As a part of the opening ceremonies of orientation on Sept. 7, thousands of students watched as MUN’s president pro tempore Chris Loomis sign a ban on bottled water for the entire campus.

“Memorial is the second of all Canadian universities to make this kind of commitment,” announced Becky Winsor, executive director of campaigns for the MUN Students’ Union.

Prior to the signing of the ban, a short presentation was given on the measures Memorial will take to gradually become a bottled water free campus. For instance, well maintained water fountains and refilling stations are to be installed all over campus, joining the 13 new stations already in place.

Every first-year student has been given a complementary reusable water bottle. These bottles are meant to replace the thousands of disposable bottles that go in the garbage or recycling every year.

As the presentation concluded, the 2,000 students present applauded this huge step in “making the world greener.”

The bottled water ban started as an initiative of MUN’s Students for Sustainability Coalition. It was the conclusion of the Coalition that in order to maintain a greener, more ecologically aware campus, it was necessary to utilize water resources more responsibly.

Drinking tap water costs a fraction of the cost of bottled water. According to United Nations estimates, the cost of providing clean drinking water for all would be $30-billion. Every year, an average of $100-billion is spent on bottled water alone.