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Eliminating bottled water

To fulfill its objective to eliminate the sale of disposable water bottles, Space for Life provides its visitors with drinking fountains.
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Michel Tremblay)
Drinking fountain in the Perennial Garden.

At the Space for Life, we are concerned about the environmental impact of manufacturing, shipping and discarding disposable water bottles.

  • it takes about three times as much water as a bottle contains to manufacture it
  • manufacturing the container, bottling the water and shipping the container all produce greenhouse gases
  • fewer than 60% of such bottles are recycled

As part of our waste management program at the Space for Life, we set the objective of completely eliminating the sale of disposable water bottles on our sites by 2012.

The campaign started in 2009 with priority given to improving access to local drinking water. Montréal's water is known for its high quality. It is subject to regular quality tests and must meet strict standards. In addition, it costs only a small fraction of what consumers pay for bottled water.

A study showed that we needed to modify, replace or adapt existing facilities in order to upgrade them and better meet visitors’ and employees’ needs.

With the help of a grant from the Fonds Écomunicipalité IGA in 2010, we:

  • replaced 7 drinking fountains at the Jardin botanique
  • installed 2 new fountains at the Jardin botanique
  • installed nozzles for filling reusable bottles on 10 existing fountains (Jardin botanique, Insectarium and Planetarium)

Work is continuing in 2011, including the installation of two new fountains at the Biodôme.

This campaign will make it possible to eliminate about 25,000 disposable bottles in 2011, and means that 50,000 fewer bottles will be headed for the recycling bin or the garbage every year by 2012.

Remember to bring your reusable bottle with you next time you come to the Space for Life!

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