With a busy week behind you and the weekend within reach, there’s no shame in taking things a bit easy on Friday afternoon. With this in mind, every Friday TriplePundit will give you a fun, easy read on a topic you care about. So, take a break from those endless email threads and spend five minutes catching up on the latest trends in sustainability and business.
We all know how important it is to stay hydrated: It keeps us alert, increases productivity, and alleviates common aliments like headaches and muscle soreness.
But a recent lawsuit against Nestlé, alleging the company continued to siphon water from California forests despite an expired special-use permit and a severe drought, reminds us how important it is to consider the way we get our daily water fix.
Bottled water comes with a hefty set of environmental impacts beyond the obvious plastic waste, which estimates peg at around 60 million bottles a day in the U.S. alone. The water must, of course, be extracted, and as the Nestlé case shows, this may happen in areas where water is scarce. Add in the manufacture of plastic packaging, and it takes 1.39 liters of water to create a one-liter bottle of the stuff.
For a creative solution to our nation's bottled water problem, we turned to that ever-bubbling hot-spring of innovation, Kickstarter. The ideas may seem silly to some (why reinvent the water bottle, anyway?). But if it gets more people to switch from pre-packaged water to a reusable water bottle, we're all for it. Read on for eight ideas that made us look twice.
Who knows why so many of us forget our reusable water bottles at home. David Ziegler and Felix Durst, creators of the Aquabook concept on Kickstarter, are hoping it's the awkward shape and size of our bottles that make them inconvenient or easily forgettable.
For this problem, they've dreamed up an innovative solution: a water bottle with the look and feel of a book or tablet. Despite its slim design, the BPA-free bottle can hold 25 ounces of water for easy hydration on-the-go.
And, in true Kickstarter water-bottle fashion, this unique idea doesn't skimp on style. Choose from five bottle and cap colors to customize your Aquabook, and add a photo or a favorite quote to make it your own. (Yes, it's a bit like those trapper-keepers from your pre-teen years, but that's kind of what we like about it.)
Love flavored water but hate the disposable packaging? Recreate your favorite flavor -- from simple citrus to exotic ginger -- using a water infuser, and get all the taste without the waste.
This Kickstarter innovation, the HopFuse, will help you do just that. Simply unscrew the bottom lid, put your fruits, veggies and herbs into the infuser, pour in your water, and infuse away!
As an added bonus, which you may have guessed from the name, the HopFuse can flavor more than water. Designed to help you turn that dirt-cheap beer into a craft-brewed concoction, the bottle lets you personalize your beer experience -- ensuring you'll never sip on boring suds again. It comes with four flavor blends -- Belgian, IPA, pale ale and stout -- to get you started. Not one for beer? It'll infuse your favorite tea, too!
Thanks to a beautifully simple design, the 21-ounce Hydaway packs down small enough to fit in your pocket. Its pint-size makes it perfect for campers and trekkers -- not to mention lazy people who just can't today (seriously, stash one in your purse or desk and thank yourself later).
This sleek, insulated canteen is perfect for those weekend treks to your favorite campground -- but it's hiding a secret: It converts easily into a cup for hot coffee or cold beer once you arrive at your destination.
"One of the beauties of camping is that you pack only the essentials," creator Stable Goods Co. wrote on its Kickstarter page. "Many people still pack a bottle and a separate cup for coffee or beer. The Pint is designed to be used with all your beverages." All-day hydration and all-night fun in one neat little package ... where do we sign up?
This self-massage technique can help loosen tired muscles and keep them ready for rigorous training. But foam rolling equipment can be bulky, and athletes on the go may be tempted to sacrifice this wellness tactic for a bit of extra space in their gym bags.
Enter the GR Bottle: a water bottle with a foam roller built in. It was created for athletes, by an athlete (U.S. Olympic bobsled and skeleton team member Austin McCrary, to be precise). The bottle is designed to fit perfectly in your hand to make rolling easy, and the wide mouth also gives it the unique ability to be emptied out and used as a storage container for travel. It's like a hydration station, a personal trainer and a travel buddy rolled into one.
Medical professionals insist more research is needed to determine the true benefits of alkaline water (if any). But alternative medical proponents are all about it, and many in the wider wellness community think something along the lines of, "Why not? Doesn't sound like a bad idea."
If you're itching to give alkaline water a try, DYLN, a recently funded Kickstarter concept dubbed "the living water bottle," is an easy way to do it. Designed to replace alkaline waters sold in single-serving bottles, the DYLN raises the pH of regular tap water using a mineral bead diffuser.
Caraffe-style water filters are big sellers, but they won't help you if you're on the go. And water-filter bottles designed for camping can be cumbersome ... not to mention unattractive if, you know, the aesthetics of your water bottle is something of interest to you.
Enter the Welly: A stylish, on-the-go bottle that removes chlorine and particulates, as well as that overall funky smell and taste, using activated coconut shell carbon. As an added bonus, Welly will donate $1 to charity: water for every bottle sold.
To go with your smartphone, smart watch and kitchen-full of smart appliances comes the first smart water bottle. At first glance, this would seem like yet another item no one asked for. But it turns out a whole boat-load of people asked for it -- 895 backers pledging $75,277 to be exact.
Recently funded on Kickstarter and now in its pre-order phase, Trago is a cap that fits on all wide-mouth water bottles (at least that's what the company claims, but it comes with its own bottle too). It connects to the user's phone, wearable devices and health platforms, and uses smart data like body type, weather and activity level to help determine his or her optimal level of hydration.
It measures how much you drink, and keeps you on track to meet your daily goals via your smartphone. Like many tech concepts, it bridges the divide -- pleasing wellness enthusiasts curious about their optimal water intake, as well as those of us who can barely remember the car keys let alone hourly hydration.
Images courtesy of Kickstarter