Avoid Single-use Plastics for Plastic Free July

Take the Challenge and Refuse Single-use Plastic for Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July is a global campaign that helps millions of people contribute towards resolving the world’s plastic pollution problem so that everyone can have cleaner streets, oceans, and communities.

To date, the movement has inspired over 120 million participants in 177 countries. By choosing to refuse single-use plastic in July millions will be able to find great alternatives to single-use plastic products, which can be taken beyond just this one month. Plastic Free July’s website offers loads of helpful tips and advice as to how you can choose to refuse single-use plastic this July and beyond.

Refuse Single-Use Plastic Bottles with a Reusable Water Bottle

With over a million single-use bottles produced every minute, one of the biggest contributing factors towards the world’s plastic pollution problem is disposable water bottles. By simply getting yourself a reusable, refillable water bottle you’ll be able to avoid buying and discarding unnecessary single-use plastic bottles.

A Water-to-Go bottle provides a reusable, refillable bottle with the added benefit of a unique 3-in-1 filter, which provides clean safe drinking water from any non-salt water source. This means you will be able to avoid single-use bottles anywhere in the world as you will have constant access to clean drinking water.

Additionally, every Water-to-Go filter lasts long enough to replace up to 400 single-use plastic water bottles. This means you’ll be able to significantly reduce your own personal plastic waste by replacing single-use plastic bottles with a Water-to-Go filter bottle.

 

Water-to-Go’s Top Tips for Avoiding Single-Use Plastic

With more and more awareness about the world’s plastic problem growing each day, there are also more practical alternatives to single-use plastics emerging. As well as some of the fantastic suggestions and advice given by Plastic Free July, we have created a list of just a few ways you can reduce your plastic usage. Some of these things include getting yourself a reusable coffee cup, a reusable carrier bag and even swapping to biodegradable chewing gum. Check out the video below or for a more comprehensive list take a look at our blog post here.

 

Water-to-Go working to stop Single-Use Plastics

Water-to-Go are also working with organisations such as Incredible Oceans and Travel Without Plastic to help spread awareness about the severity of the world’s plastic pollution problem.

Travel Without Plastic

Jo Hendrix, Founder and CEO, started Travel Without Plastic following countless encounters with unnecessary and environmentally damaging encounters with single-use plastics herself, the final straw being a ‘Styrofoam breakfast’. The organisation works towards one goal; ‘To prevent one Billion single-use plastic items from entering the global waste stream, or worse, our natural environments by the end of 2020′.

Click here to find out more about Travel Without Plastic

 

Incredible Oceans

Incredible Oceans is a not-for-profit organisation that are helping protect our oceans from plastic pollution. They run education programmes, events and festivals using charismatic marine creatures to tell critical ocean stories in engaging and entertaining ways.

Click here to find out more about Incredible Oceans

Plastic Patrol

Another organisation Water-to-Go is involved with, and another fantastic initiative is, Plastic Patrol. They aim to create a future where people and nature can strive together and are able to do this by combining Stand-Up Paddle Boarding with plastic clean-ups. They regularly run these events all over the UK.

Click here to find out more about Plastic Patrol

 

As all of these organisations highlight, there are many ways you can stop using single-use plastics and make a difference with the various alternatives outlined.

Something everyone can do to make a difference is use a reusable filter bottle such as Water-to-Go which will save you over 1500 single-use plastic water bottles over the course of a year. Do your bit for the environment to mark Plastic Free July and use Water-to-Go.

www.watertogo.eu

Clean Safe Drinking Water across North America – Jule’s Story

From Canada to Mexico with the Grand Canyon in between

Jule Eisendick, founder of the happy choices, has travelled to stunning destinations all over North and Central America. She experienced the breath-taking Canadian wilderness travelling by car. Then beholding one of North America’s most awe-inspiring Landmarks, the Grand Canyon, Arizona. On to Central America, Jule was able to visit some of the beautiful natural sites that Mexico has to offer, including the incredible beaches and wonderful cenotes.

However, each of these three vastly different destinations poses the vital challenge of how to access clean safe drinking water. Firstly in the vast wilderness of Canada, Jule will only be able to access water via rivers, streams and lakes, all of which are extremely unreliable when it comes to safe drinking water. Furthermore, she will have to stay regularly hydrated in the blistering heat of the Grand Canyon. And finally, she will be forced to drink from potentially dangerous tap water in Mexico, another source that can cause serious illness.

Thankfully Jule had her Water-to-Go filter bottle with her on each unique journey. This meant in Canada’s fierce wilderness Jule was able to drink ‘from lakes, waterfalls and rivers. It’s been an awesome feeling to drink wild water, and it was great not to have to carry the heavy water bottles you normally need to carry.’ Furthermore in the Grand Canyon and Mexico Jule could safely and confidently drink from potentially harmful tap water. In fact whilst in Arizona ‘they had bathroom taps with signs and hotel staff saying the tap water is not drinking water’. However, this worrying information didn’t phase them as they ‘safely drank the water with our filter bottle’.

Find out more about Jule and responsible travel at thehappychoices.com

Top 10 Adventure Travel Essentials

10 Terrific Pieces of Adventure Travel Kit used by our Ambassadors

Over the past few years, Water-to-Go has worked closely with a wide range of travellers, explorers, travel bloggers, volunteer workers, etc., travelling with them around the globe.

As a result of their travels, we’ve been able to find some brilliant pieces of travel gear used by ambassadors such as Ash Dykes, Chaz Powell, Emily Luxton and many more. This guide will help you decide on the best items to choose when travelling and which items are right for your destination.

Adventure Travel Tent

Having a reliable, convenient place to sleep is essential for any adventurer, and for those travelling off the beaten track having a high-quality tent is extremely important.

Vango’s tents are a great travel item for anyone that will need to camp during their travels. Vango produces a wide range of tents from family tents, with some designed to fit up to 8 people per tent, to solo one man tents for the lone adventurer.

Originating in the Highlands of Scotland, Vango has a history when it comes to producing adventure tents. The tents are designed to be easy to set up and take down so that you can spend more time trekking, mountain biking, cycling or doing whatever it is you have planned.

With such a range of tents, Vango is ideal for anyone who is in need of a tent from large parties of adventurers to solo trekkers.

Lightweight Portable Charger

Being able to have your phone or camera with you is a great way to capture the memories of your adventure. So, it’s important to make sure you’re able to keep these devices charged by using a portable charger.

The power traveller is a lightweight portable charger that’s powered using solar energy. The device is a great way to make sure your phone, camera, tablet, etc. are able to capture the best moments of your travel experience. After all, you’ll only need sunlight to keep your devices fully charged.

The use of solar energy also means you can help reduce your carbon footprint when travelling by avoiding non-renewable sources of electricity.

Whilst perhaps better suited to holidays off the beaten track where access to electricity is limited, the power traveller is also a great little device for those more environmentally conscious travellers.

Water-to-Go Personal Filtration System

Has bad tap water ever made you ill and ruined your experience? Well, the Water-to-Go filter bottle is able to filter out 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, chemicals and pesticides from any non-salt water source. This means it can provide safe, clean drinking water from any river, lake, mountain stream or even bad tap water.

The bottle is also a great way to reduce your plastic footprint. Instead of buying more and more single-use plastic water bottles, the reusable Water-to-Go bottle can be used to replace them without having to worry about getting ill from a bad water source.

Additionally, with each filter being able to process 130 or 200 litres of water (dependent on filter size) the bottle will only cost you around 5p per litre. So you can also save yourself some extra money to spend on your travels.

Coming in both an everyday use 50cl bottle and a larger 75cl bottle, there is a bottle for both the casual day-tripper or the hardcore adventurer.

Food Parcels

Now that your drinking water is sorted, you’ll need to think about the food you’re going to eat along your journey. A great way for adventurers to prepare their meals is through Firepot’s food parcels.

Firepot provide healthy, dehydrated food that comes in lightweight meal pouches. Firepot say their goal is to create a healthy hearty meal that won’t weigh you down on your adventures. Their recipes have been developed to maximise nutrition within each parcel as well as providing great tasting meals. Therefore, Firepot is great for anyone who will be spending extended periods of time off the beaten track away from other food sources.

 

Specialised Travel Backpack

With all your travel equipment you’ll need a means of transporting all these important items. A great specialised product for this purpose is an Osprey Travel Backpack.

Originating in California, Osprey has been designing backpacks for adventurers since beginning in 1974. The innovative and high-quality backpacks offer any adventurer a fantastic way to travel with all of their gear. Osprey also design their backpacks for long life, meaning you will be able to use it again and again as opposed to having to constantly repair or replace the product.

Additionally, Osprey design backpacks specifically for different types of adventure travel. These include backpacks for snowsports, climbing, hiking and biking.

The high-quality and long-lasting nature of these backpacks means it will be for you if you are serious about adventure travel and are ideal if you are in need of carrying big loads of equipment.

Outdoor Durable Phone

Having a phone that can cope with your terrain can be an incredibly useful tool, especially when travelling across more extreme areas.

Land Rover’s ‘Outdoor Phone’ is possibly the toughest phone out there. The phone is extremely durable having been tested in temperatures from -30C to +60C. You also won’t have to worry about dropping your phone in puddles, rivers or even the sea as the phone is waterproof even in salt water.

With an extra-long battery life, the phone will suit anyone who is away from a power source for an extended period of time. A range of specialist apps also makes this a great companion for any explorer.

An ideal product for those that are out and about in rough terrain with a high chance of their phone getting bashed about. Or it could be good if you are just clumsy when it comes to your phone!

Cold Weather Clothing

Your clothing can be a vitally important part of your travels, particularly when travelling to colder regions where it’s important to wrap up warm.

When it comes to sub-zero weather clothing Rab is brilliant at keeping the cold out. Rab produces high-quilty specialist outdoor clothing with a focus on mountaineering. Their clothing is made up from high-quality materials and fabrics specially designed to be the best at insulation and keeping you warm.

Some great kit for those travelling to colder destinations, such as ski holidays, and will particularly suit mountain adventurers.

Alternative Adventure Travel Clothing

If you’re looking for something perhaps slightly cheaper than Rab’s range, then Craghoppers is a great alternative. Whilst slightly cheaper than Rab’s range, Craghoppers still produce high-quality clothing specialising in the outdoors.

Craghoppers say they aim to make their clothing as practical and comfortable as possible, enabling travellers to stay outside for as long as possible. Whilst Craghoppers focus on outdoor clothing designed to keep you warm, they also produce lightweight warm weather clothing with a range of trousers specifically designed to deter insect bites.

Excellent product range for those spending time travelling outdoors, with clothing ranges for both cold and warm weather conditions.

Appropriate Travel Footwear

Just as important as clothing, you will need footwear appropriate to the environment you are travelling in.

Keen are a footwear company that offer a range of footwear types to choose from. They specialise in footwear for different types of travel, from urban casual trainers to specialised hiking boots.

Keen’s variety of footwear means you should be able to find whatever you’re looking for on your next adventure.

Digital Mapping System

Whilst technically not a physical item, there is an excellent range of digital maps provided by Ordnance Survey (OS). These maps are an excellent way to travel in the more remote locations of the UK.

Starting as simply the producer of world-famous paper maps, Ordnance Survey now use data to produce digital maps across the UK. The OS maps aim to provide a comprehensive map of the ever-changing British landscape, doing so in extraordinary detail.

As well as their maps, OS produce online route planning, sharing services and mobile apps to aid in your travel experience.

Sadly for those travelling abroad this service is only available within the UK. However, it is a brilliant tool for those wanting to explore the more remote areas of the UK.

Molly Crookshank: Water-to-Go kept me safe in the Amazon

Hello there, my name is Molly Crookshank and I am an Animal Biologist living in Edinburgh with a strong passion for wildlife and conservation. This summer I spent time in Guyana and Ecuador assisting scientific research in the rainforest at the Iwokrama reserve and Timburi Cocha Research Station. Travelling with my Water-to-Go bottle I was able to experience these fascinating places without any risk of illness from drinking water. It also meant I bought less plastic bottles on my journey. 

I completed my final research project for my undergraduate degree in the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, Mexico. This was an unforgettable experience and what made me so determined to completed my degree. Unfortunately due to the water quality I was frequently unwell, which affected my fitness out on survey. I was therefore delighted to have Water-to-Go sponsor me a bottle for my jungle adventure this summer 2018 and felt totally prepared for what was to come.

“Water-to-Go have successfully specialised in making filtration bottles to eliminate 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from any non-salt water source. This was ideal as it meant I could drink straight from the Amazon River.”

Molly Crookshank

 

Operation Wallacea Research Project in Guyana

My journey started in Guyana, one of the most intact rainforests in the world. This was with Operation Wallacea, a conservation and research organisation. Research was carried out in Iwokrama reserve, the green heart of Guyana.

Monitoring the biodiversity is vital in order to see how their sustainable logging is affecting the forest. Surveys are carried out daily and in the intense heat and humidity, keeping hydrated was essential.

Living in the forest was incredible, we slept in hammocks, had bucket showers and had basic structures made by the locals where we had our jungle laboratory.

In this remote environment living so close to people, it is easy to get sick. In fact nearly half the scientist became ill with a parasite from drinking the water and prevented them going out on survey. However, I was able to stay fit and healthy throughout the entire time on expedition, for which I am very grateful to Water-to-Go.

Getting to know the locals in Guyana was a true highlight and re-emphasised the importance of local engagement to conservation. Their own commitment to their environment is incredibly strong and their expert knowledge of their surroundings is invaluable.

Jungle Journey Continued: Exploring Ecuador

After the most incredible month spent in Guyana, I continued my jungle journey to the Amazon in Ecuador to assist a PhD student at Timburi Cocha Research Station adjacent to the Payamino River.

This was such an amazing experience and I got to see how the local communities are using and benefiting from their rainforest. Coffee and cocoa are the main crops produced in this region.

For the PhD we dissected bromeliads from the amazon rainforest, at different heights of trees and collected the invertebrates. This was great fun to test my invertebrate taxonomy and luckily it didn’t take long for me to get used to the creepy crawlies. I have always been fascinated by ants as they are amazing ecosystem engineers and have colonised on nearly every continent!

One of the highlights was walking up Armadillo Hill to get a spectacular view over the amazon. Having my Water-to-Go bottle, meant I didn’t have to worry about the source of the water I was drinking from, so I was able to keep hydrated throughout the long hike. 

Having being able to fully embrace every moment of the rainforest without suffering any illness, I was able to get far more out of this trip compared with 2017.   

I was lucky enough to have a week after to travel around Ecuador. With the incredible mountainous terrain and beautiful waterfalls, it didn’t take long to realise how truly amazing this country was.

Having my Water-to-Go bottle I not only cut down on plastic bottles but I also never had to worry about drinking from the tap in the towns and cities.

What adventure is my bottle going to take me on next?

I have recently just started my postgraduate Masters course in Wildlife Biology and Conservation at Edinburgh Napier University.  For my research project, I plan to go to South Africa next June to study in the Gondwana Reserve. Here I will be looking at the effects of herbivore grazing in the Cape Floral Kingdom. With the Water-to-Go replaceable filters, I can now take my bottle and stay hydrated for my data collection in South Africa.

Thank you Water-to-Go!

5p for plastic bags in England

From today, (5th October 2015) shoppers in England will be charged 5p for plastic bags in a bid to reduce the plastic waste it causes.

England is the last part of the UK to start charging for bags and dresses with a similar tax already in place in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

However, the new tax does not apply to everyone. Shops with 250 or more employees must charge 5p but smaller shops and paper bags are exempt.

Stores can still provide free bags for customers who are buying uncooked meat or fish, prescriptions, fresh produce (E.g. flowers), and take away food such as chips.

Some environmental campaigners are worried that these exemptions may make this ban less successful then in other parts of the UK.

It is estimated that nearly 8 billion plastic bags are given away in England alone. It is expected that the new levy will reduce that amount by 75%.

The cash generated by the bag tax will be donated to charities nominated by the shops.

Single-use carrier bags can take 1,000 years to degrade. Not only detrimental to wildlife but it is estimated that there are 70 bags per mile on our coastlines.

Do you agree with the charge, or should they be banned completely?

The same argument could be made for single-use plastic water bottles, which are still a huge burden on our ecosystem. Over 70 billion single use plastic water bottles are consumed annually in the US and Europe alone; National Geographic estimate that a maximum of 20% are recycled.