Water scarcity affects everyone in one way or another and without innovative interventions the problem will only get worse in the future. Plastic pollution is another major problem that has implications for water quality, the marine environment, and the food supply worldwide.
Nepal, where the Himalayas are a major attraction, has seen increased tourism and outdoor recreation recently. Over the last few years, major outdoor sporting events targeting locals and internationals have become prominent as well. During these events, because of their physical nature, large amounts of water are consumed.
Without a clean source of water, a large amount of plastic waste is generated, to combat this SmartPaani has participated in and sponsored clean water provision at 8 events this year by providing clean, filtered water to participants. The list of events includes Kathmandu Mountain Bike Festival, Himalayan Outdoor Festival, Kathmandu Kora, The Yak Attack, Adventure Film Festival, Monsoon Chainless Downhill, Nepal Impact Marathon, and the Godavari Running Festival.
Why do we do this?
First, plastic pollution is a major environmental threat globally. Unlike climate change, much of the recent plastic pollution and major source of plastic in the oceans are so-called “developing countries”. Asia is one of the major contributors to this problem. The problem is not just in the oceans, plastic blocks rivers and breaks down in the food chain and even water supply at the local level as well. By providing clean water at events, the amount of plastic is reduced, and the events left cleaner which reduces the amount of plastic waste going into the water bodies nearby.
Second, the participants attending these events are made aware. By using high quality, affordable, filtration such as SmartPaani’s Tripti filter, municipal, tanker and rainwater can easily be made drinkable without needing to boil water (unlike “cheaper” solutions). By promoting simple solutions at these events, the bottled water and jar water (plastic lids) along with fuel used for boiling is reduced. Many participants have told us they are really satisfied with their filters, the safe water, and reduced expenses of boiling/buying jar water. Some say they recovered their costs in 4 months.
Last, aspiration. SmartPaani’s filters are affordable, yet also good quality for everyone. By providing clean water at outdoor sports, we are practicing what we preach as even our staff partake in the events. By serving water to all participants and having many take home filters, including local foreigners, it shows that the filters used are quality products.
Plastic has its place in the future, but not as a single-use disposable resource. Clean water can and should be available at the point of use, and quality and affordable filtration is the easiest way of ensuring that. Let’s all put our hands together and work toward the reduction of disposable plastic and the provision of clean water for all.