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.

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.

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.

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.

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… 

 

plastic water bottleWater-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. 

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.

Water-to-Go used on medical trip in Rwanda

A quick introduction – my name is Rob Daniels, I am a GP in East Devon and also work as an Ear Nose and Throat physician. I have a long involvement in rural and remote medicine, and as well as being an expedition doctor for a specialist trekking company, am an academic tutor on the Exeter University MSc program in Extreme Medicine. I am passionate about supporting healthcare workers in resource-poor environments, and in November 2015 I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda doing a pilot study of a system to allow doctors and nurses in rural areas to get expert advice on ear disease, using a digital camera and mobile internet.

 

This was very successful and I returned to Rwanda on 27th October 2017 to install the equipment in a small clinic in the western province of Rwanda, close to Lake Kivu. It was important that we stayed healthy and well-hydrated in this under-developed area so we wanted to find a product that we could trust.
The second part of the trip involved a sponsored cycle ride on the Congo Nile bike trail to raise money for pulmonary fibrosis. This is a 240km trail through the bush, that was opened 5 years ago to try and bring sustainable ecotourism to the area. My daughter accompanied me on this trip, to carry out a research study into the impact of the trail on livelihoods and living conditions of women and children along the route.
We spent 5 days cycling and kayaking between remote villages on the shores of Lake Kivu. Cycling 40+ km a day, with around 1000m of climbing most days, with a starting altitude of 1400m above sea level just below the equator, we knew we would need to drink a lot of water every day. Equally important was weight, as we would be carrying everything with us.
Having used a variety of water purification options, from ceramic stirrup pump filters to tablets and even liquid iodine, I was keen to find a simpler but still effective solution. Having seen them at a meeting at the Royal Geographical Society, the Water-to-Go bottles looked too good to be true – they were cost-effective, portable, light and with easy suction.

My only concern was that the larger bottles might not fit in a standard mountain bike bottle cage, so bought an Alpkit stemcell to hold the bottles. The bottles worked better than I could have predicted, proving really easy to use one-handed while on the road, and easy to fill and clean. The water tasted fine, without any chemical odour and they also did fit the bottle cages after all. I also found them really good kayaking on a freshwater lake, where it was great to be able to scoop up some lake water mid-paddle.

I would definitely recommend this product for multi-day trekking, bike packing or kayaking trips, and with replacement filters available, they are really cost effective.

Guest blog post written by Dr. Rob Daniels FRGS

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.