Water-to-Go supports World Oceans Day

World Oceans Day is a global day of ocean celebration and collaboration for a better future held every year on 8th June. It is a global initiative bringing communities together from across the world to fight for a healthier marine environment and to raise awareness of the crucial role the oceans play in our lives. Different themes are assigned to World Oceans Day and in 2018, the theme is Preventing Plastic Pollution. This is to bring awareness about the threats our oceans are under and to encourage solutions to ensure a healthier ocean and a better future for us all.

Numerous events are held around the world every year to mark World Oceans Day and this year is almost more poignant. As well as photo contests, fossil hunting walks, demonstrations, and concerts there will be more beach clean-ups and plastic pick-ups this year as we look to take actions to ensure the sustainable future of our ocean.

By using a Water-to-Go bottle, you can do your part to protect the World’s Oceans by using an environmentally friendly alternative to single-use plastic water bottles that contaminate our oceans. You can save money as well as saving the planet by not needing to purchase overpriced bottled water.

Water-to-Go seek to protect our customers’ health and well-being by offering safe, healthy water anywhere in the world but to also protect our planet by offering an environmentally friendly reusable alternative to single-use plastic water bottles.

Water-to-Go are working with travel companies to help fulfil their role as responsible tour operators

Water-to-Go is working with several leading companies in the area of reducing their carbon footprint, and ensuring that their clients travel responsibly and safely. Water-to-Go have recently partnered up with UK tour company, Explore, to further their philosophy of responsible tourism. Explore are actively promoting Water-to-Go as essential kit on their trips so that their customers have access to safe, clean drinking wherever they are.

Water-to-Go offers a brandable reusable filter water bottle which will ensure their clients and customers have no need to contribute to the blight caused by single-use plastic water bottles, also filtering out harmful contaminants.

Port of London Authority (PLA) announced plans to stop using single-use plastics for World Ocean Day by partnering up with Water-to-Go

The PLA has partnered with  Water-to-Go to provide specialised bottles to the crews of their vessels to save on their usage of single-use plastic water bottles and protect our oceans. Dave Shanks, Founder of Water-to-Go said:

“I’m delighted to see them being used on port authority vessels on the Thames.  If our assistance can help the PLA achieve its single-use plastic free goal, it’ll be a great and noteworthy result.”

“Single-use plastic bottles for water are a blight, wherever you go in the world.  Our bottles provide everyone with the chance to access clean, filtered, water on the go.”

Water-to-Go is doing its part by educating plus informing their consumers and partners on the perils of destroying marine life in the world’s oceans as well as being personally responsible for one’s usage of plastics in everyday life.

The issue of plastics pollutions has been pushed more into the public consciousness through Sir David Attenborough’s “Blue Planet II” programme and images of the catastrophic impact plastic waste is having on marine wildlife. This has prompted actions to be taken by organisations, governments and authorities to tackle the problem. Organisations such as Surfers against Sewage and the Marine Conservation Society advocate beach clean campaigns throughout the year to protect our oceans and this is replicated all over the world.

The Ocean Project

The Ocean Project has been the global leader for coordinating and growing the event for over 15 years. The organisation was founded to advance ocean conservation in partnership with aquariums, zoos, museums, and other youth and visitor-serving organisations around the world. Back in 1999, it instigated the most comprehensive research ever carried out on the public’s attitudes to, and understanding of, oceans and the environment. This prompted a complete rethink around how aquariums and other attractions present their exhibits and how they communicate and engage visitors with conservation.

Today, The Ocean Project’s partner network numbers around 2,000 organisations. It continues to offer support with public opinion and communications research, strategic insights, and support for innovative and effective public engagement, and conservation impact.

The world’s oceans play a key role for life on Earth

70% of our planet is covered by one huge, continuous body of seawater – the ocean. It holds 1.35 billion cubic kilometres of water and plays a huge role for us and marine life. According to the UN, they are “the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe, [as well as] a major source of food and medicines and a critical part of the biosphere.” In the past few decades, the threats from pollution, overfishing and other forms of exploitation to marine habitats have increased dramatically.

The Ocean Conference called for the engagement of all relevant stakeholders, bringing together Governments, the United Nations system, other intergovernmental organizations, academic institutions, the scientific community, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, civil society, mayors, children, youth and others who will utilize this momentum to galvanize action-oriented partnerships at all levels – local, national and global – that provide lasting and long-term solutions to protect our oceans.

Read more about how to mark World Environment Day with Water-to-Go and what else is being done to tackle plastic pollution in our previous blog.

Water-to-Go sponsors the Waterbike Collective

Water-to-Go is sponsoring the Waterbike Collective set up by the organisation, Say Yes More. The project is a  communal waterbike relay along 1000 miles of England’s rivers and canals, aiming to collect one million pieces of litter from the countryside along the way. The journey started in late April and their waterbike is now moving around the canal system.

Say Yes More is a non-profit social enterprise run by volunteers who like to help nudge people towards their potential. They have a community called the YesTribe, an annual microfestival for positive change called Yestival, weekly free campouts where they wild camp under the stars just a short ride from the city, motivating nights of adventurous tales called YesStories, and even a converted, sun-powered double-decker bus in an amazing countryside community space.

Say Yes More was founded by Dave Cornthwaite, a British adventurer who has used water-to-Go on previous expeditions. We were keen to work with Dave again and this project was the perfect opportunity to help support a fantastic initiative whilst also putting our stamp on it. The Waterbike Collective is the most recent project that the Yes Tribe are taking part in to make a difference.

Water-to-Go is sponsoring and supporting the initiative by producing branded water filter bottles and t-shirts that are being used by the volunteers on the relay. The bottles are also available to purchase via the Water-to-Go website so anyone associated with the organisation and the project can have something that symbolises their involvement and commitment to protect the environment.

Say Yes More branded filter bottle from Water-to-Go

Over 8 million tonnes of plastic enters our oceans every year and more than 85 million single-use plastic bottles are thrown ‘away’ every 3 minutes. We cannot carry on like this and need to tackle this problem. Water-to-Go is the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles and a sustainable solution to plastic pollution. The Waterbike Collective will be able to stay hydrated with Water-to-Go and save on their plastic usage whilst aiming to clear Britain’s waterways of plastic as well. It’s a win-win!

Say Yes More are inviting everyone to jump onboard for a leg to celebrate and look after our waterways, and to spread the word on social media so more people can get involved. They have created this journey because they believe that adventure should be accessible to everyone and adventure should do some good at the same time.

So far they have picked up over 15,000 pieces of litter on their journey which is fantastic. Help support their campaign by raising awareness and getting a branded Say Yes More bottle.

Try something new for National Walking Month with Nordic Walking

To celebrate National Walking Month, Water-to-Go is encouraging everyone to get outside and discover what the outdoors has to offer. We want to promote a healthy lifestyle and show how you can explore the world we live in.

Nordic walking is a craze in many European countries including Germany and Denmark.  It involves using poles made from either carbon or aluminium to walk.  Participants in Nordic walking must be properly instructed in how to practice the sport. This exercise is an all-body activity in that it works the lower and upper body simultaneously.

You can practice Nordic walking between two and five times a week. Some of the poles that you can purchase are adjustable to your torso height and leg length whilst others are already fixed ahead of use. Nordic walking allows people to experience fresh air, nature and an increased heart rate by raising the amount of breaths plus exertion effort.  There is anecdotal evidence to suggest Nordic walking can positively affect those who suffer from asthma.  Nordic walking can be practised as a group or singularly.

Nordic Walking UK

You can try something new this National Walking Month by trying Nordic Walking with our partners, Nordic Walking UK. Nordic Walking UK is the original brand and award-winning leading authority on Nordic Walking across the UK.  They can help you take your first Nordic Walking steps by introducing you to your local instructor or group and recommend a range of equipment you may need.  They also offer a comprehensive instructor training scheme and solutions for community projects nationwide. They are passionate about getting more people outside and taking part in this great exercise technique.

Stay hydrated with Water-to-Go

Hydration is very necessary to walking exercises.  Water hydration accelerates weight loss through quickening the body’s metabolic rate and by increasing electrolytes in the body.  Water also flushes out toxins, not to mention filling you up before, during and after meals.

Studies show that controlled groups told to drink water up to 30 minutes or an hour before a meal as opposed to those who were taught to think that their stomachs were full mentally, showed that the participants with a lot of water in their system lost the most weight over a given period of time.  It is recommended to drink two litres of water per day by health experts.

Eight glasses of eight ounces of water is a good way of kick-starting this new habit.  Drinking water and walking can also significantly enhance your health.  Water-to-Go is ideal as an accompaniment when nordic walking as the 3-in-1 filter technology will give you access to safe, clean drinking water from any non-salt water source. It is great for staying hydrated and the perfect alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

The matching of nordic walking and water hydration through the Water-to-Go bottles is a perfect marriage of outdoor exercise with a healthy beverage. Particularly exploit the weather this May and get outside to explore what the outdoors has to offer. Get to know more about Nordic Walking with this video of the 2018 Peak District Festival in Derbyshire and get inspired.

If you would like to be more knowledgeable about May’s National Walking Month, please refer to the relevant blog.

Mark World Environment Day with Water-to-Go

Tuesday 5th June 2018 marks World Environment Day and this could well be the most poignant of environment awareness days since it started in 1974. Traditionally, this is a celebration of our environment but more recently has been the catalyst for bringing up awareness of issues and driving change. World Environment Day has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated in over 100 countries. The whole world needs to pull together to help protect the planet and take action.

Beat Plastic Pollution

Each World Environment Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2018, “Beat Plastic Pollution,” is a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. The theme invites us all to consider how we can make changes in our everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on our natural places, our wildlife – and our own health. While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences.

This graphic just highlights the problems our planet is dealing with. Ever since we started producing and manufacturing plastic in the 1950s, the material has been used for many things but it is all still with us. Since then, we have produced over 8 billion tonnes of plastic but most of this is in landfill and there lies our problem. It is becoming unsustainable and having a detrimental effect on our planet and everything in it.

UN plastic graphic – http://www.un.org/en/events/environmentday/

A very easy change you can make in your life is to use a Water-to-Go bottle. It is a reusable bottle with a filter meaning not only can you save on plastic bottles but you can also fill up from any non-salt water source in the world. Our unique 3-in-1 technology filters will eliminate well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants from water including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals. So not only will you be able to protect your health, you be protecting the planet as well.

To illustrate this, just one 75cl filter is the equivalent of 400 single-use plastic bottles. Over the course of a year, this could amount to 1500 bottles – this is the way to make a difference and curb your plastic usage.  Water-to-Go is the perfect alternative to plastic bottles and a sustainable solution to plastic pollution.

On Tuesday 29th May, the United Nations also celebrates the 70th anniversary of UN Peacekeeping, a unique and dynamic department developed to help countries torn by conflict create the conditions for lasting peace. Water-to-Go is proud to have supported some of the United Nations Peacekeepers in Sudan on Operation TRENTON. It is fantastic to see that they stayed healthy and hydrated whilst on duty. They do so much to bring about world peace and Water-to-Go is pleased to have been a small part of that.

Water-to-Go has been in partnership with UN peacekeepers for several years, supplying them with their high demand for filter water bottles in war-torn or ravaged locations around the world. They have been able to travel sustainably and have protected their health and the planet without having to use single-use plastic water bottles. If they can do it, we can do it.

You can be part of the worldwide movement to clean up the planet

On Tuesday 5th June 2018, India will be the global host of 2018’s World Environment Day celebrations. This World Environment Day UN Environment is asking you, companies and civil society groups, to take a concrete action to Beat Plastic Pollution. Let’s all help to clean up our environment.

“The country has demonstrated tremendous global leadership on climate change and the need to shift to a low carbon economy, and India will now help galvanize greater action on plastics pollution. It’s a global emergency affecting every aspect of our lives. It’s in the water we drink and the food we eat. It’s destroying our beaches and oceans. India will now be leading the push to save our oceans and planet.”

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme

Water-to-Go is involved in advocating the reuse of plastics and supports World Environment Day.  By buying a Water-to-Go bottle, you get to use a reusable water bottle for a minimum of five to ten years, only needing the filter to be changed incrementally during the year. Water-to-Go bottles are made from durable and strong materials that have longevity when it comes to lifespan and they are easy to use also.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

The People’s Day

Above all, World Environment Day is the “people’s day” for doing something to take care of the Earth. That “something” can be focused locally, nationally or globally; it can be a solo act or involve a crowd. Everyone is free to choose.

Water-to-Go also supports clean-ups of beaches and water-reserves with single-use plastics through our partners. Organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and Surfers Against Sewage organise such events and are getting the whole nation to help clean up our environment. Having a greener environment is in keeping with Water-to-Go’s mission and ethics and something we are incredibly passionate about.

Photo credit: Frazer Waller Photography

Reusable 75cl and 50cl bottles help save the environment by reducing the usage of single-use plastics.  Your Water-to-Go bottle should not end up in a landfill site or in the world’s waters.

The theme of reducing plastic pollution is continued by World Oceans’ Day which takes place shortly after World Environment Day on Friday 8th June 2018. 2018 is going to be the year of change and action as we are starting to realise we cannot carry on the way we are. We need to protect our environment to ensure the future of our planet and life on it. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development states our resolve “to ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources.” It is imperative that we pull together and tackle the problem of plastic pollution. We need to make changes in our lives in order to save the planet.

By 2050, there will be more plastic in the sea than fish unless the industry cleans up its act.

Ellen MacArthur, The Guardian

This quote has been used a lot recently and highlights the severity of plastic pollution and what could happen if we don’t do something about it. The UN have highlighted that we need to Rethink Plastics and create a sustainable future for our planet.

In recent years, millions of people have taken part in thousands of registered activities worldwide. There are plenty of activities and things we can all to do raise awareness and do our bit for the environment.

For more details, visit the World Environment Day website.

It’s time to get walking for National Walking Month

May is National Walking Month and now the evenings are lighter for longer, this makes it the perfect time to get outside, and get walking. Walking has a whole host of different health benefits that you can use to motivate you to introduce walking into your daily lives.

Walking is good for your heart

Your heart is responsible for pumping the oxygen and blood around your body and keeping all the other organs working. So we think you’ll agree that it’s important to keep it in tip-top condition! Walking not only strengthens your heart but reduces the risk of heart disease and strokes. In fact, a brisk walk for 30 minutes every day is said to reduce your risk of a stroke by 27%. If this wasn’t enough, it also reduces bad levels of cholesterol and increases the levels of good cholesterol too!

Walking helps you to lose weight

If you are new to exercise, or maybe trying to lose weight gradually in order to keep it off, then walking is a great form of exercise for you. If you walk at around 2mph for 30 minutes then you will burn around 75 calories, and if you increase this to 4mph this will rise to around 150 calories. 20 minutes of walking a day will burn an incredible 7lbs of body fat a year.

You can lower your risk of dementia

An older person who walks six or more miles a week is less likely to have problems such as dementia. This is because walking has been proven to prevent your brain from shrinking.

Walking gives you energy

There are times when you feel more lethargic than others, and if you find yourself in this zone then a walk could do you good. It boosts your circulation and increases the oxygen supply around your body, which in turn will keep you feeling alert and awake.

It’s a full body workout

Many muscles in your body are activated during walking including; calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads and abdominals, so give it a try and give your legs, bums and tum a workout.

Increase your Vitamin D intake

Here in the UK there are lots of people who are deficient in Vitamin D, the best way to increase your levels of Vitamin D is to get outside in the sunshine. Vitamin D is good for your bone health, as well as your immune system, which is why it is important to try and increase the levels in your body.

Walking makes you happy

In the same way walking can help you feel energised, it is also great for making you feel happy. A brisk walk can be just as beneficial as taking an antidepressant, and can be a great helping hand if you are suffering from depression, anxiety or feeling stressed.

These are just some of the reasons why you should try to work in more walking to your daily routine. Whether you walk at lunchtime, or start your day with a walk, why not try it and feel the benefits for yourself.

Hydration with Water-to-Go

Drinking water and walking can significantly enhance your health.  Water-to-Go 75cl and 50cl water bottles with three-in-one filtration technology are ideal as an accompaniment.  Whilst you walk around various geographical areas during May, make sure you keep well hydrated from Water-to-Go bottles.

Take advantage of this last month in Spring to go walking and experience the benefits.

Find out how to celebrate National Walking Month with Ramblers Walking Holidays and Water-to-Go in our previous blog.

Water-to-Go in partnership with Explore

Water-to-Go is excited to announce a new partnership with Explore. Their small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981 and today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 600 trips to more than 130 countries.

Water-to-Go and Explore realise the important role they have to play in ensuring that Explore’s trips are run responsibly to maximise the potential benefits to local communities and minimise the negatives. In alignment with their philosophy of responsible tourism, they have decided to partner up with Water-to-Go to ensure that their customers travel responsibly and safely as well as reducing their carbon footprint. Explore are actively promoting Water-to-Go as essential kit on their trips so that their customers have access to safe, clean drinking wherever they are.

Water-to-Go will be helping Explore fulfil their role as a responsible tour operator

Water-to-Go is a supporter of Explore and has supplied Water-to-Go filtration bottles to them, and are proud to extend the association. We are giving their customers an exclusive discount on Water-to-Go products and furthermore, Water-to-Go will match that percentage discount as a donation to the Explore Start-up Fund. Water-to-Go is excited and delighted to support Explore as a referral partner and their efforts with their charitable projects and hope that together we can make a difference.

This partnership will have more far-reaching effects than just to the people who go on their trips. Explore is committed to travelling in only a responsible and sustainable way. They ensure the local people they meet and work with along the way are well looked after and that the environment is cared for and not damaged – this includes offsetting all staff and customer flight emissions. As such, Water-to-Go will be helping Explore fulfil their role as a responsible operator.

Toilet Twinning

Explore are very proud to support Toilet Twinning and their inspirational work. Toilet Twinning is a UK based charity with one commendable goal – to flush away poverty! This fantastic charity is raising funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a decent toilet, and to learn about hygiene – a vital combination that prevents the spread of disease, reduces the number of deaths among children, and brings hope for the future. They invest time and money in working with local communities through workshops and engagement to teach people about the importance of hygiene and to have the skills to build their own latrines.

Explore Start Up

In 2016 Explore created the Explore Start Up Fund, which is the project Water-to-Go’s donations will be supporting. Each year, Explore award a donation of £1,000 to three sustainable start-ups. The business proposals come from our overseas teams around the world and the only imperative is that the ideas are sustainable, and can continue to grow and flourish without continued financial support. From looms being purchased for women’s’ cooperatives in Morocco, to bamboo plantations in Malawi, to culinary training for jam producers in Borneo the scope is wide and the project is very exciting!

Responsible Tourism

Responsible tourism is – and always has been – one of the driving principles of Explore. They care deeply about travelling in a way that positively impacts the people and places they visit. To them, responsible travel means that:-

  • They ensure people who work for Explore are treated fairly and paid a fair wage.
  • They learn about and respect the customs and culture of the country they are visiting so that they do not offend local people.
  • They ensure that local people benefit economically by employing them as leaders, guides and drivers – and by eating in local restaurants and using locally owned hotels where possible.
  • They minimise our impact on the environment by travelling in small groups, offsetting our carbon emissions, reducing waste and supporting conservation projects.

Explore have worked hard at these things to ensure they are welcomed in the places they all love to visit, meaning local people benefit and their groups enjoy a better trip. It could be through some of their great community-based tourism experiences, meeting local people or experiencing the pristine wilderness and leaving it untouched. 


Celebrate National Walking Month with Ramblers Walking Holidays and Water-to-Go

May is National Walking Month in the UK and we are encouraging you to get outside and explore everything that the outdoors has to offer. Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays want to show how you can celebrate National Walking Month and how this could benefit your health.

 

Ramblers Walking Holidays

Ramblers Walking Holidays have been providing great value small-group guided holidays in spectacular locations around the globe for over 70 years that allow you to discover the essence of the place you are visiting. They are all about seeing the world on foot, offering everything from lowland ambles to high mountain trekking, from short sightseeing walks to challenging long-distance trails. In total, they offer over 200 walking holidays in over 60 countries.

Benefits of walking

The benefits of walking are having gentle aerobic exercise and this mild sport can prevent cardiovascular diseases too.  Rambling or walking can add to your general wellbeing by allowing you to see views you would not otherwise see if you were not walking and permitting you to breathe in fresh-air on your ramble. Walking assists with strengthening the bones and muscles.  It can improve our mood; improve our balance and coordination.  The faster, farther and more frequently one walks, the greater the benefits.

Stay hydrated with Water-to-Go

It is important to stay very well hydrated when embarking on an activity such as walking.  Therefore, water is a must to take with you and Water-to-Go is the perfect way to access safe, clean water wherever you are. Both Water-to-Go bottles from the 50cl to the 75cl are welcome support aides when seeking to be well-hydrated with water on your promenade.

The practice of drinking water helps maintain the balance of body fluids. Our bodies are composed of approximately 60% water. The functions of our bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, the creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature.

Celebrate National Walking Month

A great way to celebrate National Walking Month with Water-to-Go and Ramblers Walking Holidays is with the Walk About Festival which will take place between Saturday 26th May to Sunday 3rd June 2018.  This would be the perfect time to take a Water-to-Go bottle and go for a walk around Britain’s countryside. Various different walks will be organised around the country during that time, particularly more than at other periods during the year.

The combination of walking often and keeping well-hydrated with water regularly leads to a healthier lifestyle plus better well-being.  This improved lifestyle will lead to better cardiovascular and respiratory health. One brisk walk a day is enough to cut the risk of early death by as much as 15 percent, according to Public Health England.  All of this has the potential to lead to a longer and more prosperous life if practised frequently.


If you are interested in venturing further around the UK, make sure you check out Britain’s Favourite 100 Walks by Julia Bradbury.

Chasing Gandhi’s Shadow: Olie Hunter Smart completes his 4,500km walk the length of India

In April 2017, Olie Hunter Smart set off on a solo journey to walk the length of India to uncover untold stories of Independence and Partition that took place in 1947.  He’s just returned to the UK and shares his story with us.  You can read about the background to his journey here.

Olie’s route through India

As I stared out of the aeroplane window on my way up to Ladakh, I thought I’d bitten off more than I could chew.  Not only did the plains of India look hot, dry and particularly arid, but the Himalayas looked huge and the snowy conditions were not something I was experienced with. 

Looking down at the folds that make up the Himalayas

However, I soon became distracted by the beauty of the mountain landscape; deep purple mountains capped in white snow; huge sunny skies and crisp fresh air; and the gentle sound of prayer wheels spinning as people went about their daily routines.  It was magical.  I was excited about the long journey that lay ahead.

Mountain scenes and snowy peaks of Ladakh

After a few days of acclimatisation, I set off with a guide essential to navigating the mountain trails that would take us off the roads, following valleys and climbing high mountain passes that blocked the route south.  We carried food with us so as not to be a burden on the remote communities we passed through, increasing my already heavy bag to around 28 kilos.  Thankfully, the Water-to-Go bottles saved us valuable weight as we filled up from icy cold snow melt streams.  It was so thirst quenching!

I filled up from ice-cold streams while trekking in the Himalayas

As we emerged from the mountain trails some 5 weeks later, I waved goodbye to the guide and set off for the dusty plains of northern India.  Temperatures soared to a staggering 48 degrees so it was critical that I kept cool and remained hydrated.  I discovered this area was heavily impacted by Partition that took place following Independence in 1947.  Millions of people fled, escaping violence and persecution as Hindu ruled East Punjab and Muslim ruled West Punjab were divided.

An elder I spoke to along my route

Most nights I stayed with families which gave me the opportunity to hear elders recounting their experience of that traumatic period of history; I found myself wincing at their accounts of the brutality, the stories of families fleeing their homes never to return, or of fathers giving their children daggers to use on themselves to avoid being subjected to violence and abuse.  I was very moved by their descriptions, something I had not anticipated hearing, but that was reality for them.

Would you walk along the railway lines in India?

I followed the railway line south, it being more direct as well as keeping me off the roads and away from the dangerous traffic and pollution.  I passed through Delhi and onto Rajasthan where I continued to hear similarly tragic stories about Partition, but on occasion was pleasantly surprised to come across a few positive stories from people who had been able to change their financial situation having set up successful businesses.  Food flavours were now changing every 100 kilometres or so as the agriculture influenced the dishes I was eating.  By now I’d been on the road for almost 4 months but I was loving rural India.

I’d been looking forward to the Salt March, the inspiration for my journey, since the start.  Today the route has become somewhat a heritage route making it far easier to navigate, yet the difficulty came in each village when trying to find various plaques or statues commemorating Gandhi’s walk in 1930.  Fortunately, the locals knew it well and took great pleasure in showing me around their community, regaling historical stories to boot.  I reached Dandi where Gandhi broke the salt law, realising that I was now over half way through my journey.  It was an emotional moment.

No longer reliant on Google maps as my route was marked to Dandi!

Back on the road I worked my way down to the busting city of Mumbai.  India is well set up for constant refills of your own bottle in the hot climate, whether it be a hand pump or well in a village, a tap on a railway platform or from the increasing number of reverse osmosis stations set up in villages to provide clean water to the communities. My Water-to-Go bottle provided me with consistently good quality and safe water from whatever source I found.

I would fill up anywhere I could find fresh water along my route

By now I was beginning to get increasingly frustrated with life on the road – the hooting, incessant demands for selfies and that spicy food.  Couldn’t I just have cereal for breakfast?!  I’d been walking for 6 months, but it was only when I worked my way uphill to Pune that I realised I had spent the best part of three months in the flat plains of India.  There had been no texture in the landscape, nothing on the horizon to aim for.  I’d been missing the hills, so I made it my mission to find a place to camp next to a lake, and soon enough I found the perfect spot!

Finding a place to camp was tricky, but on occasions I found the ideal spot

I continued south, meeting some freedom fighters that had fought alongside Mahatma Gandhi in the struggle for freedom, many of whom were over 90 years old.  As I neared Mysore I was confident with my progress until one day someone asked me how I would avoid being attacked by a tiger.  Tigers?!  They’d not even crossed my mind this far south.  I carried on, getting increasingly worried as I went, trying to figure out alternative routes.  I spent half a day with all senses on edge as I walked steadily through a tiger reserve, completely petrified.

Should I heed the warning signs?

That night I resolved to find a driver who could shadow me for the next stretch of forest.  The following morning, he arrived and I set off, safe in the knowledge that there was an extra pair of eyes on the lookout.  Relief ran through my veins as I reached the end of the forest and the safety of a temple that night.

Kanyakumari in my sights!

Kanyakumari was in my sights, but there was one final obstacle I had to overcome – Cyclone Ockhi with her devastating wind and rain.  Having already walked through monsoon rains I was determined not to be put off by some adverse weather and ploughed on, reaching the very southern tip of India on 6th December.  After seven and a half months on foot, I’d made it!  What an incredible way to experience real India!

With nowhere else to go, I can now relax!

Olie is currently working on a documentary of his journey. 

To find out the latest, follow @oliehuntersmart on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

World Water Day 2018 – what are we doing to help?

Today (22 March) is World Water Day, a poignant time when people all over the world are raising awareness about the importance of water and how we can solve the global water crisis.

Here at Water-to-Go, we know all about the importance of water and want everyone to see the benefits of drinking plenty of it. Water is the key to life as every system in our body depends on it. However, it is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development.

The problem is that there are many people around the world who do not have the luxury of safe, clean water on their doorstep like us in the developed world. Today, around 1.9 billion people live in areas where water is already scarce and 2.1 billion people live without safe drinking water at home; affecting their health, education and livelihoods.

In 2015, UN Member States adopted the historic 2030 Agenda, setting 17 universal and transformative goals, and committing to working tirelessly for their full implementation. Goal 6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.

The United Nations has long been addressing the global crisis caused by unsafe water and sanitation and growing demands on the world’s water resources to meet human, economic and environmental needs. According to them, the answer is in nature.

A major part of the solution is to produce less pollution and improve the way we manage wastewater. We have heard it before but a circular economy is imperative to the sustainability of the planet.

A more circular and therefore more sustainable economy requires us to value wastewater for its potential, rather than discard or ignore it. More than just an alternative source of water, safe wastewater management could help protect our ecosystems and give us energy, nutrients and other recoverable materials.

UN Water

It is crucial that we make safe, clean water for health and sanitation universally available all over the world and this starts with addressing how wastewater is managed according to the UN. If we don’t do this, people will continue to be drinking contaminated water and putting themselves at risk of serious illnesses.

Globally, 80% of wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused, contributing to a situation where around 1.8 billion people use a source of drinking water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

UN Water

If these people had a Water-to-Go bottle, they wouldn’t be at risk to these illnesses such as cholera and polio. Our unique 3-in-1 filter technology eliminates well in excess of 99.9% of microbiological contaminants including viruses and bacteria from any non-salt water source in the world.

Photo credit: Alexandra Daniels

Water-to-Go are currently working with The Hunger Project – a global NGO who are committed to the sustainable end of world hunger and poverty by 2030 in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals. One of the main aspects of their work is to ensure the communities have access to safe, clean water in order to improve health, sanitation and hygiene. As a result, this allows the community to become self-sufficient which is ultimately the main aim of these programs. These people are able to go to school, to work and essentially establish a sustainable life in which they then turn providers for people in need. They become the agents of their own development and make sustainable progress in overcoming hunger and poverty.

So far, we have managed to raise $16,500 USD to The Hunger Project from our most recent campaign and now we are looking to enter new markets with them, starting soon in Germany.

Have a look at our project in more detail.

The human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation are a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous & sustainable world. Ending poverty and relieving world hunger begins with water. It is fundamental to our being and is imperative to our sustainable future.

Water-to-Go are also delighted to be working with Explore – an award-winning tour company who specialises in small group adventure holidays and travel tours for every kind of customer. We are helping them raise funds for the incredible work that they and the charities they support do around the world. Explore are very proud to support Toilet Twinning and their inspirational work. This fantastic charity is raising funds to enable people living in poor communities to have clean water, a decent toilet, and to learn about hygiene. Explore have also partnered up with Send a Cow who work in Africa to provide families with much needed support such as seeds, livestock and practical training.

Explore are thrilled to have found an innovative product that we can confidently recommend to our customers keeping them safe, whilst reducing our environmental impact in destination and, more specifically, the use of plastic water bottles. As a responsible company partnering with Water-to-Go is a really positive step toward making a change.

Explore

So this World Water Day, remember that there are many people around the world who don’t have access to safe, clean water and think about what you can do to help. Here are some interesting ideas from UN Environment.

Water-to-Go is a sustainable solution to plastic pollution and the global water crisis. We are looking to work further with these organisations and other charities and businesses to help as many people in the world access clean water.

Every person in the world needs clean, contamination-free water to survive. At Water-to-Go we want to give the World safe, clean water that they can afford. We also want to help put an end to the damage to the planet created by plastic waste.

Our technology is simple and easy to use and with the correct distribution, we can help counter the impact on some of the World’s most horrific water borne diseases. Whilst fulfilling this aim, we can help minimize the damage done to the environment from single-use plastic bottles.

We work together with organisations that share our aims and goals and together we can change the world, one bottle, one person at a time.

Do you share our vision and goals? If so, please get in contact as we would love to hear from you.

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Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, is attempting his toughest challenge yet

Ash Dykes is an extreme athlete and adventurer who is embarking on his latest challenge. After conquering Mongolia and Madagascar, Ash has announced details of his forthcoming expedition which is something that has never been done before. Water-to-Go attended an exclusive event at Canary Wharf along with other sponsors and partners to hear the announcement.

Ash Dykes with sponsors and partners at his expedition launch event in Canary Wharf (Photography by lubo – distinguished photography — www.stefanlubo.com)

On Wednesday 7th March 2018, Water-to-Go ambassador, Ash Dykes, launched his expedition to the world in style. The day saw a gathering of Ash’s team and sponsors at The Pagination in Canary Wharf, to celebrate the launch of the long-planned world first. It certainly went down as Ash’s greatest announcement to date; the expedition was the most talked about news throughout the UK on Wednesday, reaching hundreds of thousands of people within just 12 hours. The news was covered in the likes of the Independent, BBC News, Mail Online to name a few and his announcement video received well in excess of 100,000+ views.

“The support has been overwhelming and I’d like to personally and genuinely thank everyone for being behind me, team members, sponsors and the public – it’s been incredible and is only just the beginning.”

Ash Dykes

Ash Dykes with Dave Shanks, Water-to-Go CEO                                                                          (Photography by lubo – distinguished photography — www.stefanlubo.com)

Ash Dykes is attempting to become the first person to walk the length of the Yangzte River.

This year, Ash will attempt his greatest expedition yet, as he walks from the Yangtze’s source in the melt waters of the Jianggendiru Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau to its delta near Shanghai, where it meets the East China Sea. This expedition is set to be his toughest yet; it will be over 4000 miles, an estimated 8 million steps, that will take at least a year to complete. This is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The Yangtze is the longest river in the world to flow through a single country. Its length has never been walked, until now.

The severity of this 6,437km challenge is not to be underestimated. Throughout Ash’s estimated 8 million step exploration, he will undoubtedly come across some of nature’s most intimidating experiences. From snakes to bears, wolves to Asian hornets – the isolating weather-ranging and isolating challenge will push all of Ash’s strengths to the limit.

Ash may be superhuman to most people but even he needs to stay hydrated and find safe drinking water whilst on his expedition. Whilst this may pose some problems to most people, this is something that Ash doesn’t need to worry about. The last thing he would want to do is add to the weight he is already carrying with bottled water not to mention also spending a lot of money on something that he can find for free.

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. The Water-to-Go bottle filters out well in excess of 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants in water that can make you ill. These include bacteria, viruses, parasites, lead, chlorine and water borne cysts. This means he can fill up from any non-saltwater source and still be able to drink healthy, safe water making it his ideal travel companion.

Ever since we started working with Ash back in 2014, he now swears by Water-to-Go for all of his expeditions to keep himself healthy and hydrated. That year, Ash became the first ever recorded person to walk across Mongolia solo and unsupported, covering a distance of over 1,500 miles in 78 days. He trekked over the Altai Mountains, through the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian Steppe, all whilst pulling a wheeled trailer weighing 120kg, carrying everything needed to survive. Whilst this was hard going mentally and physically, Ash was able to complete this incredible challenge and stay hydrated by filling up from local water sources without getting ill.

“I had been searching for some time, for a really good & effective water filter to take on my expedition across Mongolia, but I kept coming across water filters that needed to be pumped to purify the water (in a desert of 45 degrees C, this was the last thing I wanted to do).

My agent came across the Water-to-Go stand at an adventure festival and asked for a demo & how they worked. He was so impressed that he sent me a text straight after, in which I then went on the website, and found the perfect bottle to take out with me. I’ll be coming across all sorts of water sources in some extreme locations.

The fact that I could top the bottle up and drink it straight away was what hooked me the most, and it was an absolute must for me in such an environment, but even my latest trek in Scotland saw me topping it up constantly from lochs, rivers etc and the taste was perfect. The bottle really does deliver and I’m super impressed with it & can’t wait to use it on my latest expedition. Fantastic product, team & service, I highly recommend.”

      Ash Dykes

“The bottle really does deliver and I’m super impressed with it & can’t wait to use it on my latest expedition.”

His next amazing challenge was in 2016 when Ash achieved his second world record by becoming the first person to walk the entire length of Madagascar’s interior, whilst summiting its eight highest Mountains. An expedition of over 1,600 miles, taking 155 days to complete where he faced many challenges from being held up by the military, contracting the deadliest form of Malaria, crossing crocodile infested rivers amongst much more, and one that Bear Grylls wished him luck on.

His next expedition is just as mind-boggling and challenging as the others but with Water-to-Go by his side, we are sure that Ash will persevere to complete his toughest challenge to date.

Following our recent launch in China, this has been the perfect opportunity to help promote Ash’s incredible new venture to a whole new audience. We have appointed HH (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co Ltd. as our new partner and distributor for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao as Water-to-Go continues to expand and enter new markets.

Ash Dykes with our new partners and distributor for China, HH (Shanghai) Environment Technology Co Ltd. — Following our recent launch in China, this has been the perfect opportunity to help promote Ash’s incredible new venture to a whole new audience.

Sustainable travel is an important aspect of Ash’s expeditions which is why the connection with Water-to-Go is so poignant. We are only too aware of the effect that we have on the planet particularly when travelling and Water-to-Go is the perfect sustainable solution to the damage caused by single-use plastic. Water-to-Go are working with several organisations and partners such as Ash to help tackle this problem.

“Water-to-Go are delighted to be sponsoring Ash Dykes on his latest mission along the Yangtze River. Having worked with him since 2014 and sponsored him on his previous expeditions to Mongolia and Madagascar, we couldn’t wait to work with him again following the announcement of his next mind-boggling challenge. We know that in the toughest times of his previous expeditions, Water-to-Go has been with him every step of the way and has helped him through to the end. Ash is a fantastic ambassador for Water-to-Go we are grateful for the faith he has shown in the product and the business.

This announcement has coincided perfectly with our recent launch in China so it has been a pleasure to introduce Ash to our partners [Health and Happiness] in Shanghai. This has not only strengthened our partnership further but has been a great opportunity to promote both Ash’s next venture and our expansion into new global markets. We wish Ash all the best on his expedition and we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Dave Shanks, Water-to-Go CEO

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.

Water-to-Go bottles and communications systems from Galaxy1 and Navarino       (Photography by lubo – distinguished photography — www.stefanlubo.com)

Water-to-Go isn’t the only important bit of kit for his expedition. Ash will be able to stay constantly connected with this amazing Galaxy1 IsatPhone and Data Hard Drive from Navarino.

Ash will be venturing on this mission in the next few months and you can stay up to date with everything that goes on as he hopes to make it one of the most interactive expeditions ever as well.

 

 

 

Follow his journey on social media and on his website