Water-to-Go meets Malaria No More UK ambassadors at World Malaria Report

On Tuesday 20th November 2018, Water-to-Go was delighted to be invited to the House of Lords in London to hear about the World Malaria Report in association with our new partners, Malaria No More UK.

Every year, the World Health Organisation releases its annual World Malaria Report and it’s a critical moment for Malaria No More UK and their partners to check in on their strategies and ensure we are moving in the right direction in defeating malaria. Water-to-Go are pleased to be one of these strategies in raising funds and awareness to tackle malaria with our new project.

This year’s report is a story of progress and peril that builds on what we have known for some time. The knowledge that the world was at a critical junction, where stalled progress and funding risked us losing all the hard-fought gains of the last decade, whilst investment and innovation could accelerate us to the end of one of the deadliest diseases of all time, was the urgent message that led to 53 countries sharing a promise to halve malaria by 2023. Seven months on from the Malaria Summit and this years’ data offers us great hope. India appears to be at a turning point, and more countries than ever before are on track to eliminate.  But alongside this hope, the threat remains high with alarming signs of cases increasing in some of the hardest hit countries, and the looming threats of resistance and the parasite adaptation.

The Commonwealth Commitment is needed more than ever. Their new five-year strategy is laser focused on ensuring that the promise to halve malaria in five years, will be more than positive words, but delivered, including a summit in Kigali, Rwanda in 2020 – the catalyst to bring the malaria fight to the heart of Africa and to put it back on track to ending malaria in our lifetimes.

Malaria is the world’s oldest and deadliest disease and more has to be done to tackle it. Around since the dinosaurs, malaria is thought to have killed up to half of all humankind. But today the disease still kills a child every two minutes, despite being entirely preventable (using bed nets, insecticide spraying and antimalarial drugs) and treatable (costing less than £1 to save a life). It still kills almost half a million people every year.

Malaria No More UK Leadership Council Member, David Beckham, stepped into a box with thousands of mosquitos to call for bold action against malaria. This video was developed by Ridley Scott’s production team for the Malaria Must Die, so Millions Can Live campaign which culminated in the Malaria Summit London, in April 2018, where all 53 Commonwealth nations pledged to halve cases and deaths of the disease by 2023.

Water-to-Go is working with Malaria No More UK to help raise funds and awareness to tackle the world’s oldest and deadliest disease, malaria. To do this, we are selling limited edition Malaria No More UK bottles on our website that are available to purchase now. Water-to-Go will donate a minimum of £8.00 + VAT from each bottle sold to Malaria No More UK, in supporting the work that they do.⠀⠀

We have a shared ambition to improve the health and wellbeing of everyone, everywhere. You can support the partnership by purchasing a limited edition bottle. By buying a limited edition bottle, you will be contributing to our partnership and helping make malaria no more. Together we can be the generation that beats malaria.⠀

It was also great to meet broadcaster and journalist, Charie Webster, at the event who also joined the panel to give more insight into malaria and how it is being tackled. Charlie suffered with a rare form of malaria back in 2016 and has been raising awareness ever since she recovered. In this video, the Malaria No More UK ambassador visited Uganda to take on the disease that nearly took her life.

Another esteemed panel member was Yamina Karitanyi, the High Commissioner of Rwanda, who highlighted what Rwanda is doing to combat the disease and reflected on the success they have had in doing so. This year, there has been 436,000 less reported cases of malaria from the previous year which is fantastic progress. They are leading the way in Africa in tackling malaria and they are working hard to continue the good work.

Lots of great work has been done over the last 10 years but this report has highlighted that depsite this, more has to be done to get rid of malaria for good. Water-to-Go has just partnered with Malaria No More UK to help them achieve this and raise funds for the life-changing work they do.

The Secret CEO is a ruthless tycoon who peddles a cruel disease that takes the life of a child every two minutes. In the 21st Century, no child should die from a mosquito bite. By supporting Malaria No More UK you are helping to put him out of business and save lives. Malaria must die, so that millions can live. You can help with this and get involved with the campaign to tackle malaria.

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!

Personal Trainer Fights Single-Use Plastic

Olivia Furner is a Reigate based Personal Trainer, who also has a strong interest in environmental change and in particular trying to reduce her consumption of single-use plastic which has a devastating effect on our oceans, and its wildlife.

Olivia works as a personal trainer, blogger and Sweaty Betty ambassador. She uses her influence to spread the message of health, fitness and sustainability to those who follow her. So far, she has helped others make simple swaps and hopes her work will help to bring about further change. Olivia is keen to show people it doesn’t need to be difficult and encourages small steps, such as swapping your usual plastic bottle for a reusable option such as Water-to-Go.

Every year, July brings about the global movement “Plastic Free July”, which has millions of people around the globe giving up single-use plastic for one month. To mark this, Olivia aimed to run a half marathon every week, to raise further awareness and to fundraise for the UK based charity Surfers Against Sewage. She hopes this challenge will inspire people to embrace simple lifestyle changes.

Olivia after finishing her first half-marathon back in July

Whilst she follows a life focused around health and fitness, taking care of the world is something she has been actively sharing with others. She follows a prominently plant-based diet, and have been taking steps to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

“In the past year I’ve been making changes to my lifestyle, by reducing the amount of single-use plastic I consume. Whilst living plastic free isn’t an easy task, reducing is something we can all do. Whilst on this mission, I came across Water-to-Go who have been a driving force in this space a for a while now! Their bottles, have a filtration system that ensures 99.9% of bacteria is removed from the water you drink. This is a game changer to reduce plastic when you’re on the go, but also when out of the UK. I often get asked what bottles I use, and as many people don’t like drinking just tap water my top recommendation is always Water-to-Go!”

Olivia Furner

 

 

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Whether you are trying to use less plastic when travelling or just in daily life, Water-to-Go is perfect for you. Our reusable, refillable bottles have a 3-in-1 technology filter inside that eliminates harmful contaminants such as viruses and bacteria from any non-salt water source in the world so you can have safe, drinking water wherever you are. So whether you don’t like the taste of tap water or want to stay safe on your travels, Water-to-Go is perfect for you. Furthermore, by using a Water-to-Go, you will be saving on hundreds of single-use plastic bottles every year that pollute our rivers and oceans.

Olivia is passionate about staying fit and healthy and works to helps others do this as well. She endeavours to make training sessions and exercises fun for everyone so it doesn’t really feel too much like hard work.

If you’re looking to take your fitness to the next level, Olivia is the person for you. Whether you’re looking to strengthen your running, achieve your first pull up or maintain a regular training pattern with three different packages, she can offer you the support and accountability you need to achieve your goals.

Something else that also drew Olivia to the Water-to-Go bottle was that as far as we are aware, Water-to-Go are the first water filter bottle to become Halal certified. Our products have gone through a rigorous process of examination that has confirmed that we use no animal products or by-products. Halal certification also ensures integrity and ethical way of doing business by eluding harm to the environment. In addition, although there is no mechanism for it, the bottles are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

Furthermore, the Water-to-Go filters are recyclable so there is no waste product to worry about.

If you are wondering about how to become more sustainable especially in the run up to Christmas, Olivia has that covered as well! Make sure to check out Olivia’s guide to a more sustainable Christmas where she also recommends Water-to-Go as a way of reducing plastic waste amongst other great gift ideas.

Whilst I keep on about this, I still see so many people with plastic bottles. My recommendation would be Water-to-Go

In her spare time, Olivia also creates a lot of interesting recipes that everyone can try in order to maintain a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Check out this fantastic but simple bakes and dishes to impress your friends and family.

We are delighted to be working and collaborating with Olivia to promote the message of sustainability and show how everyone can make a difference in their daily lives. If you are interested in learning more about Olivia and her brand, click on the picture below.

Laura Kitching – why I love to Get Outside and how you can too

To celebrate National Get Outside Day, on 30th September myself and some friends headed to our favourite place, Snowdonia.  We spent the weekend enjoying the great outdoors, and doing some litter picking to make sure others can keep on enjoying it in the future!

I would like to talk a little bit about why I love to Get Outside – and how you can too.
 
Whether it’s for the stunning views, physical activity, social company, or mental health benefits, every hiker will share with you how deep their love for the hills is. What most people forget though, is how intimidating it can be for a beginner!
 
The first trip I took to the mountains began with weeks of worrying beforehand.
 
What if I was too slow and held everyone up?
What kit did I need to take?
What if I didn’t enjoy it and wanted to turn around?
 
I’ll let you in on a secret – everyone still feels like this from time to time. People will happily offer help and support, and share their knowledge and experiences. You might be surprised how alike they are! Here’s some things I have learned along the way.
 
  • Everyone moves at their own pace. Mostly, I am one of the slowest of my group, but I have never been judged for this, or made to feel uncomfortable. We are just happy to be out enjoying the hills together!
  • The right kit doesn’t have to be expensive! I’ve spent years walking in old hand me down and cheap gear, and was able to have amazing experiences. Companies like Water-to-Go can offer excellent value options  (and save you carrying extra water weight!) making your day just that little easier and stress free. No one expects you to have everything straight away!

 

Having the reassurance that I will never run out of water on a hike is priceless! My Water to Go bottle means I can refill from any stream, puddle, or lake along the way, saving water weight, and single-use plastic bottles. Plus – drinking from waterfalls is always a fun adventure!

Laura Kitching

  • If you are unsure about heading out alone, there are many groups you can join all across the country, whether it be an Ordnance Survey guided walk, or trying something new with a Salomon Trail Running workshop!
 
  • At the end of the day, the important thing to remember is that everyone started from the same point. The achievement is in starting. There will always be plenty of people willing to support you along the way. You never know, one day you may even find yourself writing about it.
I’ll see you all along the trail!
If you want to find some inspiration and keep up to date with what Laura is up to, you can follow her on social media.

 

 

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Spent an absolutely epic weekend in Snowdonia. Tackling Snowdon’s South Ridge was unreal! #timetoplay @salomon

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When you are outside walking, hiking, running or nordic walking – however you want to get about and explore the outdoors – make sure you stay well hydrated wherever you are. Water-to-Go is perfect for providing safe, clean drinking water anytime, anywhere so you can stay healthy and energized throughout your walk.

Thanks to our unique 3-in-1 technology filter, you can fill a Water-to-Go bottle from any river, stream and standpipe to name a few sources, and have access to drinking water wherever you are free of any harmful contaminants such as viruses and bacteria. Water is an essential nutrient that is involved in every function of the body so it is important to keep well-hydrated when you are outside and exercising.

Not only that, by using a Water-to-Go bottle, you will be reducing your plastic usage and actively helping to protect the planet from the damage caused by single-use plastic.

Find out why it’s important to get outside and create your own adventure from Water-to-Go ambassador, David Love, in our previous blog post.

Water-to-Go are working with Traveleyes

Travelling around the world and experiencing different cultures is one of life’s glorious gifts. These adventures, unfortunately, do come at a cost to the planet. In an aim to return the favour, and to thank the planet for giving us natural wonders like the Grand Canyon, The Great Barrier Reef and the Amazon Rain Forest, we have partnered with Traveleyes.

It is not often we get approached by a company as unique as Traveleyes. So when Traveleyes got in touch and asked about working together to help make an environmental impact for the good, we were definitely intrigued.

Traveleyes are a world unique travel company. They pair sighted and visually impaired travellers together on amazing adventures all over the world. The sighted travellers share their sight, guide and describe the world for those with visual impairments. With over 15 years’ experience and travelling to over 60 destinations, Traveleyes offer a chance to see the world differently. 

The company have taken blind and sighted travellers across Mongolia, sailed yachts around the Greek islands, hiked the Camino De Santiago and tandem-cycled the length of Holland – all in the name of sharing the adventure!

 

Water-to-Go have partnered with Traveleyes to encourage more people who travel to not purchase single-use plastic water bottles and to provide a sustainable solution. Our 3-in-1 filter system can eliminate all microbiological contaminants to well in excess of 99.9%. This means you are never far away from drinkable water and by refilling one of our bottles you are making a huge environmental impact.

Only 1 in 5 plastic bottles are recycled and bottled water cost over 1000 times more than tap water. When Travelling we think it’s convenient to buy bottled water from the shop but that one bottle took 3 times the amount water to produce than it does to fill it.

Water-to-Go is committed to reducing the damage to the environment caused by the amount of single-use plastic bottles. Plastic water bottles can take between 400 and 1000 years to decompose and many end up polluting our rivers and oceans. It is essential we all do our bit to protect the planet and cut down on our plastic usage. A very easy way is to use a Water-to-Go bottle; just one of our 75cl filters is the equivalent of 400 single-use plastic bottles. Just think of the difference that could make.

Through our partnership with Traveleyes, we are offering 15% off Water-to-Go bottles and from each bottle sold, a percentage will be donated to Sightsavers, a charity which Traveleyes have supported for many years. Sightsavers work with organisations in third world countries to help reduce preventable blindness.

Head over to the Traveleyes partner page and help make a difference.

Water-to-Go are working with Malaria No More UK to help tackle malaria

Water-to-Go are delighted to be working with Malaria No More UK, an awesome charity working to eliminate the world’s oldest and deadliest disease. Together, we are raising vital awareness and funds for the charity’s work to save lives.

Water-to-Go and Malaria No More UK are passionate about improving world health and making the world a better place. This is a hugely exciting project for everyone involved and we want you to join us. Read on to find out why we need your help and support.

Water-to-Go have produced a special edition bottle that helps tackle malaria. We will donate £8 + VAT from every special bottle sold towards Malaria No More UK’s work in fighting this global killer. With every purchase of a limited edition bottle, you will be contributing to our project and helping change the world, one bottle at a time.

Special edition Malaria No More UK filter bottle from Water-to-Go. at least £8 + VAT from each bottle sold will go directly to Malaria No More UK and the work they do in fighting malaria.

 

Who are Malaria No More UK?

Malaria No More UK is helping lead the charge against malaria, and exists to catalyse and inspire the global partnerships, leadership and financing necessary to achieve a 90% reduction in malaria by 2030, save 10 million lives, and put us on track to make malaria no more. If efforts are maintained, we could be the generation to end malaria for good. They influence decision-makers, from governments to international bodies and leading corporations; collaborate with and support partners large and small; and raise awareness about their fight and what we can do about it.

WE HAVE A SHARED AMBITION TO IMPROVE THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

Water-to-Go’s mission is to protect those at risk from unsafe water supplies by offering access to safe, healthy water anywhere in the world. This is achieved by providing a unique 3-in-1 technology portable filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source.

Malaria No More UK’s mission is to see an end to the world’s oldest and deadliest disease, that would save the lives of millions. Around since the dinosaurs, malaria is thought to have killed up to half of all humankind. But today the disease still kills a child every two minutes, despite being entirely preventable (using bed nets, insecticide spraying and antimalarial drugs) and treatable (costing less than £1 to save a life). It still kills almost half a million people every year. Global progress against the disease – which saw 7 million lives saved and deaths reduced by 60% is under threat due to stalled funding and a decline in political attention.

We are partnering with Malaria No More UK to end this deadly disease once and for all. In the 21st Century, no child should die from a mosquito bite.

By buying a limited edition bottle, you will be contributing to our project and helping to eliminate malaria so millions can live. Your support will help change people’s lives and by working together we have the chance to be the generation that ends malaria.

L-R Joanita, Putelesi, Ignacious, Musaline. Children at the home of Joseph and Tina Gariseb pose for photos under their new net. Malaria Agents with Nets for Life distributing mosquito nets in the New Location in Tsumeb, Northern Namibia. November 16th 2010.
Picture by Zute Lightfoot www.lightfootphoto.com

Thank you in advance for your support.

Mission Yangtze has officially begun

Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, has reached the source of the Yangtze River in China meaning that #MissionYangtze is officially underway!

Ash has now started his world record-breaking adventure travelling 4,000 miles on foot along the length of China’s Yangtze River. Having made it to the source, Ash is excited about the expedition. In this first part of the expedition, he and his team expect to cover the 200 miles to the mountain village of Qumarleb over the next few weeks. This section of the expedition is some of the toughest, most dangerous terrain he will experience. Chance encounters with bears and wolves are to be expected, as is wild unpredictable weather with temperatures expected to go as low as -23 degrees.

Ash Dykes with his #MissionYangtze team

The sheer length of the mission, with its isolation, difficult terrain, including treacherous v-shaped valleys and thick forests, variable climates and everyday dangers, makes this his most intense and challenging mission yet. After months of intensive fitness training both at his home gym in North Wales and in China, people around the globe will be able to follow the expedition and witness Ash pushing himself to his absolute limits as he covers the challenging terrain and interacts with some of the 400 million people who live alongside and depend on the Yangtze River to survive.

This year, the two-time world first record holder and British adventurer will attempt his greatest expedition yet, as he walks from the Yangtze’s source in the meltwaters of the Jianggendiru Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta near Shanghai, where it meets the East China Sea. The Yangtze is the longest river in the world to flow through a single country and its length has never been walked, until now.

Ash will once again be embarking on an expedition with his trusty Water-to-Go bottle as part of his essential kit. With Water-to-Go by his side every step of the way, Ash will be able to stay well hydrated and healthy throughout his journey. Water-to-Go will be his personal, portable water filtration system that will allow him to find safe, drinking water from any non-salt water source in the world.

 

Ash is not only a fantastic ambassador but a true inspiration to so many people by showing the importance of pushing your limits, dreaming big, having goals and staying persistent in achieving them.

The original timeline of the expedition which will take Ash at least a year to complete

This expedition and the wider implications are not to be underestimated. Not only is this Ash’s toughest mission but it could quite easily be considered as one of the biggest expeditions ever attempted. Ash has already had plenty of support from family, sponsors and some famous faces who are aware of this challenge.

Credit: Martin Lyons Photography

Master the unknown, the unexpected, the failure and the fear that may live within you. Because when you master it, you’ll take ahold of it and once it’s in your grasp, there’s no way it can sneak upon you and try knocking you down. If you lose grasp of it and it comes for you, it won’t succeed, why? Because you’ll be ready #MissionYangtze #MissionPossible

Ash Dykes

This would be a revolutionary moment for Ash and the adventure world as he looks to push the boundaries of what is humanly possible. However, his expedition could have more far-reaching effects than that. Water-to-Go have been working with Ash since 2014 and have previously sponsored him his expeditions in Mongolia and Madagascar meaning he could access safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source. Ash is also an advocate of sustainable and responsible travel so Water-to-Go allows him to stand by these principles and help protect the planet from plastic pollution.

Ash resting in the shade of his trailer with his Water-to-Go bottle in the Gobi Desert whilst on his solo expedition across Mongolia in 2014.

This has all perfectly coincided with Water-to-Go’s recent launch in China and the recent changes in the country as the Chinese government look to tackle the problem of plastic pollution and make the country ‘greener’. China recently issued restrictions on the amount of foreign trash it will accept for processing, banning the import of various scrap metal and chemical waste products. The ban on imported waste is “a symbolic measure for the creation of an ecological civilization in China,” under the leadership of President Xi Jinping.

The momentum behind Ash and this exhibition has been fantastic so we are sure there will be plenty of interest in the 26-year-old adventurer from Wales and the wider implications as he embarks on his toughest mission to date. The expedition is already being filmed by Mandarin Films, for a TV documentary series and weekly web video episodes will be distributed by some of the largest online and media channels across China and worldwide.

Ash’s expedition has perfectly coincided with our recent launch in China

Ash promises it will be just as digitally entertaining as it will be intense. He’ll take on local rituals, compete in martial arts, try the weirdest foods, give back to the communities and encourage people to join him along the way.

Part of his mission is to provide communities with fresh drinking water and education on plastic pollution, and how to enjoy but protect the world we live in.  As part of #MissionYangtze and thanks to the initiatives of Health & Happiness (Shanghai), official partners of Water-to-Go, Ash has made it his mission to donate a certain number of Water-to-Go bottles to communities in need of access to clean, safe water at key points along his expedition.

Thanks to Ash, Health & Happiness were able to provide 380 Water-to-Go bottles to a school in the rural mountain area of Southern Shaanxi Province.

Although he is travelling around rural parts of China, you will be able to see exactly where he is along his route via his online tracker.

You can track Ash via this live tracker link

Ash expects to complete the world-record setting #MissionYangtze in August 2019 and he will also attempt to make it the most digitally engaging expedition in history. Ash will be using his satellite technology to post regular updates to social media and will go live again on YouTube as often as he can throughout the expedition so you can keep up to date with everything that is going on.

Ash is excited to share one of the greatest expeditions of the decade and inspire children and adults alike. Water-to-Go is privileged to be a part of Ash’s journey and we are looking forward to hearing more about his epic mission as he attempts to make history.

Ash will be posting updates weekly on social media so you can keep up to date with everything that goes on during his expedition.

Relive the expedition announcement again here

No Fixed Home’s Top Tips For Green Travel

Who are we?

Hello, we are Charlotte and David, and we run the travel blog, No Fixed Home. We are passionate about the environment, so it’s really important to us that we travel as green as we can. Seeing how beautiful the world is on our travels makes us feel strongly about protecting it. Read on to find out how our Water-to-Go filter bottles have helped us to achieve this goal, as well as some of our other top eco-friendly travel tips.

Before leaving for our travels, we were based in Brighton, UK, where Charlotte is a librarian and David is a chef. Our adventure started in November 2017 with a month’s stay in Nepal, where we did some trekking and fell in love with the Nepalese people and their delicious food (seriously, the momos are to die for!) Then came three months in beautiful, chaotic and incredible India. We also travelled around Sri Lanka for a month, taking in lush green tea plantations, picture-perfect beaches and wild elephants.

The next leg of our trip has taken us to South East Asia, where after spending six weeks getting to know Thailand, Cambodia captured our hearts. Right now we are in the quiet leafy city of Siem Reap which lies in the shadow of the mighty Angkor Wat. After falling for this beautiful country with its friendly people and yummy food, we decided to rent a flat here for a couple of months.

Our top tips for eco-friendly travel

Looking after this incredible planet is something that we feel very strongly about. We all have a duty to travel responsibly. For us, that means making sure that our travels don’t have a negative impact on the places we visit. Here are just a few of our top tips on how to travel green – or you can check out the full article here.

Just Say No (To Plastic)

Plastic is in the news all the time recently, and we have seen the effects of it first hand on our travels. We are all aware of the impact that unnecessary plastic has on the environment. Some people need plastic straws, and that’s ok. But why not consider alternatives such as metal or bamboo – they take up very little space in your luggage!

We also travel with a handy spork each so we can avoid plastic cutlery. Occasionally the language barrier causes amusing confusion – once we asked for no straw only to get given more straws! It’s easy enough to carry reusable bags and say no to plastic carrier bags as well. While we’re on the topic of plastic…

Bring Your Own Bottle

No, not like that. We mean bring your own water bottle! Consider you are visiting a hot country – you know that you’ll need to stay hydrated and drink at least 2 litres of water a day. But in places where you are not advised to drink the tap water, this can pose a problem. Imagine the mountain of plastic bottles that would be produced by just one person on a two week visit, and you can see how quickly the rubbish would pile up. Instead of buying many single-use plastic bottles, you could buy a refillable one and top up whenever you find safe drinking water. However, just finding safe drinking water can be a challenge in some parts of the world. Fear not – there is a really easy solution!

We love our Water- to-Go bottles with their built-in filters. We can fill them with water from any tap and they make it drinkable. We’ve used them to drink the tap water all over Asia and haven’t had any problems, it’s brilliant. We even filled them from outdoor streams and waterfalls while we were on our trek in Nepal, so we were able to stay hydrated on the long days of hiking without adding any plastic waste to the beautiful mountain scenery. And as well as saving the environment, they also help us save money – it’s a win-win!

In fact, we calculated that our Water-to-Go bottles will save us a whopping £546 EACH over a whole year on the road… that’s a whole lot more cash in the travel fund! Not only that but we’ll have avoided using 1400 plastic bottles.

These Feet Are Made For Walking

One way of leaving a smaller travel footprint? Having smaller feet of course! Just kidding, but actually using your feet is a great way to travel green. We walk A LOT while we’re travelling and it really is the best way of getting to know a place. Being on the ground, soaking up the sights and smells, interacting with the people you meet on the street, its all part of the experience!

Don’t be worried about getting lost, some of the best places we’ve seen are a direct result of just arriving in a place and going for a wander. Just don’t forget to stay hydrated while you’re pounding the pavements – exploring on foot can be hot work!

Bus(t) a Move

Getting public transport in other countries is definitely an experience! We’ve had amazing train journeys, and we’ve had ones which are akin to torture. But we wouldn’t change it for the world. From being tightly packed into a speeding local bus in Sri Lanka’s hill country, holding on for dear life, to sharing food and stories with extended families on long Indian train journeys. These experiences have shaped our journeys and the way we view the countries we’ve visited.

You can learn so much more about a culture by sitting on a bus than you can sealed in an air conditioned taxi any day. And we all know that sharing transport leaves a smaller travel footprint, wherever you are in the world.

Tread Softly

We’re all familiar with the saying “Leave only footprints, take only memories” but it is worth remembering. There is simply no excuse for leaving rubbish, ever. Yes you may be visiting a place where public bins are few and far between, but seriously, just take it with you. It doesn’t matter if there is already lots of rubbish there, don’t add to the problem. Because we take our Water-to-Go bottles everywhere with us, we’re never caught in a situation where we have empty plastic bottles and no way to dispose of them.

Stay on marked paths, try to avoid trampling over plants and do your very best not to leave any trace of your visit.

Some of our best travel moments so far

There have been some amazing and unforgettable moments on our trip so far, and there are bound to be many more. We’re both huge animal lovers, so seeing elephants in the wild has got to be a standout memory. In Udawalawe National Park in Sri Lanka, we were lucky enough to see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat. To see a large male casually stroll right past our jeep, and a family with babies playing in a watering hole was just one of the most incredible things we’ve ever seen – it was quite emotional!

Another highlight was a dawn pilgrimage at the top of Adam’s Peak, also in Sri Lanka – getting up at 2am and walking to the top, before watching the sun come up surrounded by people of many different faiths from all over the world was an incredible experience. Spending Charlotte’s birthday snorkelling in crystal clear waters off the coast of a perfect Thai island, or getting coated from head to toe in colourful paint as part of India’s Holi celebrations… there are almost too many moments to mention!

What does the future hold for us?

Our Water-to-Go bottles may have prevented us from getting any actual bugs on our trip, but the travel bug has seriously got hold of us! We feel like we’ve only just started to scratch the surface of all the incredible places in the world that are waiting to be explored. We’re returning back to the UK in October, as there are jobs, friends and family to get back to. But we have dreams of becoming location independent and finding a way of travelling long term. Just watch this space!

If you want to follow our adventures you can head over to www.nofixedhome.com and subscribe via email. Our website features eco-friendly travel tips, travel inspiration and vegan recipes. We’re also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so why not come and say hi!

Support the movement to treat Kilimanjaro Porters fairly with Water-to-Go

Water-to-Go have teamed up with Three Peaks Africa; a responsible travel business that offers expeditions to Tanzania’s highest peaks; Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru and Mount Longido. This is the ultimate adventure challenge brought to you deep from the African Savannah and is a significant milestone on many bucket lists. Three Peaks Africa are currently working on a new crowdfunding project for a real cause that is close to their hearts. They are seeking help and support from many different partners and sponsors so we wanted to raise awareness about this great cause.

On average over 35,000 travellers a year climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest freestanding mountain. For many, it’s a once in a lifetime experience where they spend months, even years saving, researching the right kit and training for the opportunity to reach the roof of Africa. Once they are back down and at home, they will smile and remember their friends, motivators and biggest supporters on the mountain, the Kilimanjaro porters.  As many of you may know, it takes a whole host of porters and other mountain crew to support the climbing team. The porters carry all of the team’s food, equipment, set up the camps, sing and keep everyone motivated and safe.

In the excitement of preparing and being on the trip, we can sometimes forget that not everyone on the mountain is always as fortunate as us when it comes to health and safety and workers’ rights. In 2018 it is still estimated that 3 out of 4 porters may be paid less than a proper wage, not being fed 3 meals a day and sleeping in inadequate quarters. Based on minimum wage and tipping amounts, on a typical 6 day Kilimanjaro climb, a porter could expect to be paid the equivalent of US $1,090 a year.  That’s just £825 to support their entire family. As a result, there is sometimes huge pressure for them to accept work at less than minimum wage and sub-standard working conditions; just so that they can earn some sort of living.

Three Peaks Africa are committed to supporting ethical and responsible travel initiatives, partnering only with local operators and companies who align with them ethically in ensuring that their practices have a tangible benefit to the local community, economy and environment.

The Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) is a not-for-profit based in Tanzania. It is a tiny organisation working on a limited budget that has been working hard to improve porters working standards, and raise awareness to travellers about responsible travel choices.  Their work on the ground has already impacted over 7,000 porters, however there is still a long way to go. Marie Cheng, founder of responsible travel business for Three Peaks Africa, began working closely with KPAP when sourcing local Tanzanian climbing companies to operate her Three Peaks expeditions. She says,

“It was really important to me to run my Three Peaks trips with a responsible and ethical provider. The porters do so much for us, it is only right that they should be treated properly on the mountain”.

Marie Cheng, Founder of responsible travel business at Three Peaks Africa

Three Peaks Africa are now crowdfunding for the Kilimanjaro Porters, to increase the essential funding for KPAP and to increase the awareness of what they are doing to improve porters working standards. The money raised will be spent on the “Clothes Lending Programme” allowing all porters to borrow mountain gear, free of charge as well as on monitoring activities for the “Partner for Responsible Travel Programme” that determines if climbing companies are meeting proper porter treatment standards.  Funding will also go to help reinstate training programmes such as First Aid and Leave No Trace environmental sustainability that will benefit 175 porters.

Porters are Tanzanians who work freelance and often depend on tourism on the mountain for their livelihood.  We have an overwhelming collective responsibility to make sure that they aren’t being exploited.

Three Peaks Africa support this by ensuring that they partner only with local operators in Tanzania who are partners with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP), a Tanzanian not-for-profit organisation who monitor the treatment of porters by sending staff on climbs, conducting porter interviews and meeting regularly with operators to review their treatment practices.  As well as ensuring that operators adhere to the good porter treatment guidelines, KPAP also focus on improving working conditions for porters through a number of initiatives.

Ezekiel, a porter with a KPAP company says “KPAP and the partner companies have worked together to drive improvements in working conditions for us.  It has really helped me and my family. I can now take my kids to school as I was able to save money because I am paid properly”.

To support Three Peaks Africa, KPAP and their commitment to making a big change to the treatment of porters on Kilimanjaro, visit their page and pledge before the 9 August: http://chuffed.org/project/kilimanjaroporters

Any donations of £100 or more also goes into a prize draw to win the opportunity to climb Kilimanjaro in 2019.

With a big focus on responsible travel, Three Peaks Africa are actively encouraging and highlighting the collective responsibility that we as travellers have on local communities and the environment. Water-to-Go are pleased to be working with responsible and sustainable tourism organisations such as Three Peaks Africa who are working to protect the environment and to change lives. By highlighting to their clients the impact that single-use plastic water bottles have on the environment, they hope to do their bit in helping to reduce plastic waste.

Keeping hydrated on the mountain is even more essential for these avid trekkers and it is important that the expedition team has access to clean and safe drinking water.  Using the Water-to-Go filtration system, this eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants, including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source.

By helping Three Peaks Africa to reduce plastic waste with Water-to-Go bottles, Water-to-Go will also support Three Peaks Africa in their crowdfunding campaign.

Water-to-Go host the official launch of Mission Yangtze in China

On 23rd June 2018, Water-to-Go hosted the official launch of Ash Dykes’ next expedition, Mission Yangtze, and the Mandarin version of his new book, Mission Possible, in Shanghai. The culmination of several months of gruelling preparation and planning had been leading up to this event for Ash so it was fantastic to be able to celebrate his journey up to this point and what the future aspirations are for this expedition and beyond.

The Water-to-Go ambassador is currently in China to promote and make final preparations for his upcoming expedition, to walk the length of the Yangtze River. It will be his toughest challenge yet – estimating to be 4000 miles and will take at least 1 year to complete. This will be Dykes’ third world first and preparations are in place for it to be considered as an official world record. Once again, Ash will be travelling with his trusted Water-to-Go bottle to stay safe and hydrated wherever he is.

Sustainable travel is an important aspect of Ash’s expeditions which is why the connection with Water-to-Go is so poignant. Water-to-Go is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles and a sustainable solution to the damage caused by single-use plastic. Our unique filters will give you access to safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source free of any harmful contaminants meaning you can save money and the protect the planet by not needing to buy bottled water, making it the perfect travel companion.

This has all perfectly coincided with the recent changes in China as they look to tackle the problem of plastic pollution and make the country ‘greener’. China recently issued restrictions on the amount of foreign trash it will accept for processing, banning the import of various scrap metal and chemical waste products. The ban on imported waste is “a symbolic measure for the creation of an ecological civilization in China,” under the leadership of President Xi Jinping. The importance of tackling plastic pollution was one of the key messages British Prime Minister Theresa May delivered to President Xi Jinping during her visit to China back in February and it is now at the top of his agenda.

From left: John Edwards, British Consul-General Shanghai; Ash Dykes; and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go

As a result of this, Ash and Dave Shanks, Founder and CEO of Water-to-Go, had the opportunity to meet John Edwards, the British Consul-General in Shanghai to discuss the wider impact of Ash’s next expedition. Ash’s mission along the Yangtze River is going to have far more reaching implications than first envisaged and could be a huge moment for the adventurer from Old Colwyn.

Ash Dykes with members from Water-to-Go distributor in China, Health & Happiness (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co., Ltd.

Water-to-Go distributor in China, Health & Happiness (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co., Ltd. have been working with Ash over the past month to aid his preparations and to build up support and awareness around this whole campaign. The momentum around Ash’s expedition from across the world, particularly in China, has been staggering with interest coming from leading businesses who are looking to get involved and promote sustainable practices, to outlets who want to get their products on a global platform.

Health and Happiness organised a special launch for Ash’s expedition in Shanghai, very fittingly, on a luxury cruise liner on the Yangtze River. Many guests including high profile dignitaries from China, global media and key individuals from around the world were invited to learn more about this venture with keynote speeches from Ash himself and the Water-to-Go team.

Water-to-Go Founder and CEO, Dave Shanks, speaking at the launch in Shanghai

Water-to-Go Founder and CEO, Dave Shanks, flew out to China specifically for this event where he also spoke about this iconic moment for Ash and how his expedition aligns perfectly with Water-to-Go’s wider mission and goals.

The night was a celebration following all the training, preparation and hard work from Ash and his team so it was fantastic that we were able to give him a good send-off before he embarks for the source of the Yangtze River to start his mission next month.

Ash Dykes promoting his new book, Mission Possible, which has just been released in Mandarin.

Ash was also pleased to be able to officially release his book, Mission Possible, in China as it has just been translated into Mandarin. This book documents his journey up to this point including his 2 other world firsts – solo trekking the length of Mongolia and walking the entire length of Madagascar’s interior. He depended on his Water-to-Go bottle throughout these expeditions and now swears by his bottle to keep him healthy and hydrated wherever he goes.

In all, it was a very successful night and we were delighted to see so much enthusiasm around the mission and the reasons behind it.

Along the way, Ash is seeking to also give back to the local communities, promote positively and spread awareness on his expedition. Water-to-Go will join him at key sections along the Yangtze, to provide our filter bottles to communities, in order to reduce plastic and provide them with fresh, clean drinking water.

The night was also about bringing awareness to certain issues and raising money for specific charities. We were delighted to raise 1,000,000 renminbi at the event for several charities and organisations that we are supporting.

The sheer craze and excitement over the past few weeks as well as at this event from fans, sponsors and supporters would be enough to overwhelm anybody but Ash has managed and dealt with this all superbly. The commencement of this expedition has been months and months in the making so after all the intense and scrupulous preparation, it is great to see everything coming together so well. The 26 year old is set to make history and Water-to-Go are privileged to be a part of his journey.