Sustainability! Complex Problems Require Multi-factorial Solutions
Human Kinetics students seek to understand human behaviour as it impacts health and sustainability. Drinking water inspired nineteen HKIN 261 students to undertake a research project as a major course assignment. A literature review highlighted the complexity of the health, environmental, economic, and social issues surrounding bottled water. A campus-wide survey and an environmental audit were completed. The project culminated in a report to the Regional Dean with three measurable goals and seven recommendations for action. The #1 recommendation was to upgrade the drinking water fountains to cold, filtered reusable bottle fill stations with a sipping option. All five drinking fountains at the Penticton Campus have since been replaced. In the last two years, 44,226 reusable bottles have been filled. Increased access to a free, healthy, sustainable water choice was key to reducing consumption of bottled water. Students learned that with administrative support, careful research and thoughtful recommendations; that one small group can make a difference.
– Submitted by Wendy Wheeler, M.Sc