water refill and water filters

bkk265water

Part of the reason we think I got so sick that day in bangkok is because of heatstroke and dehydration. We were cycling for hours in direct sunlight, and even though I had watermelon slushie at lunch it wasn’t enough. We didn’t utlise the roadside water stations either.

I’m still feeling the aftereffects of that bout of sickness. Waking up with a splitting headache that lasts the whole day, sometimes the room will be spinning around. Thankfully, no throwing up or urge to.

So, lesson learned. Keep hydrated.

refilluk

Something new that’s gaining momentum in the UK is the Refill initiative. It started in Bristol and is now in Bath, Bicester, Durham, Dumfries, Norwich, Henley-on-Thames, Brighton, Bicester and all over Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. Here’s how it works:

Participating cafes, bars, restaurants, banks, galleries, museums and other businesses simply put a sticker in their window – alerting passers-by to the fact they’re welcome to come on in and fill up their bottle – for free!

That’s it. Anyone with a refillable bottle can go into participating locations and fill it up with tap water. There’s an app (of course there’s an app) that shows where these refill points are, and individuals and businesses can even suggest additional refill points. One of the first companies to sign up is Whitbread so there will be 3,000 participating Costas and Premier Inns by March. There are currently 1,600 refill points across the country.

The traditional alternative to buying bottled water is water fountains. But they are the responsibility of local councils, are expensive to install and maintain, and prone to vandalism. This scheme seems much more likely to succeed. Honestly, I’d support it even if there’s a small charge like 5p. But I guess trading standards come into it.

I remember filling water bottles from fountains in Europe and of course now a lot of airports have water stations beyond security. This type of scheme may not work in all countries; I’m thinking countries where citizens are, well, less disciplined than the British. I can just see a post at r/britishproblems where the OP goes into Costa to ask for water refill and end up buying a muffin because they feel bad that they went inside and bought nothing.


Talking about water, here’s the latest from probably the charity I support most, Folia Water: they’ve been selected as a finalist in the Women Who Tech startup challenge. The 10 finalists will present their pitches on 8-March at google’s NYC office. Amongst the other finalists are IoT and AR systems; products to help infants and Alzheimer’s patients; sustainable processes that use bio and organic materials; and two water treatment products including Folia’s pAge paper. Go Dr Teri!!

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