Northampton poised to be 1st ‘blue’ community in country

  • Northampton city hall

Thursday, May 18, 2017

NORTHAMPTON — The city is well on its way to becoming the first “blue community” in the country. And no, that doesn’t mean residents are down in the dumps.

Blue communities are scattered across Canada, and those with the title vow to protect water as a public resource and minimize the bottled water consumed within city lines. The City Council unanimously approved a resolution on the matter on Thursday in first reading.

Proponents of the measure argued the planet is being overrun by plastic, and it doesn’t make sense to rely on bottled water in a city with such a sound public water system.

Bill Diamond, among those who proposed the measure to the council, said single-use plastic bottles have no place in a city that prides itself on being enviornmentally friendly.

“There’s an enormous amount of petroleum used in their natural life cycles,” fhe said. “Even if they’re recycled.”

Instead, proponents said the city should do as many in Canada do — make sure there are enough water fountains and water bottle-filling stations so residents can fill their own bottles during events and inside municipal buildings. The environmental club at Northampton High School has already raised over $900 to erect such a station at the school.

“Transforming Northampton into a blue community will have an impact on the future,” said NHS senior Mali Hornby-Finch, a member of the club.

Northampton has led the way on issues of the environment, Diamond argued, and so it makes sense that we continue to do so.

“Even a small, aspirational resolution will have broader consequences,” he said.

Amanda Drane can be contacted at adrane@gazettenet.com.