Australia’s first vending machine to dispense reusable bottles has students at the Gold Coast campus lining up for free chilled water.

The social venture called Water on Tap is an innovative social venture introduced by the Gold Coast Student Guild who partnered with not-for-profit organization Healthy Waterways to be one of only three locations across the country to trial it.

It has been running on campus in the lead up to Griffith’s Sustainability Week (August 31 — September 4) celebrations.

Healthy Waterways and Gold Coast Student Guild celebrate the launch of Water on Tap.

Healthy Waterways and Gold Coast Student Guild celebrate the launch of Water on Tap.

Student Guild President, Cameron Harrison, said plastic bottles constitute more than 22 per cent of waterway litter.

“The machine, which provides the option to bring your own bottle or invest in an exclusively designed reusable bottle, has been actively supported by the students,” he said.

And if you haven’t cycled in a while, now is the time to get back on your bike.

Griffith is encouraging students at Nathan campus to complete a Back on your Bike course for free. The course provides a refresher of the basics such as handling, setting up your bike, safety checks, starting, stopping, braking, using gears effectively, turning and balancing.

Committing to reusing plastic bottles or cycling instead of driving is just two ways students, staff and the community at Griffith can reduce the impact on the environment.

Griffith is encouraging everyone to sign up its Sustainability Commitment and take the pledge to make small changes every day.The first 500 staff and students to sign this pledge will receive a free reusable cup and coffee.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Engagement) Professor Martin Betts said Griffith was a university of influence that is committed to a robust, equitable and environmentally sustainable society.

“The principal of sustainability has been a core commitment since its foundation over 40 years ago.

“Achieving sustainability against the prospect of long term social and economic dislocation, as the result of environmental derogation, is increasingly the focus of international efforts by governments, business, researchers and educators, community groups and individuals.”

Other recent sustainable initiatives enabled by Griffith include:

  • Community Garden — students living on the Gold Coast campus and Mt Gravatt campus grow their own fruit and vegetables
  • Participants on Griffith's BeachCare Program

    Participants on Griffith’s BeachCare Program

    BeachCare program — Community based program facilitated by the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management which plants trees, collects weeds and litter along Gold Coast beaches.

  • End of trip facilities for cyclists around Nathan campus
  • Free intercampus buses between Gold Coast, Nathan, Logan and Mt Gravatt.
  • Rare and threatened plant walk along University Drive on the Gold Coast
  • Recycle your mobile phones and batteries on all campuses
  • New car park at Gold Coast which features a highly visible wind turbine, solar panels and includes green walls and bat and bee boxes.

Special activities will be held across all campuses during Sustainability Week. See the full Sustainability Week program here.