Adventure, friends and SUP…

In July 2016, Adventure Athlete, Tarran Kent-Hume, will take a team of 5, Stand Up Paddle Boarding through the heart of Sweden.

The Adventure will begin when the team flies into Gothenburg to make final preparations and spend the night along the river. They’ll set off the following morning with the first sunset of their trip and head upstream into the Gota Canal and Lake Vanern.

George & Team2Tarran, is no stranger to adventure. In 2015, he successfully kayaked the entire length of the Amazon River! Tarran and his Team mate, Ollie, used their Water-to-Go bottles along the way, which not only kept them safe  from the wonderful variety of water contaminants found in the Amazon, but also saved them from the weight of carrying clean drinking water along the route.

Tarran’s team have all invested in GO! bottles for their SUP adventure. Weighing only 98grams, their filters will give them unrestricted access to safe drinking water along the canals and rivers.

The adventure sees the team travel the length of the Gota Canal passing through Lake Vattern, Motala and Soderkoping before reaching the Baltic Sea and hugging the Eastern Coast of Sweden as they head up past Oxelosund and Sodertalje towards their final destination of Stockholm.

Tarran said “I want to create something fun and exciting that will combine a couple of the things that make me tick, the things that get me excited about life, Adventure and Friends. Adventure is a great excuse for us all to take a breath and live in the present with no stress of the outside world. We’ll laugh together, eat together, live together and SUP together”

The team are looking forward to not only the physical challenge that lies ahead but also the beauty of the Gota Canal and Swedish landscapes, even planning to stop off at an old Viking settlement en-route.

They’ll be completing a world first as well. The first to SUP from Gothenburg to Stockholm via the Canals.

The team aim to arrive in Stockholm on August 3rd.

World Oceans Day 2016

On June, 8th, we celebrated World Oceans Day. The oceans cover 70% of our planet, so it’s fitting that we join together to celebrate them!

World Oceans Day is the official UN-designated international day of ocean celebration. On June 8th each year, we celebrate the ocean, its importance in our lives, and how we can protect it.

This year’s theme is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” and individuals and organisations across the planet are taking action for prevention of plastic pollution in our ocean.

At Water-to-Go, our mission is to eliminate the need for single-use plastic (SUP) water bottles by offering a safe, environmentally friendly alternative, which delivers clean, filtered water, from nearly any source, anywhere in the world.

So, for World Oceans Day 2016, we take a look at SUP water bottles and how they can affect our planet.

worldoceansdayblogPlastic is used everywhere. Why? It’s extremely durable, lightweight, cheap and versatile, which is why it has replaced materials, such as metal, glass and wood. The global production of plastics is now around 265 million tonnes per year! Unfortunately, plastics are one of the most hazardous forms of litter when in our oceans.

Plastics are made from hydrocarbons and hence, very difficult to breakdown. When they’re in the sea, plastic breaks down at a very slow rate.

“Estimates for plastic degradation at sea range from 450 to 1,000 years. However, plastics may never fully degrade; they simply break down into smaller and smaller fragments and ultimately into microscopic plastic pieces or plastic dust.”– Marine Conservation Society (MCS), Pollution Policy & Position Statement.

The Marine Conservation Society, the largest marine charity in the UK, also highlight the amount of plastics that actually end up in our oceans:

“A study of the distribution and abundance of large marine debris on continental shelves and slopes in European seas recorded concentrations up to 101,000 pieces of debris per km2 (Galgani et al., 2000). At most sample stations, plastic (mainly bags and bottles) accounted for more than 70% of the total debris.”

RS25163_DSC_5446The MCS have recorded the shocking amount of plastic waste that is made up from SUP bottles:

“During the 2014 Great British Beach Clean 7,962 drinks bottles and 14,750 caps and lids were found. Plastic drinks bottles accounted for 2.8% of all litter and had a density of 69 items/km. Caps and lids accounted for 5.4% of total litter with an average density of 132 items/km.”

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So, how do SUP bottles make it into our oceans in the first place? Simple, we live in a throw away society. We all know the importance of recycling, however, it’s not always an option, especially when we are out of the house and there are no recycling bins near by. The situation can be even worse when we’re on holiday. You’re in a hot country so are consuming more water to top up your hydration levels. You may choose bottled water for a number of reasons – you don’t trust the local tap water, it tastes better and is convenient. But unfortunately, not all countries have the resources to recycle. That means we just don’t know where it will end up. Either in a landfill or floating in the Sea where it will be broken down into small enough pieces to be eaten and end up in the food chain. Or worse, it could contribute to the 100,000 marine mammals and 1,000,000 sea birds that are killed each year from ingesting plastics.

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So, how can we reduce the amount of plastic bottles in our oceans?

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

The simplest way is to try and reduce the amount of SUP we consume, and when we do use plastic, make sure we can reuse it and recycle it. As previously mentioned, recycling can be hard when we don’t have a special bin outside but it is absolutely vital in order to prevent plastic pollution.

We have partnered with the MCS this June for their ‘Plastic Challenge’. The challenge is to say goodbye to conveniences like pre-packed sandwiches, ready meals and plastic-bottled drinks for a day, a week or the whole month.

MCS offers help and advice through an online community all through the month of June. There is also an online shop with products to help you say goodbye to plastic waste. Our Water-to-Go, 75cl and GO! Filter Bottles are available and to celebrate the Plastic Challenge we’ve got 15% off using the code MCS16 at checkout. Not only do you get a discount, we’ll match the discount and donate 15% directly to MCS.

 

Female Adventurer to tackle Plastic Pollution…

Adventurer and Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion, Lizzie Carr, is embarking on the challenge of a lifetime: to become the first person to successfully paddleboard the length of England via its connected waterways, using entirely human powered means. The challenge also has an important environmental purpose, as Lizzie will map out and scale the issue of plastic pollution, highlighting hotspots that require attention along the way.

sup1On Wednesday 11 May 2016, Lizzie, took her first strokes of this 650km (400 mile) journey that will see her paddle for more than three consecutive weeks to cover this distance. She will be carrying 30kg of equipment on her paddleboard, including a tent for camping as well as supplies (including her lightweight Water-to-Go filter bottle).

Commencing from the most southern point of the connected network, the River Wey, Lizzie will travel north through Oxford towards Coventry before entering the Stoke on Trent canal and onwards towards River Douglas before reaching the River Ribble where she’ll navigate the Ribble Link. This will be the first time a paddle boarder has been granted access through the link and other areas of the waterway network, helping pave the way for the sport across the country and bringing it to the mainstream.

Lizzie, who has a TSK paddle boarding qualification from London based company, Active 360, Is an experienced paddler on rivers and oceans across the globe. She will portage 193 locks throughout the journey and travel along more than 8km of tunnel and aqueducts standing over 25ft above the ground.

Lizzie Carr says: “You don’t need to travel to far-­flung destinations to have an adventure – we have some incredibly challenging and beautiful terrain right here in the UK and it’s important that we take the time to explore it.”04_LizziePaddington_3167

“Paddle boarding the length of the country is a great way to show its natural beauty from an altogether different perspective – the water. Our canals are iconic pieces of history that provide a presence of calm and tranquillity in urban settings. They are easily accessible all over the country they are currently under threat from plastic pollution and debris that, if we don’t address soon, will compromise the beauty and quality of our experiences along the canals.”

Lizzie concludes: “This challenge is a way to reclaim our waterways in the hope that people care, fall back in love, and to take action against the problems we’re facing with plastic pollution.”

The challenge will be tracked on:

Lizzie will also post daily on social media using the hashtag, #SuperSUPEngland. Check out her pages below:

Lizzie will be supporting two charities as part of this challenge, WaterTrek and WaterAid, splitting all proceeds equally between them both.

Paddle & Pick 2016

We’re excited to announce our partnership with Active 360 to help with their quest to clean up London’s water.

The waterways of London are great places for activity, relaxation and getting in touch with nature. However, in many places they are blighted by litter and in particular plastic waste. This is part of a worldwide problem as much of this litter ends up in open ocean, is ingested by fish and marine mammals and enters the food chain.

Active 360, a Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) company, have organised a clean up across London’s waterways over a 8th-11th April.

Paddle & Pick aims to clean up several parts of different waterways but also to raise awareness of what ends up our the canals and rivers and encourage people to review their purchases of single use plastics as well as letting participants have a free SUP lesson.

A team from Water-to-Go will be at the event helping to pick up some plastic that plague our waters. We will also be showcasing our filtered water bottles as a sustainable solution to single use water bottles.

The event is being organised by Watertrek Foundation with lots of help from Thames Estuary Partnership. Watertrek Foundation is an environmental charity with good experience in organising clean up events to raise awareness of the plastic waste issue. Thames Estuary Partnership are an umbrella organisation working with a range of bigger organisations which have an interest in a cleaner, more accessible Thames. These include Tideway, the PLA, Thames21. Other partners to the project include Canal and Rivers Trust, Merchant Square, Moo Canoes, Kay & Co and others who are orgainsing clean up and paddle events .

Active 360 have been organizing and helping with clean ups of the canals at Brentford and at Paddington since 2011. They let participants have free SUP including a short lesson if required, in return for getting involved in clearing a section of canal of plastic waste. This fun element has worked well to encourage people who would not otherwise get involved in clean up events.

We’ll have more information on the event and how you can get involved soon.

1,800 Miles by Stand Up Paddle Board for Water Aid

On the 1st March 2016 Kate Davis and Andy Bartlett will leave London and head to the Black Forest of Germany to start their attempt at becoming the first people to stand-up paddleboard the entire length of the Danube River. From the source of the river in the small German town of Donaueschingen, they will then travel over 1800 miles, passing through 10 countries and 4 capital cities before reaching the rivers end at the Black Sea on the border of Romania and Ukraine. Carrying all their supplies with them on their boards (including a Water-to-Go bottle each) the trip is expected to take 3 months covering an average of 25 miles a day.

Both Kate and Andy have left their respective jobs and homes to take on this adventure and have never attempted anything of this scale or challenge before. The trip is fully self-funded and will be unsupported once they start paddling relying on their own skills and the kindness of those they meet along the way.

They will be raising money for Water Aid in the process.

Kate, a 30 year old former Internal Communications Officer for VSO says, “this is not a race for us and we are keen to ensure we take in all the river has to offer and especially connect with the locals who live along the rivers path, to find out how it impacts their daily lives.”

Andy, a Former Director of an event management company says,”Huge thanks to Water-to-Go for supplying us with bottles for the upcoming ‘SUP The Danube’. We’re never going to be short of water and having their amazing bottles and filters means it will all be safe to drink.

A brilliant and simple solution to getting clean water and yet a huge reminder of why we’re raising money for Water Aid. Clean safe water is something we take for granted even when heading out on an incredible adventure and yet is still not accessible to millions of people around the world. Take a moment to look at the work Water Aid are engaged in and find out how you can get involved”

The adventure will take the pair into 10 Countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine and pass through 4 Capital cities (Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade).

Follow their SUP adventure: www.supthedanube.com

Photo Credit: www.tanyaraab.uk