Live Well, Drink Often
Live Well, Drink Often! A mantra so simple that it touches upon the most elemental need to sustain life. Water hydration is necessary for the health of our bodies, but in this era drinking water has become a bit more complicated. Our lives used to be so simple, but now in a world of rushing from here to there, grabbing a quick drink of tap water from a glass is outdated. Busy in our lives, we all wanted to carry our water around with us all day. Popularity of water bottles soared and with this proliferation, a major concern for our personal health and wellness as well as our environment.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Last spring, I approached my husband with an article I had read concerning water bottles. It stated that when plastic water bottles were reused, a practice so common among us, chemicals leached out of the bottle and into our bodies. This chemical, bisphenol-A, mimics the hormone estrogen that occurs naturally in the body. Studies have linked it to reproductive dysfunction in both male and female laboratory animals, including miscarriage, cancers and infertility. Some North American researchers and environmentalists have shown it can cause developmental, neural, behavioral damage as well.
A particular section of the article that struck me was the headline, “Is Your Water Bottle Making You Fat?” As an avid fan of exercise, this caused enormous apprehension. I thought, I am working hard to stay healthy, keep my heart in shape, yet harming myself with the water I drink. After examining the subject completely, we realized that disposable water bottles are just that – disposable. They are not to be reused. Although with concern for the environment, we were refilling them several times before taking them to be recycled.
Concurrently, baseball season was upon us. My husband, Gary, and his close friend, Drew, were coaching little league together. Daily, the two dad’s cleaned up the field and dugout before and after the practice of lingering, unclaimed water bottles. These bottles were not only the ones intended for disposal, but the more pricey versions intended to be reused.
Taking a break on the beach in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Rhode Island, our two families discussed the articles we had researched and our concern for all the waste on the field as well as the bisphenol-A issue associated with disposable plastic water bottles. It was time for us to find a solution. At first, we wanted to invent a better plastic, one that would not cause toxicity or environmental woes. After discussing these possibilities with plastic engineers, we decided it was out of our league and a new resolution needed to be found.
Spring rolled into summer, baseball rolled into soccer season. The two Dad’s, still coaching together, saw the same problem on the soccer field ~ Bottles everywhere! Even if they were not left on the bench or on the field, they were filling the garbage cans by the parking lot. The amount of waste was astronomical. We felt we needed to find a solution to this predicament. Then one day, Drew found his old “bota” in his basement. A bota is a Spanish word meaning “boot”. The Spanish and Greek used to carry wine or water in a leather poach that was lined with tree sap or resins to prevent the liquid from seeping through. In a modern world, these sacks were lined with latex. The light bulb went off. This tried and true product used for centuries in Europe is where the Swellz adventure began. Each boy on our soccer team was given a “bota”. What a stir it caused! There was excitement on the field. Markers and pens were handed out and the kids personalized their new water bottles. By the following practice, each child carried their new water bottle with pride; each water bottle was as different as the individual. Some had nicknames on them, others had drawings, and some had drawn logos of their favorite sports teams. But do you know the best part? Not one child left their water bottle on the field that day. Each day thereafter, they carried their bottle to the field, drank plenty of water to stay hydrated, and left without the reminder to take their bottle with them. The sense of personalization created ownership. Ownership is important in our lives, enhancing morals and sustainability. The best part, the kids started drinking more water – good, clean, safe, tap water. The kids carried their sacks to school and it became the rage. Teachers commented on the positive values of this product. They were also elated to see the children drinking more water and taking ownership of their belongings.
We found the solution. We modernized an old product to become effective in today’s world while reducing the use of plastic and eliminating the waste and the bottled water syndrome. We named the product the Swellz TapSack. The Swellz remind us of the daily tides and the TapSack for the vessel that carries good, old fashioned tap water. Now there is a plastic free alternative to carry water. This eliminates the concern for bisphenol-A, the chemical which has been sited for leaching from the bottles, potentially wreaking havoc on our immune systems. It also is a step in reducing waste by accumulating less plastic in the landfills, less recycling efforts, reduced use of fossil fuel to create the plastic water bottles and then to transport them all over the country. An additional benefit of using the TapSack is financial savings. The one time cost of a reusable TapSack is far less than the daily purchase of disposable water bottles.
We at Swellz want to make a difference. We would like to promote healthy lifestyles by encouraging the consumption of water and staying properly hydrated. The Swellz TapSack provides a way to do this in a safe manner while plastic bottles are made for a world that no longer exists.Have a Swellz Day!
Visit us at www.swellz.com.
The handmade Swellz TapSack comes in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to fit your personal style.
Swellz is a privately held company located in Canton, CT operated by two local families.Our Mission is to creatively deliver environmentally and fashionable TapSacks inspired by history. SwellzPO Box 472Collinsville, CT 06022