Response to the referendum question to ban bottled water sales on campus

Thursday, March 1, 2012


I am assuming that the referendum banning bottled water on campus will pass.  It doesn’t seem right that the ‘yes’ side has a paragraph of information on the ballot while the ‘no’ side has none.  It will likely be an issue of people deciding what should be a personal choice, and then forcing their ideas on the hundreds of people who disagree.

I disagree with banning bottled water, and it is the most misguided issue that young people are into today.  Would you ban Coke, since it’s made by the same company, larger more wasteful bottles, less healthy, more expensive, and uses the same water, with added sugar, chemicals, and colour?  Banning bottled water does not “save the planet” it gives people less choice, more wasteful options, more unhealthy options, and it imposes your ideas on others.  Personally I take a canteen and use tap water, but I know many who think Guelph tap water tastes terrible, chemically over treated, and like a swimming pool full of chlorine.  So you are telling them to drink Coke, juice, or vitamin water, and taking away the healthiest, most inexpensive, and least wasteful choice.  People who come on campus for business, and meetings can’t be expected to know to carry canteens and fill them up at fountains, nor should they be forced to drink Coke. 

- Peter

The opinions posted on thecannon.ca reflect those of their author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Central Student Association and the Guelph Campus Co-op. We encourage all students to submit opinion pieces, including ones that run contrary to the opinion piece in question.

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  1. Posted by: Kira on Mar 1, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    You imply those who wish to ban bottled water should also ban Coke otherwise they are being inconsistent. This insinuation is ridiculous. (Personally I would like to see Coke banned from campus but for other reasons) The difference is Coke does not "make" water and Coke does not naturally rain from the sky, flow over/under/through land to the sea, all the while acting as the lifeblood of our planet. The difference is our taxes support public infrastructure to ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water (required for life, unlike Coke) without being gouged for the purpose of profit. Yes the ban would reduce choice but only your choice of purchasing bottled water on campus. You can buy it elsewhere and bring it here if you want. Hardly an inconvenience let alone a serious concern. No one is having their rights infringed. No one is being coerced. No one is being forced to do anything or having anyone else's views forced on them. These claims are pure rhetoric.
    Also Guelph tap water is groundwater from wells and is relatively untreated with chemicals including chlorine compared to other municipal sources.

  2. Posted by: Kira on Mar 1, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Also the fact that there is no paragraph for the "no" side may seem unfair but there was plenty of opportunity for anyone who wished to mount a no campaign and provide a paragraph to be presented on the ballot. The fact that no one did would seem to indicate no one felt strongly enough about the issue to take action...including yourself.

  3. Posted by: maynard on Mar 2, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    Peter, I am pleased that you provided the perspective of all of us who voted no on the ballot. I agree with you, it is unfair to limit the choices of students on campus, we should have the ability to buy water. In this day and age being healthy is constantly emphasizes, water is said to be one of the best options for drinking...why would we take that away so people are forced to buy sugary alternatives? I agree with all of what you said, not everyone thinks ahead or has the ability to bring their own bottle to fill everyday, people often forget their water bottles at home. If I wish to pay the price to purchase a bottled drink, why is the real difference if I buy a coke versus if I want a water. It may be pricey, but if people are willing to spend the money then the school should continue to provide it.

  4. Posted by: Kira on Mar 11, 2012 @ 3:37pm

    "...why would we take that away so people are forced to buy sugary alternatives?"
    This is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts and pure rhetoric. No one is forcing anyone to do anything. Even if you don't remember your reusable water bottle there are water fountains practically everywhere. Anywhere you can buy bottled water now you can also ask for tap water and you will get it...for free! (except vending machines) Your choice of water as a drink is not being infringed in the slightest. Your choice of having that water in a plastic bottle is - and for good reason. I am usually an advocate for choice but some choices are illegitimate or very poor and we all accept that. I doubt maynard would complain about banning smoking. And before folks get all riled up, no I am not implying that one use water bottles are as bad for your health as smoking but they do have significant negative consequences so we should avoid them. Just like we avoid cigarettes.

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