Brita Canada has partnered with Asher Jay, world-renowned creative conservationist and National Geographic Explorer, to unveil the ‘Niagara Now’ installation in Toronto’s Union Station. The installation, which aims at shedding light on the issues surrounding single use plastic water bottles, will kick-off Earth Month this April. The one-of-a-kind exhibit, an interactive Niagara Falls recreated from 900 water bottles, visualizes the staggering amount of plastic bottles destined for landfills, oceans, rivers and waterways, that can be averted with one Brita LonglastTM filter.
What is the Niagara Now Exhibition?
Matt Kohler, Vice President Marketing, Brita Canada: To raise awareness of single-use plastic issues, Brita Canada partnered with world-renowned creative conservationist and artist Asher Jay to create a one-of-a-kind exhibit. Titled Niagara Now, the exhibition is a 12-foot tall installation that uses 900 salvaged plastic single-use water bottles to recreate the iconic Canadian Waterfall. Contrasted next to the sprawling horseshoe is a solitary Brita Longlast™ filter, capable of replacing up to 900 single use plastic water bottles.
It will be on display at Union Station from April 1st-April 6th for visitors to experience.
Asher Jay, Artist: I found it significant to collaborate with Brita on this installation that will give viewers an opportunity to stand in their own consumer footprint cascade, to examine the intersection between anthropogenic waste and it’s impact on the very natural resources we harness and rely on. I chose the Niagara because it’s shape is a globally recognized motif, and it shows us how humanity can curate but never contain nature. We curate nature both positively as seen with the actual Niagara, and negatively as seen with our disposable consumer lifestyles, particularly as it pertains to plastics. I believe with awareness comes the ability the discern action, we can elect to be a part of the solution instead of the problem. We can elect to use a long last filter over choosing a single-use plastic water bottle. We can choose to save instead of waste energy, water, materials. I wanted to use this exhibit as a locus for catalyzing such self actualized action, because while individually we can make a difference, collectively we can change the narrative.
Why was it so important to reduce single-use plastics?
Asher Jay, Artist: I have long worked on the plastics concern for as long as I can remember. I have been part of beach clean ups since I was seven, and I did my senior thesis at high school on Recycling plants, so you can say I learned early on that source reduction is the only answer. Every other recourse to address the plastic pollution problem does not result in actual change. If we attempt to do business as usual without addressing the fact that we are pumping more waste into our living world- waste that outlives us by several centuries – we will soon have more plastic than fish in our world’s oceans. Scientists project for that dystopian reality by 2050, so it’s not as far removed from our existence. WE can come together, and we can do better.
Matt Kohler, Vice President Marketing, Brita Canada: Plastic pollution is a huge environmental issue right now, and our hope is that this exhibition will help Canadians understand the impact of their purchases on a larger scale. The tiniest, everyday choices we make can have a significant impact on the environment. Brita can be part of that solution—all of these bottles could have been replaced with just one filter.
What can we do to lower our plastic consumption?
Matt Kohler, Vice President Marketing, Brita Canada: Small choices make a big difference. When you buy something, you’re voting with your dollars, and making a statement about the world you want to live in. If you want to lower your plastic consumption, choose reusable items, like a Brita Filtering Pitcher or Water Bottle. It can replace up to 1,800 single use plastic water bottles per year (and your water will taste great, too)!
Asher Jay, Artist: Plastic is the most ubiquitous issue of our times. You can look before you buy, and opt only for items with less packaging, or none at all. Go to the farmers markets, and bring your own bags. Think twice before you take a plastic bag, think three times before you buy a PET bottled beverage, and buy a Brita Longlast filter or a Brita to-go water bottle instead! I use one at home, and I have never understood people who buy cases of water for household consumption! Why? Making the right choices to negate that unfortunate consumer footprint. Do better. Start now.