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!

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.

Support Earth Day with Water-to-Go

End Plastic Pollution – Earth Day 2018 Campaign

What impact does drinking bottled water have on the environment?  Plastic pollution water bottles… 

Water-to-go is doing its part.  Unless it has been incinerated, every piece of plastic ever made still exists; Reason? Plastic takes over 500 years to degrade!  Over 70 billion (seventy thousand million) single use plastic water bottles are consumed annually in the US and Europe alone; National Geographic estimate that a maximum of 20% are recycled. That means that over 50 billion bottles go into landfill or end up in our oceans every year. 

plastic water bottle

Fill up your bottle with oil to a fifth of its capacity to witness how much oil is used in manufacturing the bottle and shipping it to you!  For every 1 litre of bottled water in your local supermarket, 3 litres have been used to make and ship it to you.   By consuming bottled water you are contributing to killing over 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals annually, who die by ingesting or becoming trapped in plastic waste.  Get water where you are certain of the quality by filtering it yourself, help reduce plastic waste and preserve natural resources by using a Water-to-Go reusable bottle and filter!

plastic pollution bottleWater-to-Go supports initiatives to curb pollution in the earth and add to a green planet.  From poisoning and injuring marine life to disrupting human hormones, from littering our beaches and landscapes to clogging our waste streams and landfills, the exponential growth of plastics is now threatening the survival of our planet.  In response, Earth Day 2018 will focus on fundamentally changing human attitude and behaviour about plastics and catalysing a significant reduction in plastic pollution.

The strategy to End Plastic Pollution will:

  • Lead and support the adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution.
  • Educate and mobilise citizens across the globe to demand action from governments and corporations to control and diminish plastic pollution.
  • Inform and activate citizens to take personal responsibility for the plastic pollution that each one of us generates by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.
  • Work with universities, school teachers and students to End Plastic Pollution.
  • Work with other organisations and networks and make Earth Day 2018 a platform to End Plastic. Pollution by developing resources that others can use and build partnerships.
  • Promote the work that cities and local governments are doing to tackle plastic pollution.
  • Empower journalists across the globe to report on the problem and its emerging solutions.

Earth Day Network will leverage the platform of Earth Day, April 22 2018 and the growing excitement around the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day in 2020. We will work with key constituencies and influencers to build a world of educated consumers of all ages who understand the environmental, climate and health consequences of using plastics.

We will organise events in all continents of the world, build a global following and activate citizens to join our End Plastic Pollution advocacy campaigns.

In sum, we will use the power of Earth Day to elevate the issue of plastic pollution in the global agenda and inspire and demand effective action to reduce and control it.

Did you know that 300 million tons of plastic are sold each year and that 90% of that is thrown away?

Did you know that as plastic breaks down in our environment it can mimic human hormones and is linked to everything from breast cancer to early puberty? Is that what we want? Each segment of society bears the responsibility for this. Our corporations are making billions of dollars selling their products in disposable plastic containers but are refusing to take responsibility for what happens to the 100s of millions of plastic containers and bags that move through our global economy every single day.

Our governments are unable or unwilling to take the health risks of plastic seriously and are not moving to ban single-use plastics and non-recyclable products. And we are also at fault because we haven’t made the break from single-use plastics even though alternatives are now on the markets.

BBC Earth are also holding special Earth Day event in London that everyone can attend to learn more about the poignance of this day.

https://www.facebook.com/events/602067800151461/

Apple Regent Street welcomes the team behind BBC Earth’s epic series Blue Planet II. You’ll meet Producers and Directors Kathryn Jeffs, Will Ridgeon and Rachel Butler as they share how technology brings us closer to natural environments. And they’ll discuss creating a positive environmental impact, including raising awareness over single-use plastic and banning drinking straws.

Governments need to work towards banning single-use plastics and help support a move to sustainable non-polluting, non-fossil fuel based alternatives. We call on you all to immediately phase out single-use plastics, support sustainable alternatives, and tackle the billions of tons of plastics that are already in our oceans, our streams, our wildlife, and ourselves.

Tell our global leaders that the world can’t take much more plastic. If enough of us get behind a global ban on single-use plastics, we can begin to heal our oceans, our wildlife, and our children.

Female Adventurer to tackle Plastic Pollution…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The challenge will be tracked on:

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

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