#IChooseTapWater – A Healthy Kids Community Challenge
For immediate release
St. Thomas – Elgin St. Thomas Public Health (ESTPH) and the Kettle Creek Conservation Authority (KCCA) want thirsty kids to reach for tap water rather than sugary drinks.
“The initiative’s hashtag, #IChooseTapWater, sums up our objective,” says Erica Arnett, strategic initiatives manager. “We want kids to be proud to choose tap water in an environmentally friendly, reusable bottle.”
To help make tap water more attractive and to reduce the environmental impact of packaged, one-use sugar sweetened beverage bottles, KCCA and ESTPH are distributing free reusable water bottles throughout the community. People are encouraged to snap a selfie showing themselves drinking tap water and then posting it to social media with the hashtag #IChooseTapWater.
“If you use the hashtag you will be entered into monthly draws for prizes,” says Luiza Moczarski, KCCA’s public relations supervisor. “This social media campaign will help to promote tap water as a healthy, low-cost and socially preferred drink. We’re looking for kids to make water their go-to drink.”
The collaborative is also launching a video-making contest. Grades 3 – 7 classes from across Elgin County and St. Thomas are being encouraged to submit a video on the importance of choosing tap water over bottled water and/or a sugary drink. A first prize ($1,000), second prize ($500) and third prize ($250) will be awarded to the winning classes. The deadline for submissions is November 25. Contest details and entry forms are available at www.kettlecreekconservation.on.ca
The #IChooseTapWater campaign will also be showcased next spring at the Elgin-St. Thomas Children’s Water Festival (May 2017). The festival features hands-on-activities to teach children about water conservation, protection, technology, science and attitude.
The #IChooseTapWater campaign is part of the Healthy Kids Community Challenge’s second theme, Water Does Wonders. Elgin-St. Thomas is one of 45 communities across Ontario taking part in the Healthy Kids Community Challenge that unites communities with a common goal: promoting children’s health through physical activity and healthy eating.
The weekly cost of groceries in Elgin County for a family of four has risen nine per cent over the last three years to $193.61 a week. Living healthy on a budget can be difficult, and there is pressure among children to fit in by consuming the latest in fad drinks, such as sport and energy drinks. #IChooseTapWater illustrates there is a healthy choice available right from the tap for a fraction of the cost.
For more information:
Public Relations Supervisor
Kettle Creek Conservation Authority
519-631-1270 ext. 224
Manager, Strategic Initiatives
Elgin St Thomas Public Health
519-631-9900 ext. 1247