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.

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

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 article by SLO Active highlights the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans and what we can do about it

Plastic Pollution – Single Use Plastic Impact on our Oceans

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 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.

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!

This project isn’t about a waterbike really, or reaching one million pieces, it’s about changing behaviour and looking after this incredible planet we call home. 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 50,000 pieces of litter on their journey which is fantastic. Help support their campaign by raising awareness and getting a branded Say Yes More bottle.

Unravelling Travelling: Water-to-Go is the number 1 item in our backpack

Well hello there! We are a couple who travel and work our way around the world full time whilst running our travel website Unravelling Travelling. Our aim is to make travel more accessible by sharing tips, tricks and advice to those who may feel that travelling is out of their reach. The most common question we get asked is how expensive it is to travel, even on a budget. Whilst we focus mainly on transport and accommodation, we want to bring attention to the smaller amounts that add up, like bottled water in countries where tap water isn’t drinkable, which is why we’ve turned to Water-to-Go.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Water-to-Go make filtration bottles which allow you to drink from any non-salt water source using filters that remove over 99.9% of bacteria. Their mission is to offer safe and healthy drinking water worldwide whilst saving you money (every backpacker’s dream) and providing an alternative to single-use plastic bottles.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Whilst we’re travelling, it’s extremely important for us to stay hydrated, especially when we visit countries with a high humidity and temperatures way beyond those we’re used to. The lack of drinking water in many parts of the world resulted in the buying of bottled water, which had a disastrous effect on both our pockets and the environment. In the USA and Europe alone, we consume over 70 billion single-use plastic water bottles, of which only 20% are recycled. Not only does this have a detrimental effect on the environment, 1 million seabirds and 100,000 mammals die from ingesting or becoming trapped in plastic waste per year.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

A video has recently emerged of a tourist beach in Bali showing the amount of plastic contaminating our oceans. Not only is it extremely sad for the wildlife, but also affects us as travellers; it is our duty to leave our destinations as we found them. Drinking a single bottle of water does as much damage to the environment as driving a car for 1km, and for every 5 bottles made, 1 bottle full of oil is used to distribute them.

So why don’t we just reuse the first water bottle we buy when we arrive at our destination, especially as some places do provide free and safe drinking water from the tap? Because reusing our bottle can lead to physical breakdowns of plastic where bacteria can harbour leading to bacterial contamination and that is the last thing we need when we’re in the middle of a trip of a lifetime!

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Using a Water-to-Go bottle gives us access to water in the most remote regions of the world. Whether we’re near a puddle, a stream or a bucket of rain water, we use our bottles to filter it into perfectly safe drinking water. Secondly, for every 260 plastic bottles we would have to throw away, we only get through 1 filter with our bottles. Thirdly, it’s safer to drink puddle water from Thailand in a Water-to-Go bottle than it is to drink tap water from a reused plastic bottle in UK. Plus, we save a rather large sum of money.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

As backpackers, we spend the months leading up to our trip eating nothing but beans on toast and working 70 hour weeks to pay for it, but we would often forget to add ‘keeping hydrated’ to our budget. An average person is recommended to drink 2 litres of water per day. This equates to 4 bottles of water per day (assuming our bottle size is 500ml). With no access to tap water, we would then spend £4 per day minimum. On a 6 month trip, we would need to budget £744 just for water, whereas with a Water-to-Go bottle it costs £29 for a 500ml bottle and 2 extra filters, plus we save £252 per filter, assuming each filter is equal to exactly 260 plastic bottles costing £1 each. We also remove the filter and use it as our regular day to day bottle, as tap water in the UK only costs 2p per litre.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

We received these bottles as a present for Christmas 2017 and have taken them on every trip we’ve been on so far. One of these places was Malaysia, where we decided to hike Bukit Saga, just outside of Kuala Lumpar. Our 3 hour journey quickly turned into 9 hours when we got lost and we hadn’t taken food with us. Luckily what we did have was our Water-to-Go bottles which we filled every step of the way from any water source we could find. Had we bought a bottle of water from a shop beforehand instead, we would have ended up drinking from muddy, murky waters with no filtration system and potentially been extremely ill afterwards. Not something we would have relished during our first few weeks of our trip! You can read our full horror story here.

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

We recently voted our Water-to-Go bottles our number 1 item in our backpack, but don’t just take our word for it; there have been incredible testimonies from people in a variety of situations and places such as a medical trip to Rwanda, a 4,500km walk the length of India, expeditions to Mongolia and Madagascar, walking the length of the Zambezi River and Kayaking the length of Angola’s Kwanza River, all of which you can read about here.

So, what are you waiting for? To all the backpackers out there, your Water-to-Go bottle will be your best friend and maybe even your life saver! Be sure to purchase a bottle and as many filters as you’ll need before you go. It’s an absolute life changer!

Photo credit: Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

Guest blog post by Li Vinall from Unravelling Travelling

All photos by Ben Bardsley-Ball, Unravelling Travelling

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.

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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