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Quit the obsession with bottled water

Greater Shepparton residents are being urged to stop buying bottled water and kick start a new healthy habit of drinking tap water.Environmental group Keep Australia Beautiful are calling on Australians to make a conscious effort to refill a drink bottle with water before leaving the house, in a bid to reduce the number of plastic bottles that end up in landfill. The simple task is one of the many environmental strategies people can adopt during Keep Australia Beautiful week which runs from the August 19 to August 25. Goulburn Valley Environment Group president John Pettigrew said plastic is a big problem in the area and reducing the number of outlets that sell plastic bottles would help reduce the problem. “There is certainly nothing wrong with Goulburn Valley water,” Mr Pettigrew said. “I think given more top up points combined with publicity and an education process, we could reduce our plastic consumption. “We could do much better.“In a recent survey conducted by the Choose Tap Coalition, half of respondents said that their single use plastic bottled water purchase was motivated by the desire for convenience.Every year Australians spend more than $736 million on bottled water and almost 375 million plastic bottles impact the environment with one in two marine turtles having eaten plastic. Goulburn Valley Water have installed six hydration stations across the Greater Shepparton Region as part of their Choose Tap program. GV Water in partnership with local councils and organisations are committing to providing free water through further installation of hydration stations as part of their 2018-23 Price Plan.Goulburn Valley Water’s Hydration Station project manager Karen Ranson said there were simple things people could do to help reduce their reliance on plastic drink bottles.“Our Choose Tap program encourages everyone to refill a reusable bottle with water from the tap - we have some great-tasting tap water in the Goulburn Valley, and it’s much cheaper and better for the environment,“ Ms Ranson said. “If everyone makes a conscious decision to refill their water bottle instead of buying a single-use plastic bottle of water, it can make a difference, every bottle counts.“ GV Water said the Choose Tap education program also helps raise awareness of the importance of choosing tap water to school students across the region. Hydration Stations can be found in the following locations across the Greater Shepparton region.

Morgan Dyer




News

Lifting the standard of hospital food

New nutrition standards will be set at for the food served in all public hospitals and nursing homes across the Greater Shepparton Region in a bid to lift standards across the state. The state audit into the taste, nutritional value and diversity of meals served to patients and residents was announced by the state government last week. Goulburn Valley Health Manager of Business Services Brett Dobson said any recommendations following the audit that enhance patients experience would be welcomed by GV Health. “GV Health is proactive in providing high standard meal choices for patients,” Mr Dobson said. “Menus are reviewed quarterly and changed to reflect seasonal availability. “Results from patient surveys are taken into consideration when making these changes.“During last year’s state election, the government addressed the quality of meals being served in hospitals and placed it on their agenda to improve standards.GV Health Manager Nutrition & Dietetics Wendy Swan said menus are developed according to nutritional standards and chefs liaise closely with dietetics staff during the food selection process. “There have been several projects undertaken to audit both nutritional quality of the GV Health menu and also plate waste,” Ms Swan said. “These audits inform future planning of the foods included in the menu offered to patients.“GV Health will receive a new kitchen as part of the hospital’s redevelopment which will operate like hotel room service on a cook to order basis. Mr Dobson said the new delivery style has been proven to enhance patient satisfaction and meal choices during patients stay in hospital.

Morgan Dyer