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UPDATE: Blue Skies water workshop

Water was a subject of discussion and action at this weekend’s Blue Skies music festival in Clarendon, Ontario.

This annual gathering – like the Mariposa, Ottawa and other folk festivals – has opted to go bottled water free and express in different ways a new awareness about the importance of our relationship with water.

Messages came from the festival’s emcee Magoo on Friday night, in the song ‘Think about what you drink’ by evalyn parry on Saturday night, and in the ‘Unbottle It’ workshop on Sunday morning.

The workshop by Mario Vella of Toronto (right), me (centre), and ably assisted by Julian Taylor-Patterson (left) attracted a small but dedicated band of festival goers, including Pat Taylor, Kim MacIntyre and Sebastian Vella.

The dozen or so workshop participants learned about the oil and water used to manufacture and transport bottled water, the high percentage of water bottles that end up in landfills, the infrequent testing of bottled water for contaminants, and other issues of concern.

Beyond the workshop, fact sheets on bottled water were posted in the various outhouses, the recycling barrel, and the performers eating area. The ‘I drink tap water’ buttons were also handed out, as were the ‘water is a human right’ and ‘keep water public’ buttons.

At the festival itself, no bottled water is sold, the program booklet encourages people to “bring water from home in large containers and avoid plastic bottles by using your own reusable vessels,” and clean drinking water from a nearby well is provided at various “community water distribution areas.”

An increasing number of municipalities, schools and events are going bottled water free and promoting awareness about water. Be sure to spread the word yourself at your local events and gatherings.