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Meet the 13-Year-Old Girl Taking on Bottled Water


Green Lifestyle  (tags: environment, eco-friendly, conservation, water, healthy, health, greenliving, recycling, sustainable, Sustainabililty, Canada )

Michael
- 843 days ago - huffingtonpost.ca
In the last year, municipalities across Canada have begun taking a much-needed stand to protect local water sources. Since World Water Day in 2011, nine municipalities across Canada have become Blue Communities with many well on their way.



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Michael O. (175)
Saturday September 1, 2012, 8:27 pm
By Maude Barlow, National Chairperson, Council of Canadians

Blue Communities are municipalities that adopt a water commons framework by: banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events, recognizing water as a human right, and promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste-water services.

The success of the Blue Communities project in Ontario can be mainly attributed to Robyn Hamlyn who has met with 18 mayors and councillors. She talks about the environmental impacts of bottled water, the preposterous amount of profit bottled water companies make off communities' lakes and streams and the stricter standards with which tap water is regulated. People who hear Hamlyn speak are captivated by her charm, passion and foresight to think long term about our water sources. And the incredible part of this success story is that Hamlyn is only 13 years old.

Her success has not only caught the attention of mayors, city councillors, environmentalists and media but it has also caught the attention of industry and organizations that believe water should be sold for profit. Hamlyn's determination and effectiveness has provoked responses from Nestlé and Enviroment Probe, an organization that promotes the sale of water as a commodity.

John Challinor, Director of Corporate Affairs for Nestlé, has written letters to local newspapers saying there are other initiatives that the 13-year-old and others "can and should focus on to help preserve, protect and strengthen our water systems that are more effective than targeting bottled water." More recently, Essie Solomon, an intern for Environment Probe, wrote an article in the Financial Post, chiding municipalities for taking "their advice from a 13-year-old." It was shocking to read Environment Probe's attack on Hamlyn who has been volunteering her free time to meet with municipal councils across Ontario to talk about the impact of bottled water on current water sources, climate change and social justice.

We should be encouraging the youth in our society to do exactly what Robyn is doing -- engaging in local politics, acting to protect the environment and questioning the world around her. Solomon, whose article is condescendingly titled "Don't bottle 13-year-old's water wisdom," would do well to pay attention to Hamlyn's work rather than toe the line of an organization that promotes the sale of water for profit.

It's also insulting to mayors and councillors to imply they do not examine critically the information presented to them. Not only is Hamlyn dispelling important myths about bottled water but she is also raising important issues that Canada is facing.

We believe municipal governments and other public bodies should not spend public funds providing bottled water at meetings or events, when a cheaper and more sustainable public alternative is readily available on tap. It simply doesn't make financial or environmental sense.

Municipalities are at a crossroads and face pressing infrastructure needs in the wake of budget cuts and conditional funding from the Harper government. The Harper government is targeting water and wastewater services for privatization. PPP Canada explicitly promotes privatization of public services by only allocating the $1.2 billion under the P3 Canada Fund to municipalities that let corporations deliver water and wastewater, transportation and communications services on a for-profit basis.

The Harper government has shut down public debate on many critical water issues and amended environmental legislation that will reverberate for generations to come. So we are heartened to see municipalities take on critical water issues and provide forums for much needed debate and it is in them that we place our hope.
 

Bianca D. (86)
Saturday September 1, 2012, 10:24 pm
Yay Robyn!! Way to go!!
Great post Michael.
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (283)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 12:37 am
What a girl
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 1:10 am
"Blue Communities are municipalities that adopt a water commons framework by: banning the sale of bottled water in public facilities and at municipal events, recognizing water as a human right, and promoting publicly financed, owned and operated water and waste-water services.

The success of the Blue Communities project in Ontario can be mainly attributed to Robyn Hamlyn who has met with 18 mayors and councillors. She talks about the environmental impacts of bottled water, the preposterous amount of profit bottled water companies make off communities' lakes and streams and the stricter standards with which tap water is regulated. People who hear Hamlyn speak are captivated by her charm, passion and foresight to think long term about our water sources. And the incredible part of this success story is that Hamlyn is only 13 years old.

Her success has not only caught the attention of mayors, city councillors, environmentalists and media but it has also caught the attention of industry and organizations that believe water should be sold for profit. Hamlyn's determination and effectiveness has provoked responses from Nestlé and Enviroment Probe, an organization that promotes the sale of water as a commodity."
 

Dianne Lynn Elko-Eakin (730)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 2:42 am
ty
 

paul m. (93)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 6:16 am


noted,,,,,,
 

Harshiita Sharma (137)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 6:18 am
noted.
 

Dolly Navina L. (3)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 6:54 am
Nice!
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 6:57 am
Easiest way to take care of plastics is to recycle them instead of throwing them away just like we do with all of the other items. End of problem! Is that so hard? If you don't like plastic don't use it and it will eventually go away the same as lead bowls, cups and other items throughout history. Boycott it and it stops. As long as there is a market for it, it will continue. I recycle my plastics. Bags are used to stuff dolls and other stuffed items, bottles are made into wind chimes or terreriums (forgive spelling). Check any crafting site on the internet and there are thousands of ideas. Plastic cups, plates and bowls, etc. you can wash and reuse the next time. Stop going after the plastics companies and start teaching people to not buy them. We do that about all subjects that stop harmful things. If others are taught, they don't do it. Look at all of the things that we have changed throughout history just by teaching others. Also, end of problem. DUH!
 

Ioannes J. (1)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 7:25 am
Virginia. I agree with recycle items (Plastics, etc). Is not simple as recycle plastic?
Let me ask you a question Can you survive without water (tea, Soda, fruits, vegetable, etc). Vegetables and fruits gets from water.

I have chance to see some bottle companies back 10 years ago using wells and municipal waters across the United States, Canada, and Europe to because demand clean, and fresh/ filters water for health reason. Problem 75% water are dump back to sewage from filters (reverse Osmosis - Look it up on internet or WIKI). Only 25% are usable in plastic bottle. Is that a waste or what? Water is life for all walk of life. And Our lakes, stream, and Well are endanger.

We need to protect from companies abuse the resources for You, People around the world, Children, Future Generation.
 

Bette M. (91)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 8:05 am
Anyone who buys this bottled water
scheme is off their rocker.
I have a very large pitcher that cleans
& filters the water from the tap.
You will save yourself a lot of money by
filtring & cleaning your own water.

Wherever you go there once was a forest.
Plant & protect Danny's trees for life.
Trees are the lungs of the earth.
 

Lis T. (0)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 8:25 am
Thanks for the article...
 

Christeen Anderson (552)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 12:21 pm
Good for her however I live in an area with a horrific hurricane season so doing away with bottled water altogether is something I cannot do. Recycle your plastic bottles please.
 

Lane Yoshiyama (1)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 12:55 pm
Great post. Thanks for sharing.
 

Elizabeth M. (68)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 1:33 pm
Thanks for sharing. Kudos to Robyn. Keep up the good work.
 

janet f. (31)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 1:51 pm
If, when I was a child, you told people that they would be paying $1 or more for a bottle of water, they would have laughed at you and thought you were crazy. Well, they were right.
 

Colleen L. (2)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 6:43 pm
Good for her. Thanks Michael
 

Devon Leonard (54)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 8:20 pm
Ohhh wonderful true story !!! I would love to see this repeated in every classroom everywhere. We need to keep finding ways to inform and educate our youth so they can brainstorm creative ways to solve the problems we are facing together as a world.
Out of the mouth's of babe's............. Thanks Michael, great inspirational story !!
 

Leen Kel (45)
Sunday September 2, 2012, 11:47 pm
Great effort from such a lil girl but full of wisdom..Keep up the good work! =)
 

christina t. (22)
Monday September 3, 2012, 3:47 am
Some people suggest recycling the plastic bottles but I recently read that 93% of plastic does not get recycled. Plastic is plastic it stays here for 500 years at least. Water filter jars are made out of plastic. Problem is like everything nowadays new water filter jars come out and you cannot get the filters to use in the old jars. So, let's clean up tap water and no-one needs bottles or water filter jars. Please do not get me started on Nestlé. Nestlé and palm oil, or check out the Nestlé boycott of 1977. does anyone really listen to them?
 

christina t. (22)
Monday September 3, 2012, 3:49 am
Forgot to say Robyn Hamlyn well done. What a wonderful role model for girls these days. She might only be 13 but she is wise beyond her years. Amazing.
 

Justin M. (2)
Monday September 3, 2012, 6:18 am
Noted and I wish her well in her endeavors. We do need to do something about all the plastic we use and just throw away. Just yesterday my mother and I went to a local Dollar General. Instead of using a (or more) plastic bag, I just took one of those reusable cloth bags and had all our items put in it instead of what probably would have used up two plastic bags (and then thrown away).
 

Frans Badenhorst (560)
Monday September 3, 2012, 7:17 am
you go girl! noted, thanks for sharing this
 

Cindy Black (61)
Tuesday September 4, 2012, 7:24 pm
Of course I applaud this great girl... She's saying what I'VE been saying for years. The fact that she's only 13 DOES have a special cachet, I guess.

I simply have no idea why people buy bottled water. I have a faucet-mounted water filter that just about GUARANTEES the water will be even better than commercial bottled water. One $25.00 water filter (the 3-stage carbon microfilter, their best one) gives you at least 600 gallons of delicious water. Gotta love the price! And there are SOOO many great water bottles out there. They are safe to use and don't hurt the environment -- cause you bring them home to use again!

Ecological, cheap, fast & easy, great water... WHAT'S NOT TO LOVE!!!? Jeeeeeeeez!
 
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