An easy way to stop contributing to plastic pollution

Plastic pollution is a major issue we are struggling with globally.  It doesn’t just touch certain people, but really affects everyone!  Often, we use plastic without even realizing it.  And just like that, BAM, we’re contributing to the problem!  That in itself is a huge issue.  And it’s not just plastic.  It’s single-use ‘garbage’ as a whole.  That coffee cup we will discard, the container your cookies come in, the wrapping around a box of chocolates.  We just don’t realize how all this trash is taking over our lives and our planet.  Did you know that there are more than 5 trillion pieces of plastic are already floating in our oceans? That’s an insane amount!

When we set out to explore South East Asia, we were oblivious to the fact that pollution and plastic use was so inherent.  Litter is everywhere.  People throw out their trash on the streets without even flinching.  This was a real shock to us Canadians, who are so used to recycling and even composting.  We try to create as little waste as possible and littering is just unthinkable back home!

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The biggest issue here however, has to be the plastic bottles.  Most of the water in Asia is not potable.  So the ‘only’ way to stay hydrated is to buy bottles.  And when you’re out exploring in 40+ degrees (Celsius, of course or like 100 Fahrenheit), the amount of water you need is crazy.  Around the world, nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold every minute.  Think about that!  I’m speechless! Especially knowing that only about 10% of that will be recycled, another 10% will be incinerated, which leaves about 80% that end up in landfills or the environment.  Scary!

Not only is this just creating immense amounts of plastic pollution, but it’s also a huge waste of money.  Just some basic math shows us the problem – Your body needs at least 2 litres of water per day.  You will be spending a good $2-3 a day on bottles.  It may not seem like much when you’re on a 2-week vacation, but after a few months of traveling, that adds up to more than we care to count!

Luckily, we (ok, I) love to do research, and came upon many solutions that offer to clean your water to make it drinkable.  Some sterilize water, others just filter it.  But what we came about seemed to be the Holy Grail of water bottles.  The Lifestraw Go did it all.  It filters and sterilizes water so you can drink it from almost anywhere.  A river, a waterfall, a puddle, that gross-looking river… ok you could, but we didn’t try!

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Basically, this is a bottle that has a straw integrated in the cap.  When you drink the water, it gets pulled up the straw where it is filtered and becomes clean drinking water just like that! Magic!!  The bottle (or rather, the straw) will filter out 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoa.  Now that is impressive!

The best thing ever is seeing the looks we get from locals when we ask to fill up our Lifestraw bottle.  They always protest, saying the water is not potable.  But when we explain how our bottle is magic and cleans the water, they are always left in awe!  Now, if only we could tell them how a LifeStraw product can provide up to 8,000 water bottles worth of safe drinking water, that would blow their minds!  Just imagine how much plastic we could save from ending up in landfills and the oceans!  And think about the money we’re saving!  Sure, the bottle was $60CND, but that’s like 20 days of bottle buying.  And because the filter works for so long, we never have to think twice about drinking more water.

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And that’s not all (channeling my best Oprah here).  For every Lifestraw product sold, a school child receives safe water for an entire school year.  At the moment, they are at over 1 million students getting access to clean water thanks to this initiative.  LifeStraw even has a Give Back program to ensure sustainability through comprehensive planning, training, education and follow-up visits.  They take this very seriously!  And we love it!

So if it weren’t clear enough, here’s why we love this Lifestraw Go bottle:

  • You don’t have to buy water bottles ever again! This is a double win because you end up saving money AND, very simply NO MORE FREAKIN’ PLASTIC in the ocean or landfills.  Seriously, that shit will be there long after we’re gone!  How long?  We don’t even know but it’s estimated between 450 years and FOREVER!
  • You can always have drinking water.  Like anywhere, anytime there is water, you can turn it into drinking water. Ok, except ocean water, it doesn’t filter out salt!
  • It’s super easy to transport.  It’s not too big or too small, it’s compact and it has a carabiner so you can attach it to your bag.  Super convenient!

It may seem like we’re in love, and we kind of are, but there are a few drawbacks:

  • You can’t freeze the bottle, so the water is rarely cold.  On super hot days, we miss having ice cold water.  The trick we found is that we fill a different bottle up with water, and leave that in the fridge.  Then we fill our Lifestraw bottle up with that cold water.  So it’s not that bad of a negative point!
  • The next one is a silly one, but worth mentioning.  Sometimes, you just want to chug water.  Like a total savage!  You want to be able to take big gulps to really quench your thirst.  Well, you can’t with this bottle!  It’s always a straw, so you always have to suck.  And it’s always the same rhythm and flow.  So it’s only so much water at a time.  This may not seem like a big issue, but let me tell you, we miss chugging water!

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So there it is.  A simple, cost-effective way of saving our planet, reducing the use of plastic and staying hydrated at the same time.  If this isn’t cool, I don’t know what is.  Ok, to be honest, maybe I actually have no idea what’s cool anymore!

Note:  This is in no way a paid article or partnership with Lifestraw.  These are our honest opinions on a product we have been using for several months now. 

Another note: All the stats provided here were taken from National Geographic’s article on plastic pollution. 


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