney Yeo, Summer Student, to bring the project to Morden. “We hope that it will become a habit that people take their refillable water bottles wherever they go because they see water as a healthier beverage choice. By providing more and easier access to water, the chances are they will drink more of it.”
What is blueW?
blueW is a national network of shops, restaurants and businesses willing to let visitors refill a reusable bottle with refreshing tap water, without pressure to make additional purchases. Participating locations are found by using blueW’s website, mobile website (same URL on a smart phone) or associated smartphone applications. People with limited access to technology can download and print one of our city maps or simply look for the blueW sticker on their favourite shop windows.
Community businesses are the most important part of blueW, without them this local tap water refilling network would not exist. Southern Health-Santé Sud and your municipal government are working with blueW to build this water refilling network in Morden. Southern Health-Santé Sud has covered the cost of joining the network and the rural municipality has partnered to bring the opportunity to join the network to local businesses
Why was blueW created?
Many people prefer to drink tap water, though tap water can be hard to access when away from your home or workplace. blueW was created to help people to refill a reusable bottle with healthy, great tasting tap water – anywhere. By signing up with blueW, local businesses help the City of Morden to meet its sustainability goals, raise awareness about water issues, and help the local Public Health office to ensure families in the community have simple, safe access to healthy drinking water when they are thirsty.
Besides the health benefits of drinking water, the blueW program puts participating communities and their businesses on a national map and allows them to positively promote the quality of municipal water supplies.
All of the 26,000 (and growing) blueW filling sites across Canada are shown on a map at the blueW.org website, so anyone with a phone or other mobile device can easily find them.
Good for the environment
There are also environmental benefits of decreasing the amount of plastic ending up in landfills, something that has caused one-use plastic bottles to be banned in other countries.
Communities participating in blueW are being proactive by having alternative water sources in place and ensuring that people understand they are welcome to use them.
Find a blueW water refilling site near you.
Wherever you are, go to blueW.org from you computer, phone or tablet to find one of more than 26,000 blueW tap water refilling sites close by.
For more information visit: www.bluew.org or contact:
Evan Pilkington Director blueW.org T : 226-979-0166 E : email@example.com or
Stephanie Dueck Recreation Programmer City of Morden T : 204-822-5431 firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch for Courtney Yeo (Events & Recreation Summer Student), who will be visiting businesses this summer to discuss the possibility of joining the network!