Thirsty? Learn more about your water
Project Need: Water is one of our most precious resources and it is being exploited. All around the world, water is being polluted, depleted, and privatized. One of the most disturbing and harmful ways that water is being exploited is through the bottled water industry.
Project Vision: Our project goal is to educate the Loyola University Chicago community about bottled water issues pertaining to the environmental, health, social justice, and ethical implications through a campaign of events against bottled water. We hope these events will lead to a change which will be supported by the Loyola community.
Our project can be divided into three parts: surveying the population, informing the public, and pushing for positive change in our community. We raised awareness through a film screening & discussion, water quality analyses of tap vs. bottled water, skits, water sculptures, lake plastic (an interactive display of plastic bottle consumption), and a Water Colloquium Week (April 12- 16, 2010).
- Researched water issues around the world, nationwide, and local. Define the problem and propose possible solutions. Met with our mentor, Dr. Nancy Tuchman, to quantify and qualify outcomes/solutions.
- Scheduled events like a film screening and tap water challenges with the Student Environmental Alliance throughout the spring 2010 semester.
- Asked individuals about bottled water issues to assess the opinions of the Loyola population during tap water challenges.
- Collected water bottles for the art class for the construction of sculptures.
- Worked with Dr. Chad White, Instructor of Natural Science, to perform educational skits that raised awareness about water issues.
- Build “Lake Plastic” with the help of University Facilities Staff and Dr. White’s Environmental Sustainability Class.
- Tested bottled and tap water with the Chemistry department.
- Water skits at events helped raise awareness and educated the community
- Water bottles collected from the trash helped build water sculptures
- A film screening and discussion helped the community experience the injustice caused by water bottle companies
- Tap water challenges raised awareness and provided an opportunity to educate people about these issues
- Quantifiable water quality data on Loyola’s water
- Water Colloquium Week was a great success with over 400 attendees
The best advice we can give is to never give up! Accomplishing this project individually would have been impossible, but with a group that shares a common goal- then anything is possible. There were obstacles that we encountered: amount of work, university bottled water policy, and others, but with the help of many people, we were able to work around those obstacles. Help is out there in one form or the other, all you have to do is ask for it.