Just a quick posting to report on a fabulous weekend at Harvard Business School for my 10th reunion! It was an inspiring weekend to learn about the amazing things my fellow MBAs are doing in the world and the impact we are all having in so many different walks of life.
A highlight was participating in the entrepreneurial ventures alumni panel. It was a unique opportunity to not only tell the S’well story, but to learn from the other panelists and the impressive comments and questions from the audience participation. See picture attached: The moderator was Andy R. Wilson, MBA 1993, Founder and CEO, Rexter Inc., and the panelists were:
• Vinay K. Bhagat, MBA 1998, Founder and CEO, TrustRadius
• Walter I. Delph III, MBA 2003, CEO, Adly
• Sarah M. Kauss, MBA 2003, Founder and CEO, S’WELL Bottle
• Victoria K. Ransom, MBA 2008, Founder and CEO, Wildfire
I was asked what my favorite part of being the CEO of S’well is. Hands down, it is the positive impact S’well has on the environment and also the focus we can bring to the global water crisis. We had a great conversation about the value of leading a mission driven organization, having a wonderful team committed to core values, and allowing our customers to participate in our story. It was also really fun to see quite a few S’well bottles in use on campus!
From time to time, I’ll read an email or tweet from a S’well customer that just wants to say, “Hey, really love this bottle.” Or, “Thanks, my S’well is great.” Or even, “Can’t wait to tell everyone about S’well. Mine is awesome.”
And then, from out of the blue, the extraordinary appears in the inbox. This one I had to share. Just another S’well pal, who loves his bottle. Tells us his friends and crew are a bit envious of it. And even shared an Adventure picture with us...from his movie location [SFX: falling out of my chair] in the desert region of Southern Australia.
Somebody pick me up. I’m a bit starstruck at the sight of this picture of Guy Pearce on location with his S’well. I’m always delighted at the kind comments I receive, validating the work the S’well team is doing to spread the S’well word; because in the same breath, it’s a message to eliminate single use plastic bottles and bring awareness to the world water crisis.
Now I have to go look up the Guy Pearce fan mail address to send him some fan mail…
Photo submitted by Guy Pearce, taking a break from The Rover filming. On location in Southern Australia with Jack (Camera assistant), Dave (Director), Guy Pearce,(Grotty looking actor -note, his words, not ours!) , David (Focus puller), Pete (Camera operator)
Hello S'well pals, well, my New Year's resolution of writing blog posts more often is clearly not going well so far! I do have a good excuse; it has been nice and busy over here at S'well so far in 2013. We are in the midst of tradeshow season and we are also preparing to launch some exciting new lines. Stay tuned!
I wanted to take some time to let you know about an amazing organization, Cycle for Survival, that S'well is so happy to help support. I encourage you to watch the video below about the special founder of this impactful organization, Jennifer Goodman Linn, who sadly passed away but her legacy lives on.
What is Cycle for Survival?
Cycle for Survival is a high-energy indoor team cycling event that provides a tangible way to help beat rare cancers.100% of funds raised by this organization go directly to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and are allocated within six months of each event. The donations raised from the event help fund the most promising research and clinical trials, and have led to better treatments for cancer patients worldwide. Jennifer Goodman Linn and her husband, Dave, founded Cycle for Survival in 2007. It started as one spin class in 2007, and now has grown to 10 cities with 13,000 participants with over $26M raised for cancer research to date that has funded 53 clinical trials. This year alone the organization has raised over $8M with events in Miami, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, New Jersey, Long Island, and D.C., and there are still events in NYC, L.A. and Connecticut events still coming up!
Why raising this money is important:
More than half of people diagnosed with cancer have a rare form of the disease. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a “rare cancer” is one with a prevalence of fewer than 200,000 affected individuals in the United States. Many rare cancers are drastically underfunded, leaving patients with limited treatment options. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), the nation's preeminent center for research and treatment, is committed to changing that. Rare cancers include brain, pancreatic, cervical, sarcoma, stomach, pediatric cancersand many others. Each year MSKCC treats more than 400 subtypes of cancer.
Our "ask" and Call to Action:
S'well is helping to sponsor a team of 24 riders from Orange County, CA, who will be participating in the Los Angeles event on March 2. Their goal is to raise $30K as a team by March 2. We would love for you to learn more about this team and consider donating here: mskcc.convio.net/goto/ocspin
Kathleen and Guyan Randall, the team captains, are S'well pals and we are cheering them and their team on to victory. Here's to a day in the future where cancer is better understood and is eventually eliminated. Until then, how wonderful that organizations like this exist to support such an important cause. Thanks for helping to support this team and sharing this story! Even better — an anonymous benefactor is matching every dollar donated this week, so we can really make an impact this week by doubling up all donations.
Thanks everyone for your well wishes post-hurricane Sandy. The S'well team is back up and running, and the office and all team members have power and water again.
We are lucky for sure, but some of our very near neighbors in New York and the Northeast Region are not so lucky. As of this morning, roughly 676,000 are still without power in the Northeast. This is a surely progress from from the peak of roughly 8.6 million in the dark just one week ago. However, there are many really hurting from the storm, still without the basic necessities of daily life such as food and a hot shower, power or the Internet. Many friends and neighbors still cannot return home, nor do they have an idea when their flooded or damaged buildings will be inhabitable again.
As the S'well team got back to work this week, we struggled with the survivors guilt that we were all just fine, when just a few blocks away normal life will be slow to return. As we sat huddled in our still-freezing downtown office, wearing our winter coats indoors, we wanted to give back to our friends still out in the cold. So we cleared our calendars, packed up all the S'well bottles we had in our office and headed to our local coffee shop, Think Coffee, which was kind enough to donate as much hot coffee as we could give away. We deployed our network of Swell pals and a new friend picked up the team and our bounty to drive us to the areas still in the dark. If your ever seen the (note: terrible) movie 'Escape From New York', that's what it still feels like in parts of the city- a second society that's now changed forever.
We drove until we arrived at the first shelter that was listed as a place in need of warn provisions and supplies. There was a long orderly line out the door patiently waiting in the freezing cold. To our heart's glee we discovered that those waiting were not homeless, or the "Refugees" as the displaced New Yorkers are calling themselves, but this long line was actuality made up of volunteers waiting to sign in an help bring supplies to those in need. (note: awesome) So we drove on to the next long line that we found, staffed by those helpful volunteers, we found a line of bundled masses waiting outside a distribution center to receive flashlights, batteries, warm blankets and anything else they could find to help ease their return to the dark of their homes just blocks away. I was struck by just how many kids were in line. As we passed out cases of S'wells full of piping hot coffee and tea, every recipient said a heartfelt thank you.
In talking with the volunteers, we learned that many of the delivery vehicles coming into the city with needed supplies have been delayed due to still-flooded tunnels, and in many cases, the needed supplies simply don't exist within driving distance, since so many of the outlying areas to the City are in even worse shape. Driving back to our office, we passed many more lines, some wrapping around full city blocks, with no end in sight. These final lines of the day were lines of voters for the Presidential election. It was odd to see so many uniformed police officers overseeing the queue, however these lines were silent and orderly. Hundreds of New Yorkers, uncharacteristically patient, waiting for hours out in the cold to vote. I only wished we had even more S'wells filled with hot drinks to share. Regardless of your views on the election results, it is great to see so many neighbors caring about the future of our country enough to line up for hours to cast their vote. If you are in the Northeast, you know that another major winter storm is expected to strike today. The S'well team wishes everyone in the path of this storm warm thoughts and safety.
If you are not in this affected part of the world, thank you for considering giving to the American Red Cross to help assist those in need. I can assure you that there are many New Yorkers that are really struggling still and would be so appreciative of your assistance. Sending warm thoughts to all, and so appreciative of all those helping out their neighbors in need.
Hello S’well pals, it’s Sarah, S’wells founder reporting in from the amazing Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. Being here for the design show has been like waking up as a kid on Christmas morning, and being in Disney world simultaneously. It’s that good. I have made wonderful new connections for S’well, found new design inspirations and sourced rare finds for our new S’well pop-up shop in Palm Beach, Florida this winter (more to come on that soon!).
In the meantime, I wanted to share a few pictures from one of my fav designers, Nacho Carbonell. (Maybe there is something about the name Nacho that grants such appeal, as some of you may know of my little crush on the talented polo player of the same first name!)
Anyhow, this Nacho is a Spanish born artist with his main studio in the Netherlands and is certainly someone we will see on the international art and design scene for decades to come. His organic forms are whimsical and full of texture and natural elements. I love the most the benches with the hidden cubbies, the modular desks, and pretty much everything with ladders leading every which way. I first learned of this artist at Rossana Orlandi’s magical gallery in Milan and was lucky enough to visit Nacho’s working studio in the Netherlands this week.
I will leave you with a few pictures. For more about Nacho Carbonell and his work, www.NachoCarbonell.com
Ciao for now, more to come on the #DDW soon, Sarah
This is a great article that was in the New York Times a few years ago talking about how a stainless steel water bottle is produced and each of its environmental impacts along the way. It goes through Extraction, Processing, Manufacturing, Distribution, Use, and Disposal. The conclusion at the end of the article talks about how after multiple uses the stainless steel water bottle is far better for the environment, even though it is more energy and resource intensive initially.
NY Times article
I wanted to take the time to share with you all some crazy facts that I have been learning about the clean water crisis around the world.
In many parts of the world, the lack of clean water is a devastating problem. 1.2 billion people globally lack safe water to consume and 2.6 billion people do not have access to adequate sanitation. Most women and children have to walk 3 – 6 miles every day just to get water, so they miss out on pursuing an education, maintaining their households and the opportunity to earn additional income. About 4,000 children die every day, one every 8 seconds, because of the effects of unclean water. That means that at least 2 million people, mostly children, die every year from water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, cholera, dysentery, typhoid, hepatitis and malaria. In most cases, these diseases would be preventable by having access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation. Over half of the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by people suffering from preventable diseases caused by unclean water and inadequate sanitation. Dirty water poses a greater threat to human life than war or terrorism.
Bet you didn’t know this one:
Just one toilet flush in the West uses more water than most Africans have to perform an entire day’s drinking, cooking, washing and cleaning.
Meeting the UN goal of reducing by half the percentage of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015 would cost about $4 billion a year for 10 years. That amount represents just one month’s spending on bottled mineral water in Europe and the US.
We want to take the time to thank each and every one of you who has bought a S’well bottle for your contribution to start ending this global clean water crisis.
This is a brand new blog category where Helpful S'well brings us into her myserious life of customer service. Some emails we have to share. Some emails we should ignore. Here are some emails that are right on the bubble. Let's start with this one:
If I would lay down the swell bottle will it leak?”
How we wanted to reply:
"Um, well, can we ask you a question first before we answer that? Is your cap on or off? And did you tighten the cap? That would be good to know. One last thing: Is there a liquid of some kind in the bottle? Because if it's empty, it won't leak. Knowing the answers to our questions will help us answer your question correctly. And your grammar is all wrong. It's not “if I would.” Rather you should phrase the question, "When I lay down ..." or "After I lay down ..."" It's more direct and shows that, indeed, you intend to lay down the S'well bottle, empty or full we don't know. With the cap on or off, we don't know either. But you intend to lay down the bottle."
What we said instead:
"Thanks for the S'well question. You'll be happy to know that the seal on the cap when tightened properly prevents leaking. So go ahead and lay down with your S'well bottle. And should you ever lose your cap, rest assured you can purchase a replacement on our online store."
Happy to Help,
— S'well Helpful Team
We think people who treasure water are just S’well. So when we heard Lucien Cousteau — ocean environmentalist and grandson of celebrated ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau — speak at a recent conference here in NYC about how social media can help save our oceans, we were in awe.
When Mr. Cousteau saw us swilling from our S’well and said, “Oh, those bottles are all over my office,” well, we were in love.
Cousteau heads a nonprofit called Plant a Fish <http://www.plantafish.org> that supports local communities as they work to protect their marine environment. A project in New York City is repopulating the Hudson River’s oyster population.
A project in Florida is revitalizing Mangroves to protect the shoreline from storms and erosion. Another project in the Maldives and Florida Keys is working hard to save our coral reefs, the tropical forests of the sea.
Tweet that! By Cara Lipshe, Water Lover and S’well Empire Builder
One of my new year’s resolutions was to update this blog more frequently. So far this year, I haven’t been making stellar progress! Things have been busy this year so far, with many requests for new custom engraved S’well bottles, meetings with new retailers large and small and rolling out new products and new colors, coming very soon. On top of all this, it is trade show season again, and I once again find myself crisscrossing this great nation to attend gift shows with our amazing, energetic sales reps.
However, in the midst of all the flurry of activity, I wanted to take some time to update our S’well pals on some of our exciting international activity. Just this week, we have had some news from the far corners of the world that I find most exciting. So, in no particular order, here are a few recent examples of S’well bottles, taking the world by storm…. One bottle at a time!
The Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, is now going green and using his S’well bottle to tote coffee to hockey games and curling matches! He vows to give up plastic bottles this year and we are happy to share this picture of him with his Ocean Blue.
S’well bottles made quite a stir at the Danish design and gift show last week. Check out this great picture of the show in Herning, Denmark. This warm welcome from the Danish design community is especially exciting, given the value placed on both beauty and function by Scandinavian designers. We are expecting just as much excitement at Maison & Objet, Europe’s largest show next week in Paris.
I am just as thrilled about our first entry into the Australia and New Zealand market! We have recently partnered with Until, and S’well has received top billing in the Australian Gift Industry newsletter. I do certainly hope to take a field trip to visit our new partners in the land downunder just as soon as I can.
Rounding out the interesting international news this week, we received the following picture from one of our stores, a unique tea shop in the mountains of Taiwan. This S’well retailer wished us a “Kong Si Fa Tsai! ” or a very prosperous and happy Chinese New Year. Wishing this same greeting to each and every S’well pal.
Okay, it is back to work for me. With any luck, I should be updating this blog again very soon…
Here at S’well, we just don’t want the holidays to be over! So, here’s a little recipe to keep you toasty and warm all winter long… while letting the spirit of the holidays fill your senses (and your S’well!). This recipe for Gla’Cløgg (which means Happy Glogg of course), is a hot spiced wine & liquor drink. Fill your house with the scent and your S’well bottle with the taste. Simply substitute apple cider to serve a designated-driver version of the same. And make this the authentic way--don’t bother with measurements. Two pinches of cardamon seeds Handful slivered almonds 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks (sticks, not the ground stuff please) 6 figs (no, not prunes, figs. try the produce section, near other weird fruit) crystalized ginger slices (just a little) orange peel (sure, peel an orange or clementine and throw it in!) two handfuls raisins or craisins 1 bottle burgundy wine equal parts orange juice & pineapple juice brandy (pour out and say “glugg, glugg, glugg” and you’re done) 1 bottle port wine sweet vermouth (more “glugg, glugg, glugg”) Best to start this the day before you plan to serve. Crush cardamom seeds in a large pot. Combine with rest of nuts and fruit. Pour enough wine over the fruit to cover it by about an inch. Bring this to a rolling boil. Cover and cool. Let stand for a few hours. Actually a day. Make that two days. Return pot to the stovetop about 2 hours before serving. Add the fruit juices, brandy, remainder of burgundy wine (oh, we forgot to tell you, don’t drink the rest of the bottle!), port, and sweet vermouth. Heat on low, DO NOT BOIL, and it will be nicely warmed when guests arrive. Enjoy!
When the group at S’well wants to relax after a hard day of work we go… to a conference. I know, we really know how to let loose and get wild.
But this was a short conference — just two hours — and it was on a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts: pro-social initiatives in media. Speakers from NBC Green Is Universal, MTV Networks International, BET and Lifebeat talked about the programs they’re spearheading to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS, human trafficking, domestic violence, bullying, ecology and women’s health issues. This wasn’t a case of big media trying to earn brownie points. We were all struck by how committed, authentic and informed the panelists were.
Not only were S’well staffers in attendance. Each panelist got a S’well bottle to sip from during the panel.
Through the great contacts we met at this event, we’re working to get a documentary on-air about WaterAid and the worldwide water crisis. We’re all incredibly excited by this opportunity and promise to keep you in the loop with updates.
-Submitted by Cara Lipshie, S’well Creative Director
Happy Friday S’well pals and loyal blog readers! I thought you’d like to know a bit about what team S’well has been up to this summer and why I haven’t been posting to the blog often. It has been a very busy summer of attending Gift Shows. The Gift Shows are basically one large store for retailers to shop for their stores. Before this past summer, I didn’t know anything about this world. However, after having S’well bottles in shows all over the US, I am convinced that the next great reality show will be about the shenanigans that go on at these shows and the crazy products that are sold… if you can imagine it, I saw it in a booth at a show this summer!
Meeting the retailers was super fun and rewarding. I am happy to report that S’well bottles can now be found in cool stores from coast to coast- we are in well over 100 stores now and we still have lots of new orders left to ship. It was also great to meet in person many of our happy S’well fans, S’well bottles in hand, and to hear their stories of where they take their S’well bottles and why they agree that they are the best insulated stainless bottles on the planet. I couldn’t agree more, of course!
Gift Show season was mostly hard work but there were some fun times had along the way. Some highlights: Spending time in Atlanta with good pal Ashley and enjoying gourmet food truck night. At the Los Angeles show I learned many new magic tricks, but failed miserably at trying to make balloon animals. I also attended a vendor party where a vacuum cleaner salesman wound up in the swimming pool. Really. While in San Francisco, I met with the curator of the Perils of Plastics exhibit at the Aquarium By the Bay (blog posting on this forthcoming) and had an amazing meal with dear friends Julie and Chris. The New York show was thankfully closer to home, and I enjoyed meeting potential new partners from around the world through an amazing program, Aid for Artisans.
It was also nice to spend time with our S’well sales reps and to meet the other companies exhibiting products. Many new friends were made, and as an added bonus I now have all my ideas for holiday shopping planned out! Okay, back to processing orders and shipping product over here. Have a S’well weekend, and wishing everyone in the path of hurricane Irene a very safe weekend too.
So, you probably don’t need to read this excerpt below from US News and World Report to know that it is REALLY hot out there this week! But, a heat dome? Really?
WEDNESDAY, July 20 -- The meteorological monster -- dubbed a "heat dome" by weather experts -- that has throttled much of the United States from the Southwest to the Ohio Valley for days, pushed into the Northeast Wednesday, ushering in oppressive humidity, temperatures in the high 90s and heat indices surpassing 100 degrees.
We here at S’well have decided to embrace and celebrate the heat dome. So, we are polling all 141 million Americans stuck in this "heat wave" to ask what their beverage of choice is to stay cool this week. Naturally we polled the office to find out what our staffers have been drinking out of their S’well bottles this summer. Here are there favorites with tips and links to recipes:
Send your favorite drink recipe to adventures (at) swellbottle (dot) com. We'll taste them and once we sober up, we'll award the contributor of the best recipe with an exclusive, first edition, S'well Tee-shirt.
When I first came to New York City, I expected to see tall buildings when looking up but I didn’t expect to see so many water towers sitting on top of almost every building. This caused me to wonder- why does NYC have so many water towers ? And, how do they work?
The Water S’wells
Little did I know that the story of NYC water towers that dot our skyline starts way back in the 1800’s, as the NYC population dramatically increased and housing/apartment buildings started to grow higher. To prevent excessively high water pressure (which could burst pipes) when trying to reach these higher floors , the city then (and now) required buildings higher than six stories to be equipped with a rooftop water tower. The original water tower builders were barrel makers who expanded their craft to meet these new building requirements. As then, no sealant is used with these wooden structures to hold the water in. Wooden walls, which are not painted or chemically treated so as not to taint the water flavor, are held together with cables. At first, the walls leak until water saturates the wood that swells to close the gaps which then become impermeable.
To learn more about the history behind these towers and to know how they work, this 2009 article by Sean Joseph from AM New York provides an engaging overview of these skyline icons and relics of the past (and our present). http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/water-towers-nyc-s-misunderstood-icons-1.1143133
Water Towers and the NYC Skyline
Skyline icons and relics of the past they are. Andy Rosenwach of Rosenwach Tank Co. (one of two family businesses in operation since the late-1800s that continue to build water towers in NYC) has said "Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Pisa has the Leaning Tower and New York has the water tower." So next time you’re out and about in NYC, look up to see the variety of water tanks that adorn NYC rooftops. There are wood tanks and steel tanks, large tanks and small tanks, round tanks and square tanks. Some are in plain sight and some have been enclosed in ornate or decorative structures. How many different tanks can you count?
We can admit it, there are infrequent occasions when there is no access to clean tap water and we might pick up bottled-water to ensure we stay hydrated during the day. On one such time when sitting at a distant beach, examining the bottle label provided a huge surprise: the lack of complete product information. The label did not disclose the source of the water, where it came from. Nor did it indicate if the water had been purified and the process for purification. Plus, if there were any contaminants found in the water purification process, this was not included on the label. For all we knew, this premium priced bottled water could have just been given a marketing make-over and contained repurposed tap water. This got us thinking: what is (or is not) disclosed on bottled water labels?
Rather than conduct all of this research ourselves, the recently released 2011 Bottled Water Scorecard provides an in-depth analysis of 173 unique bottled water products evaluating label disclosure. Included are top globally and nationally recognized brands such as Coca-Cola’s Dasani, Nestlé’s Poland Spring and Pepsi’s Aquafina as well as smaller, local store brands like Kroger or Ralph’s Pure Drinking Water. You will find:
Use a stainless steel water bottle
Take a look for yourself to see the details behind this summary where you can see if one of your favorite brands happens to be on the “Shelf of Shame”. Like the Environmental Working Group, we recommend you drink tap water (filter if needed) and convert to a reusable stainless steel drinking bottle. We prefer S’well, however any reusable bottle will do. Not only will you save money, you’ll be drinking water that is regulated and verified as being safe and clean. And, you’ll be helping to solve the global glut of plastic bottles. We were staggered to read that “every 27 hours Americans consume enough bottled water to circle the entire equator with plastic bottles stacked end to end.” Let’s do our part to cut that number back.
Elizabeth Weisser, a S’well pal, is a NYC-based sustainability marketer. A recent Columbia University Environmental Research and Conservation program graduate, she is passionate about our earth and especially maintaining natural environments and local cultures.
Finally, here at S’well, we think water crisis has a third meaning, evoking the waste in our planet’s beautiful waterways. It is a crisis to have all this plastic mess in our oceans and waterways. This stunning photo is 2 million plastic bottles, or the number of plastic bottles discarded every five minutes in the US alone! Yuck. As a Floridian and ocean lover, this mess simply breaks my heart.
So, this World Water Day, I encourage you to give thanks for the clean fresh water we have access to. I encourage you to learn more about the global water crisis and what you can do to help others to have access to this basic human right. And, let’s all try to make simple everyday adjustments to help conserve this precious resource, in every way we can.
Water crisis can also be used to describe those with access to water in developed countries, but with a dwindling supply because of population growth, using this scarce resource inefficiently, and from changing environmental conditions. By 2050, urban cities will have to support 3 billion more inhabitants than today, and urban planning to meet these growing needs has been mostly focused on industry and agriculture, with little thought to drinking water and sanitation. Making matters more complicated, add in climate change and Mother Nature’s recent tendency towards unpredictable weather patterns such as floods and droughts. However, this water crisis doesn’t just affect growing population centers like China and India fighting over Himalayan glacier run-off, but hits much closer to home for most of us.
Even US cities are running water deficits- water demand in the US has tripled in the last 30 years, while population has grown at only 50%. (I found this list of the ten US cities that are running out of water interesting.) In this area, we as consumers can have a direct impact by being informed of how the everyday choices we make impacts water use. Americans use 106 gallons for daily drinking, washing, and cooking. (For contrast, in developing countries, its only 2½ gallons a day.) So, what can we do to cut back on our daily use? Take showers, but shorter ones. When I was young, my brother won a science fair with a project “what uses more water, a shower or a bath?”. Turns out, it is a bath, but it depends on how long you shower for. A bathtub holds 11 gallons of water. (noting that someone in a slum may only get 1½ gallons total for daily needs!) Taking a quick shower is an easy start- if you cut your shower time by 5 minutes you’ll save up to 20 gallons of water per shower. Another easy way to cut back- carry a reusable water bottle. It takes 1.85 gallons to make the average plastic bottle! Of course, I recommend the S'well bottle! (www.swellbottle.com)
Our world is mostly made of water. Over 3/4 of the earth is covered in water but 97% of this amount is salt water, and of the 3% freshwater, only a tiny fraction is available for drinking (most of this is stored in the atmosphere and in aquifers, not as ground water). Water is a basic human necessity, yet 884 million people, or 1/8 of the world’s population, do not have access to safe water. March 22nd is World Water Day, and to celebrate this, I have dedicated this posting, and the ones to come tomorrow and the next day, on what the water crisis means to me.
The term water crisis can mean many things. First, it describes those without water, and there is a long way to go to provide clean water to so many in need. This need affects women and children primarily, who do the bulk of the work to fetch and carry water (often unclean and unhealthy water at that) back to their homes. Every 20 seconds (yes, 20 seconds) a child dies from a water-related disease and shockingly- diarrhea kills more children every year than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Households (generally women) in rural Africa spend 26% of their time fetching water and 443 million school days are lost each year due to water related diseases! I am an efficiency seeker, and can’t imagine the waste of this time and energy that should spent being engaged in fulfilling vocations, attending school, having fun and enjoying life instead of all this water gathering! Organizations such as WaterAid, our partner, and other aid organizations have been working to address this critical issue. To learn how you can make an impact and bring attention to these issues by donating, volunteering or even simply signing up to link your social media accounts on World Water Day can help to bring attention to these issues, visit http://oneweekforwater.org/.
I have really enjoyed engaging with so many S’well pals during our contest to name the new S’well bottle colors, which have been posted in our store. We have now announced all seven winners:
Are you getting your 8-10 glasses each day?
Be Healthy- Drinking more water is good for you. But, really, you already know that. Your body is mostly made of water, you are healthier, have more energy, are smarter, and look better when you drink more of it.
If you remember back to your grade school science classes, our bodies are made up of cells, and these cells are primarily made of water. If you are dehydrated, your cells cannot function properly and you start to feel lethargic and tired. Making matters worse, many of us will then reach for a caffeinated beverage for a pick me up, which only dehydrates our bodies and causes more fatigue. Drinking water instead helps reinvigorate us by helping to move essential nutrients around the body, while helping our kidneys filter out toxins.
The most sensitive area of our bodies to becoming dehydrated is our brains. Remember those firing neuron cells in the brain don't multiply like other cells in our bodies and cannot regenerate once damaged. So when we become dehydrated, our brain function slows down and we can’t process information as efficiently.
Water also plays a key role in keeping our bodies at a healthy weight, as it is an important part of how our metabolisms breakdown proteins and carbohydrates. This is why almost all diet plans recommend drinking a healthy 8-10 glasses of water each day to help to burn fat and assist in losing weight.
Drinking more water also makes your skin healthier, as your skin is the organism through which water if first lost through sweating… and of course it the part of you that allows you to put your best face forward! To have healthier skin, drinking plenty of water is vitally important. When skin is dehydrated, the rate of repair decreases, causing dreaded wrinkles.
Finally, drinking enough water also helps us be happier by directly preventing depression by ensuring our bodies adequately replenish the neurotransmitter serotonin and it helps ensure a good night sleep by producing the sleep regulator melatonin.
So, go enjoy a glass of tap water to your good health! Tap water is healthy and in many cases much healthier than bottled water.A few easy ways to get more water into your day:
1. Start each morning with a refreshing glass of water, before doing anything else. It will jumpstart your day and energize you even before having a healthy breakfast.
2. Try making water more exciting, squeeze lemon, lime or orange slices into a pitcher in the ‘fridge- and try to finish drinking the whole pitcher each day.
3. Tie drinking water to daily activities, such as every time you jump in the car or head to the subway for your commute, or each time you take the dog for a walk, grab your waterbottle as part of the routine.
4. Be sure you have a few reusable stainless steel water bottles that you really love… of course, our favorite is the S’well bottle because it keeps water cold forever. Keep one at home, one at work, one in your gym bag!
5. Take a break at 3pm everyday, walk away from your computer, roll your shoulders, relax and have a large glass of water. You will gain so much energy, avoid that mid-afternoon slump and also have a fresh perspective when you return to your tasks.
6. Sip some water while you prepare dinner, it takes the edge off hunger which is often exacerbated by thirst. Oftentimes you think you are hungry when really you are just thirsty!
7. Finally, take a moment before heading to bed to have a glass of room temperature water. This will help you begin to relax and will help your digestion while you sleep.
In this film clip, Jonathan Kim gives a thoughtful review of the movie Plastic Planet and a number of striking statistics about why we shouldn't be using plastic, at all, and especially plastic water bottles. As if we needed another reason to give up plastic water bottles, consider this statistic, 92.6% of Americans have detectable amounts of plastic chemicals in their blood and urine, and bisphenol A (BPA) has even been found in the air around the world. With all the talk on reducing the amount of BPA, it is still legally and often used in plastic food containers and to line canned foods.
So, use your S'well bottle and drink tap water. Tap water is healthy. And using plastic just might kill you. Some facts:
Bottled water in the US falls under the regulatory authority of the Food and Drug Administration. Yet, 70% of bottled water never crosses state lines for sale, making it exempt from FDA oversight.
On the other hand, water systems in the developed world are well-regulated. In the US, municipal water falls under the purview of the Environmental Protection Agency, which has a higher standard than the FDA, and is regularly inspected for bacteria and toxic chemicals. Now there’s a claim that can’t be made for bottled water!
S'well bottle enjoyed reading this story by Christopher Gray in the NYTimes. 200 years ago in New York City, clean water was celebrated and the water supply system was a visible part of life- as evidenced in this photo of the distributing reservoir right on Fifth Avenue at 42nd street, where Bryant Park stands today. Back in that era "you might see some of the best society in New York on top of the Distributing Reservoir", where today many (most?) city dwellers don't have a clue where their water comes from. A striking fact, back in 1842, New Yorkers used 24 gallons of water per person per day. Any guess how much water the average NYC resident uses today? 130 gallons, and rising. An interesting tidbit to keep in mind as we try to reduce our water use this year.
Here at S'well bottle, we can't think of a better New Year's Resolution than giving up plastic water bottles. This is the time of the year so many of us try to be healthier. Drinking more water is good for you, and not using plastic bottles is good for the planet. We know that going cold turkey is not going to be easy, and the plastic habit is a hard one to break. But give it a shot and see how you can make tiny adjustments everyday in your plastic consumption that will really add up over the year. Think about this, Americans drink 21 gallons of bottled water per capita per year and spend $7 billion annually on bottled water. Making matters worse, municipal tap water is regulated by the EPA more stringently than bottled water is by the FDA. So, use your S’well bottle and go with the cleaner, safer, less expensive option this year, and as much as you can, skip the plastic bottle. That's one resolution we think is well worth the small effort needed. Wishing everyone a Healthy, Helpful and Happy new year.
Welcome to the new S’well Bottle website. After a busy year of product design, development and production, we are excited to launch this innovative new product and bring S’well bottles to the world. Thanks for your interest. We hope you enjoy using your S’well bottle. Why not join us on Facebook by hitting the Like button below?
Our vision is simple. We envision a world uncluttered by plastic bottles needlessly wasted, tossed away and polluting our planet. We envision a world where every human being has access to fresh drinking water. We envision a world where S’well bottles are synonymous with style and function, where those proudly carrying a S’well bottle are not only well hydrated, but also are rightly perceived as having a high level of social and environmental consciousness... not to mention great taste.
As the United Nations begins its summit on the Millennium Development Goals in New York (and makes traffic unbearable for us locals), the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous consent the Water for the World Act, a bill that strengthens the clean water and sanitation foreign assistance priorities. If passed by the U.S. House, the legislation would focus and strengthen the United States contribution to meeting the MDGs.
"The Water for the World Act helps refocus America's foreign assistance on one of the most dangerous problems facing developing countries: lack of access to clean drinking water," Congressman Earl Blumenauer. "By working to provide clean water for the first time to 100 million people, we can bring safety and stability to regions where access to water has been a major cause of conflict."