Categories
LARQ News Lifestyle

The DIY Bust-a-germ Box: Sanitize your household objects in a pinch!

With resources running low, our wonderful LARQ Community has been asking us how to use the LARQ cap in other ways. So, we’ve been experimenting and testing to find out how. You can actually leverage our PureVis™ UV-C technology to eradicate bacteria & viruses from common items like your cell phone, keys, remote, or even your keyboard! This means there is less need for using single-use disinfecting wipes and paper towels. If there’s a way to reduce, you know we’ll always take it. Since we’re all quarantined safely at home, we’ve concocted a step-by-step guide to making your own method of sanitizing objects at home with things you most likely already have around the house–including your LARQ Bottle’s cap!

We’re calling it: The Bust-a-germ Box

How it works

With the scientifically proven power of UV-C LED technology, PureVis™ is effective against bacteria & viruses in Adventure Mode, a 3-minute cleaning cycle you can activate with a double-tap of the button. UV-C is germicidal at 200-280nm, and our PureVis™ technology operates at the optimal 280nm wavelength to bust germs. The power from UV-C at this wavelength can effectively eradicate bio-contaminants from the air, surfaces, and water. 

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about how UV technology works to eliminate bacteria & viruses. Devices like UV wands aren’t as effective because they require the optimal conditions. UV-C is most effective in environments where the distance between the UV-C light and the object is controlled and the duration of sterilization is controlled–which is why we cooked up this Bust-a-germ Box DIY recipe to help you take household items and upcycle them to sanitize items around your home! 

With The Bust-a-germ Box, you’ll be taking your LARQ Bottle’s cap and putting it to use outside of the usual self-cleaning and water purification in your LARQ Bottle! This DIY will allow you to eliminate germs from things like your keys, remote controls, phones, and just about anything that can fit into it without obstructing the light!

The Bust-a-germ Box works best with objects that have flat or curved uniform surfaces. Items like glasses, headphones or a computer mouse are great examples of things you can sanitize.

Pack it up, box it in, Let me begin
I came to clean, infect me that’s a sin
I won’t ever slack up, cold you better back up
Try and stop the world and yo the whole crew’ll act up
Get up, stand up, c’mon, wash your hands up
If you’ve got the inklin’, use our box for cleanin’

inspired by “Jump Around” – House of Pain

Before you start:

  • Ensure that you remove as much lint and dirt as possible from items that you are using in the Bust-a-germ Box. UV-C is effective in eradicating bacteria & viruses that are invisible to the naked eye, so physical sediments like dirt or dust are not going to be removed by the UV-C light. 
  • Sanitize all the pieces for The Bust-a-germ Box
  • Sanitize your work surfaces 
  • The Bust-a-germ Box works best with two LARQ Bottle caps
  • Avoid direct contact with skin and eyes! 
  • Please be careful when handling any sharp objects

What you’ll need:

LARQ livelarq.com icons for aluminum foil, pen, and box cutter

  • A LARQ box or a similar box that is close to 11”x4”x4” (28.2 x 10.16 x 10.16 cm) in size.
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Box cutter
  • Ruler
  • Pen, pencil, marker or marker
  • Protective gloves

The Bust-a-germ Box

This ideally requires two LARQ Bottle caps for maximum efficacy. The PureVis™ light emitted will cover more surface area so you can sanitize objects with ease. 

  1. Upcycle a LARQ Bottle box and measure about 4 inches (10.16 cm) from left to right. Repeat on the right side.Step 1 Bust-a-germ box. Measure 4 inches from the left and the right and make marks with a pen.
  2. Outline 2 circles where the LARQ Bottle caps will be placed against a side of the cardboard box (we’d recommend a side that doesn’t multiple layers of cardboard when closed). Make sure they are drawn on the same side of the box.LARQ Bust-a-germ box step 2. Outline circles for the LARQ caps where you made the markings in step 1.
  3. Cut out the circular outlines with a box cutter or scissors. Please exercise precaution when doing this! LARQ Bust-a-germ box step 3. Cut out the circles you outlined from step 2
  4. Use tape to line the inside of the box with aluminum foil, leaving openings for the holes where the LARQ Bottle caps will go. LARQ Bust-a-germ box step 4. Use tape to line the inner walls of the box with aluminum foil (shiny side up). Leave holes for the LARQ caps.
  5. Affix the LARQ Bottle caps into the holes you cut out.LARQ But-a-germ step 5. Affix the two LARQ caps in the holes.
  6. Now, you’re ready to toss in a set of car keys, cell phone, face mask or any other small item into the aluminum foil-lined box and activate the PureVis™ technology at the push of the button.
    LARQ Bust-a-germ step 6. Place an object into the box (a smartphone is pictured here). Then close the box.For maximum efficacy, double-click the button of the LARQ cap to activate Adventure Mode–a 3-minute cycle that basks the object with purifying UV-C light. 
    LARQ Bust-a-germ step 7. Double-click the LARQ caps to activate Adventure Mode. After 3 minutes, the cleaning cycle is finished. Then flip your object over and repeat this step.
  7. After the cycle, flip the object over and repeat. 

LARQ Bust-a-germ step 8. Flip the object over and repeat step 7.Double-click the LARQ caps to activate another Adventure Mode cycle. After 3 minutes, your object has been sterilized!

The Bust-a-germ Tube

The tube version of this project will require a cylindrical box or container. Due to the rounded inner surfaces, the PureVis™ UV-C light reflects and covers more surface area of a given object. The tube should be 10.8 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches (27.5 x 9.8 x 9.8 centimeters) or larger in size. We recommend using two LARQ caps for better performance but you can also use one LARQ cap.

Bust-a-germ Tube version by LARQ

The Bust-a-germ Tube Instructions

  1. Upcycle a LARQ Bottle Movement box or tube-shaped container and measure about 7 inches (17.78 cm) down from the cap and make a mark
  2. Take a box cutter and cut the tube in half. Put the bottom piece of the tube aside – you’ll use this if you have a second LARQ Bottle cap (See below for Double Cap instructions)
  3. Take the lid of the tube box and align the LARQ Bottle cap where you want to cut an opening. Outline the LARQ Bottle cap with a pen or pencil.
  4. Use tape to line the inner walls of the tube with aluminum foil. The foil will help reflect the UV-C light to provide more coverage. Line the box lid with aluminum foil being careful to leave an opening where the LARQ Bottle cap will go.
  5. Put the LARQ Bottle Cap into the hole of the lined lid. 
  6. Take the other half of the tube, cut out the bottom piece so you can use it to cover up the bottom of the first half of the box.
  7. With that bottom piece, align the LARQ Bottle cap where you want to cut an opening. Outline the LARQ Bottle cap with a pen or pencil.
  8. Affix the second LARQ Bottle cap to the new opening. Use tape to secure both caps on either end of the bottle. (Tip: Lay both halves of the bottle on their sides to make assembly easier!)
  9. Place an object in the center of the Bust-a-germ and close the opening. You’re ready to double-click to activate Adventure Mode on both caps at the same time to start busting germs!

 

If you only have one LARQ cap, follow the steps below:

  1. Place a piece of aluminum foil on your tabletop to increase reflectivity and to protect the surface.
  2. Now you’re ready to eradicate germs from things at home that need a serious clean! Double-click the button of the LARQ cap to activate Adventure Mode–a 3-minute cycle that basks the object with purifying UV-C light. After the cycle is complete, flip the object over and repeat. 

Bust-a-germ around the house!

Your high-touch items like house and car keys, your phone, wallet, and even pens should be sanitized using PureVis™ every so often to keep bacteria & viruses at bay. But what about high-touch surfaces like doorknobs and other surfaces around the house, you might ask? Don’t worry we’ve got that covered too. 

LARQ PureVis™ Bust-a-germ DIY used on a doorknob to sterilize and eradicate bacteria & virusesLARQ PureVis™ Bust-a-germ DIY used on a AirPods to sterilize and eradicate bacteria & viruses

Get creative with what’s available to you. We used an empty and cleaned yogurt container here. Cut a circular opening for the LARQ Bottle Cap and line the inner walls with aluminum foil. Just make sure the opening of the Bust-a-germ Box fits over the object in question! 

Use LARQ Bust-a-germ to sterilize surfaces and objects around the house.

 

Categories
Design LARQ News

Introducing: The LARQ Pitcher – Pure water beyond filtration

We are excited to announce that we’ve launched the LARQ Pitcher on Kickstarter

The LARQ Pitcher is the first multi-stage countertop water filtration system that goes beyond filtration to not only eliminate pollutants but also eradicate bacteria, viruses, mold, and other microbiological contaminants. The LARQ Pitcher opens up a whole new class of water filtration systems.

Pure water beyond filtration. 

What does “pure water beyond filtration” mean? 

It’s more than just a catchy tagline. The LARQ Pitcher offers exceptional filtration of common contaminants with completely reimagined filters that challenge what you know about traditional filters today. And that’s just the first step. 

With the filtration of chemicals in treated tap water, filtered water is susceptible to bio-contamination—in other words, it’s literally unprotected water, a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, viruses & other germs. The LARQ Pitcher is the first countertop water filtration system to have the ability to eliminate microbiological contaminants with our proprietary PureVis™ UV-C LED technology.

How does PureVis™ eliminate bio-contaminants?

Our proprietary PureVis™ technology uses 280 nanometers of non-toxic UV-C LED light. This germicidal range of UV-C light is invisible to the eye and catastrophic for bio-contaminants. The UV-C light destroys the DNA of bacteria, viruses, and other germs. Read more about our technology here.

Why reinvent the pitcher? 

Traditional water pitchers on the market today mostly improve the cosmetic profile of water like the taste but need serious improvements on performance. The majority of water you drink is at home (even more true in the current pandemic), making it more important than ever for your water pitcher to purify effectively and provide you with crisp, clean drinking water. This is where the LARQ Pitcher comes in, but more on the science-y stuff later

First, let’s talk about the water crisis that’s impacting the environment and our health. 

An aging water infrastructure has health consequences

  • Did you know the U.S. water safety standards haven’t been updated in over 50 years
  • 27 million Americans are served by water systems violating health standards established by the Safe Drinking Water Act
  • Additional contaminants that emerge from the water mains and pipes in aging homes are never reported in municipal water quality reports.  
  • In fact, a 2012-2014 study found that nearly 21,000 municipalities across the U.S. issued Boil Water Advisories for microbial contamination.

19 million people become ill each year due to contaminated water

These issues contribute to an environmental crisis.

Since the LARQ Bottle launched in 2018, more than 95,637,301 single-use plastic water bottles have been saved from entering the landfill. Unfortunately, during the same time nearly 1,000,000,000,000 (that’s a trillion with a capital T) single-use plastic bottles have been tossed away–likely due to inaccessibility to clean drinking water. 

It’s hard to make sustainable decisions if it means putting your health at risk.

Traditional Pitchers fall short of a complete solution

While traditional pitchers focus on improving taste, they only trap and collect pollutants, making the filter itself a source of contamination. In just 2 weeks, your pitcher is riddled with germs. 

This is why we need to go beyond filtration.   

The engineering team at LARQ pinpointed these fundamental issues with common filters after months in the lab. Based on our findings, we knew we needed to create an at-home water purification system that was uncompromising in achieving these priorities: 

  • Deliver the best-tasting water
    Taste is important for our personal pleasure but also eliminates the need to reach for plastic bottles.
  • Remove Contaminants
    Waterborne contaminants like VOCs, lead, mercury, copper, and cadmium can pose serious health risks. Even if your water tastes fine, it’s not necessarily safe to drink.
  • Eradicate sources of reverse contamination
    A system that goes beyond filtration to keep the water and vessel clean.
  • Intelligent filter replacement
    Water consumption varies greatly between households, and filter lifetime is notoriously difficult to track. Changing the filter too soon is wasteful, and delaying filter replacements leave the potential for reverse contamination. This model simply doesn’t work for us. 
  • Better filters for the planet
    Traditional filters, while better than plastic bottles, still produce a small mountain of plastic every year. We set to design a filter that is better for the planet and better for you.

With this blueprint, we were determined to create a water pitcher that could go beyond filtration. 

Reimagined filters like you’ve never experienced before

The filters you’re probably accustomed to are these elongated tube-shaped clunky plastic filters that spit out filtered water from the bottom into your pitcher. These models on the market today do little more than removing chlorine and reducing a small handful of contaminants—a cosmetic treatment.  Other heavy-duty filters will literally filter out everything from the water, including beneficial minerals, and making them impractical, wasteful, and frustrating

We wanted to rethink the filter from the ground up, starting with first principles. The foundation of our filter had to be a sustainable material. A fundamental challenge in finding the right filter design was balancing filtering efficacy, with lifetime and filter speed. We knew we had to find the goldilocks zone of efficacy, sustainability, and practicality. This turned out to be no simple task. Early filter prototypes either clogged too easily or didn’t quite perform the way we wanted. We nearly gave up as we thought maybe a completely new filter redesign had fundamental limitations.  

“What if the issue isn’t in the media mix but in the geometry?” asked Li Zhang, our Chief Engineer. 

This was a moment of insight for the team. Traditional filters were elongated tube structures (the “classic” water filter look). We found that this worked fine to improve flavor and chlorine removal, but when this geometry is tasked with heavy metals they tend to clog easily due to its limited surface area.   

By flattening the filter geometry we were able to maximize surface area for the perfect balance between efficacy, filter speed, and lifetime. 

Another issue we have with traditional filters is the unnecessary amount of plastic waste. Filter recycling programs are a nice touch, but what if we prevented that waste in the first place? 

We replaced the hard outer plastic casing on filters with a more sustainable woven material to help provide structure.  The result? 75% less plastic compared with traditional filters.

In terms of performance, our filters outperform filters in their class and last up to 50% longer than the leading filter.

We’re proud to announce that we will be offering two types of filters, giving you the flexibility to choose the option that best suits your needs. 

The Essential Filter

Recommended for basic protection against common contaminants and improved taste. The Essential Filter removes: 

  • Chlorine
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Radon
  • Zinc
  • VOCs

The Advanced Filter 

Recommended for 360º protection against harsher contaminants and improved taste. The Advanced Filter removes:

  • Chlorine
  • Mercury
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Radon
  • Zinc
  • VOCs
  • Lead
  • Particulates
  • Asbestos
  • Arsenic
  • Fluoride
  • Benzenes
  • And more… 

The Design

Thoughtful design is our pride and joy—aside from our PureVis™ technology, of course. Because it wouldn’t be a LARQ product if it weren’t ripe for another design award, we’ve also made sure the LARQ Pitcher is something you’ll love having on your countertop, or at the dinner table when you’re entertaining. Can you say “kitchen envy”

Check out these brilliant colors our Insiders helped us choose! 

LARQ Pitchers in Pure White and Monaco Blue
LARQ Pitchers (shown left to right) in Pure White and Monaco Blue

We wanted the overall appearance of the pitcher to look elevated, feel sturdy, and to be easy for people of all ages to handle. We love the look and feel of a glass pitcher but glass is fragile and heavy—not ideal for a pitcher you want to use long-term. With that in mind, we decided to use a BPA-free polymer —a premium material that perfectly mimics the look of glass, and we think you’re going to love it. It’s BPA-free, BPS-free, tough, lighter, and easier to handle

It had to be easy to fill up, too. Instead of using all of your fingers to pry open a lid, we made refilling the LARQ Pitcher easy-peasy. The spring-loaded door drops when the water from your faucet comes in contact, and the ultra-smooth finish of the lid allows the water to glide into the top chamber effortlessly–we call this the one-handed fill

refilling the LARQ Pitcher with tap water with one hand
The one-handed fill

While we share the same core PureVis™ UV-C technology between the LARQ Bottle and the LARQ Pitcher, we wanted to add features that were uniquely important for an at-home product, and it had to be effective and intelligent. We added sensors for intelligent filter life tracking and integrated sensors that monitor your local water quality—but more on that neat stuff later! To achieve the needed efficacy and appropriate sensor placement, we designed the PureVis™ technology to sit inside the pitcher hopper. We call it the PureVis™ Wand. The PureVis™ Wand is removable, which means the pitcher is dishwasher-safe.

As for our signature lighting feature similar to our LARQ Bottle, the LARQ Pitcher features a racetrack-like LED situated under the hopper. When it illuminates in each of its colors, there’s a soft glow that instantly catches your attention. The LARQ Pitcher will emit a breathing blue light when activated manually or during an automated purification cycle. When your filter needs to be replaced, the LARQ Pitcher will emit orange light.

PureVis™ Wand

The Complete Solution

Many months, countless hours, numerous cups of coffee, and innumerable Zoom calls later, we’re thrilled to introduce you to the LARQ Pitcher—the most advanced countertop water filtration solution the world has ever seen. 

Don’t just filter—purify. 

Traditional pitchers only trap and collect pollutants, which actually ends up reverse-contaminating your water. That’s why we invented the LARQ Pitcher. The LARQ Pitcher goes beyond filtration with unique 2-step filtration and purification. 

Step 1 – Better filtration

Our innovative plant-based filters effectively remove pollutants like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, chlorine, VOCs, and more to deliver the best-tasting water without compromising efficacy

Step 2 PureVis™ purification 

Go beyond filtration with our proprietary PureVis™ technology, which eradicates bacteria, viruses, and mold to ensure your water is as pure as nature intended.

More of a visual person? Check out the video on our Kickstarter page!

Why upgrade to the LARQ Pitcher?

It tastes damn good

Our unique 2-step filtration and purification process leave you with perfectly crisp drinking water—which means better coffee, better tea, better cooking, and better hydration. 

Intelligent filter life tracking

Not sure when to replace your filter? Every household is different. The LARQ Pitcher is equipped with intelligent filter life tracking to let you know exactly when to replace the filter with glowing orange light—better for the planet and your wallet. 

Self-cleaning

PureVis™ purification activates every 6 hours to keep your water pure and free of bio-contaminants. The LARQ Pitcher will glow with a blue light to let you know when it’s purifying. 

More sustainable 

Traditional filters are made of clunky plastic that pollutes our environment. Our reimagined filters use 75% less plastic and even last 50% longer than traditional filters without sacrificing performance. No compromises here.

App-connectivity (Coming March 2021)

Last but not least, we’re launching an app (coming March 2021) compatible with the LARQ Pitcher. The integrated sensors we mentioned earlier will connect to the app, allowing you to monitor and better understand the quality of your local water supply to give you personalized filter recommendations

LARQ App Preview

Intelligent filter life tracking takes the guesswork out of filter replacements. Based on the data tracked with the nifty sensors in the LARQ Pitcher, the app will recommend the perfect time to order replacements—no need to count the days. Oh, and in case you were wondering, you can easily order replacements directly in the app. Brilliant.

Want to be among the first to experience pure water beyond filtration? 

Become a backer on Kickstarter and receive exclusive rewards of up to 45% off! Reserve yours now! 

 

Categories
Featured Series Interviews Lifestyle Travel

Creator Series: Sam Horine

City or nature? Why choose? Sam Horine, a photographer based in Seattle, WA, shoots both. As a New York transplant, you can appreciate the hustle and bustle of the city, yet appreciate so much more when you get to escape into nature.

Meet SamSam Horine Headshot

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I’d always been interested in taking photos, starting with developing my own film in high school but it wasn’t until I moved to NYC that I started to take it seriously. I first built my career shooting music, food, and events for New York-based publications, though in the last 10 years I’ve moved away from editorial and more towards commercial works. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

I think that all the years of working as a photojournalist really shaped my aesthetic for storytelling. Whether that be finding the one shot that encompasses the entire story or else building it out over a series.

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

Recently I was in Japan (February though it sure feels like forever ago) shooting an assignment and I had to navigate from region to region entirely on my own using nothing more than public transportation. While it was certainly nerve-wracking navigating day to day  the sense of accomplishment at the end of the day when you were at the right hotel was amazing. 

What’s in your camera bag right now? 

Usually, I have a couple DSLR’s and drone with me on jobs though have also been spending some time lately getting back to basics with a Contax 35mm film camera. Lastly, my LARQ goes wherever I go.

Sam Horine with LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble

What do you like to do in your free time?

Running a the photography business does take up the majority of my time to be honest – going on actual shoots is maybe 10% of the biz while the other 90% is planning, editing, website, social media, billing, etc etc but I do try and find time to step away and when I am able to I enjoy running, biking, cooking and wine. 

How do you stay hydrated on the go? What do you love about LARQ?

The LARQ self-cleaning bottles are amazing – no more nasty smells! 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I really had no plans to ever pursue photography professionally until a friend of mine asked me to shoot some images for her newspaper column. I bought a camera for the shoot and the editor ended up loving the shots and kept hiring me for a few years which encouraged me to transition into taking photography more seriously. 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

I’ve always been of the mindset that it’s imperative to give back so throughout the years I’ve been active in disaster relief efforts and nature conservancy efforts. Though lately, the majority of my efforts have been towards furthering civil rights and equal justice initiatives. 

What do you like most about what you do?

Being your own boss is really kind of the best – though of course, the flip side is that the job never ends and if things go wrong it’s all on you. 

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

  • American Southwest – epic landscapes around every corner 
  • Iceland – it’s like another planet 
  • Japan – everything is strange and wonderful 

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I’d love to really get off the grid and spend some time making work somewhere remote – the steppes of Mongolia maybe? 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

I’d love to live in Europe – there’s still a lot of the same problems that we face here in the US but I do think that they have it a bit more figured out when it comes to taking care of people and providing a better safety net. 

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

iPhone, sneakers, music, good wine, adventure. 

Get to know Sam on Instagram @Samhorine or visit his website to check out his work at www.samhorine.com.

 

Categories
Wellness

What contaminants are lurking in your water?

“Is my water safe to drink?” –this is something we all wonder on occasion. We like to think our water is clean and free of contaminants, but what exactly is in tap water?

Sometimes we can taste the heavy metals in our tap water, a strong chlorine smell, or even feel the dirt and silt as we’re gargling the water down. Sometimes we don’t taste, smell or feel anything in the tap water, but this doesn’t always mean it’s safe to drink.

Contaminants or waterborne pollutants aren’t always detectable by our human senses, so waterborne illnesses sometimes are attributed to other external factors instead of the water source. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) notes that water sources near agricultural or industrial plants may contain pollutants from these facilities like pesticides, fertilizers, lead, or other chemicals. Furthermore, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identifies potential health risks from contaminated water—such as increased cancer risk, reproductive issues, and impair organ function, to name a few.

In an article by the New York Times, scientists like Dr. Griffiths, the former chairman of the EPA’s Drinking Water Committee noted that there are thousands of chemicals, viruses and microbes that the EPA has not even begun to assess, which leaves a big question mark on whether or not our water is safe. There is a slew of contaminants that can be harmful to your health. Constantly ingesting these contaminants can lead to chronic illnesses, cancer, and other health issues. To better understand what’s in our water, let’s start with the most common contaminants in tap water.

Lead

Lead can contaminate water through lead service lines that connect the home to main water lines, or from other plumbing systems soldered with lead. Some drinking water fountains, lab faucets, sinks, hoses, and spigots are connected to lead-lined water tanks. Aging pipes and corrosion of household plumbing systems can lead to lead pollution in water. The CDC notes that lead is a toxic metal and can be harmful to human health even at low levels so the maximum contaminant level is set to zero. Despite this, some water goes unregulated; this is evident in the case of the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

For those of you who don’t know, the residents of Flint have been served lead-polluted water for several years now. In fact, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) points out that “nearly 9,000 children were supplied lead-contaminated water for 18 months”—a severe detriment to the health of those children and many other residents of the area. Make no mistake—Flint is just one case where lead poisoning is widespread. Many cities across the country are faced with varying levels of lead in their water.

Chlorine

Water treatment facilities add chlorine as an antimicrobial agent. Chlorine deters the growth and presence of bio-contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and mold. Failure for municipalities to regulate sufficient amounts of chlorine in water mains can lead to waterborne illnesses and bacterial contamination. Flint faced a similar issue where levels of fecal coliform bacteria were discovered in city water. Adding more chlorine, however, is not the be-all-end-all. Chlorination of water can elevate levels of total trihalomethanes (TTHM), by-products of chlorination known to cause cancer. In a 2008 study, scientists determined that the presence of chlorinated disinfection by-products in drinking water was an issue of public health, posing health risks such as cancer in males and adverse developmental effect on infants.

Fluoride

Fluorides are compounds of the element fluorine with another substance. They can naturally occur in the ground, air, water and even plant and animal sources. Fluoridation of water began in the US in 1945 when scientists noticed that people living in areas with high fluoride levels had fewer cavities. That should be a good thing, right? Natural drinking water sources in the US also have fluoride in them, but some areas contain more fluoride than others. In fact, long-term exposure to high levels of fluoride can result in a condition known as skeletal fluorosis–fluoride build-up in the bones. Fluoride tends to collect in parts of the body with high levels of calcium resulting in joint stiffness, pain, and this brittleness can cause weak bones and fractures in older adults.

Mercury

Mercury is a toxic element that can be found in waterways near refineries, factories, landfills, and cropland. High levels of mercury exposure can lead to kidney damage, brain damage, and damage to a developing fetus. Other health effects include effects on brain function, vision, hearing, or memory issues.

Cadmium

Cadmium naturally occurs in zinc, lead and copper ores, in coal and other fossil fuels, and in shales released during volcanic activity, which come in contact with water sources. However, cadmium can release into the water during the corrosions of galvanized pipes, discharged from metal refineries, and be a result of runoff from waste batteries and paints. When consumed long-term, it can cause kidney, liver, bone, and even blood damage.

Copper

Your body needs copper to stay healthy, but too much is harmful to your health. High levels of copper in your drinking water can not only leave an unfavorable metallic taste, but it can also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal issues, and headaches.

Zinc

Zinc is an essential nutrient for the body—of course in the right volumes. However, ingesting zinc in high levels of zinc can cause stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. You might experience the taste in tap water (it’s chalky in appearance). Contamination usually occurs from hazardous waste sites.

Benzene

Benzene is released into water from atmospheric deposition, petrol spills and other petroleum products, and chemical plant effluents. Based on a study by the WHO, benzene has been detected in 50-60% of potable water samples from 30 treatment facilities across Canada. It can also be formed naturally through volcanoes and forest fires and is a natural part of cigarette smoke, crude oil, and gasoline. Benzene is also used as a solvent in dry cleaning, paints, printing, etc. Benzene enters water as discharge from industrial factories or leaching from landfills and gas storage tanks. Repeated exposure at low levels of benzene produces toxic levels in the blood and blood-forming tissues.

Asbestos

Sources of asbestos contamination in drinking water include the dissolution of asbestos-containing minerals and ores, industrial effluents, atmospheric pollution, and A/C pipes in water distribution systems. This substance was used in cement pipes to distribute water across the US. As the water pipes decay, the substance is released into the water. According to a water sanitation study by the WHO, most of the US population consumes drinking water containing asbestos below 1 MFL, and suggests that most raw and treated waters in the United Kingdom contain asbestos up to 1 MFL. Asbestos is a known carcinogenic contaminant and may lead to cancer in humans.

VOCs

VOCs, also known as Volatile Organic Compounds include a slew of chemicals. Organic chemicals are widely used in various industries and products like paints, varnishes, wax, disinfecting, and even cosmetic products. Since there is such a wide variety of pollutants, health risks also vary greatly depending on levels of exposure and length of time exposed. Some effects include eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, loss of coordination, nausea, liver, and kidney damage.

Radon

Radon is a known cancer-causing substance found in water from wells. Approximately half of the drinking water in the US comes from groundwater that is tapped by wells. The water moves through the soil and natural uranium releases radon to the water. As a result, water from wells usually contain more radon than surface water (lakes and streams).

Bio-contaminants

Bio-contaminants include microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and mold. These contaminants can develop organically in water (they LOVE water). Moist areas become the perfect breeding ground for bio-contaminants, which can lead to illnesses and other waterborne diseases. Without antimicrobial agents like chlorine, water is left vulnerable to bio-contamination, which is why the treatment of water with chlorine is so widespread in certain areas.

Bio-contamination perhaps proposes a more serious risk for most of the world. In an article by the Guardian, Microbiologist Joan Rose experienced first-hand the tragedies that can come from bio-contamination in water. In Walkerton, Canada’s worst-ever water pollution incidents, two pathogens entered into the water supply and many of the small town’s residents fell ill and some even died. This was caused by runoff from local agriculture. Incidents like this stem from overall pollution and increased waste around the world. Most waste goes into water, which introduces different waterborne diseases, viruses, and pathogens which are making people sick at alarming rates.

Pharmaceuticals

The EPA lists pharmaceuticals as potentially risky contaminants in water. Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications get into lakes, rivers, and streams, whether they are flushed down the toilet or down sink drains. A Harvard Health Letter indicates that water quality experts and environmental advocates are becoming increasingly concerned with the effects of this on human health. Compounds such as estrogen have been linked to sexual changes in fish. The potential health risk for humans of pharmaceutical remnants in water is currently unknown and being monitored as a public health matter.

Our aging water infrastructure has health consequences.

In the U.S., water safety standards are currently based on decades-old studies. Despite all these efforts to regulate levels of contaminants, 27 million Americans are served by water systems violating health standards established by the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Additional contaminants that emerge from the water mains and pipes in aging homes are never reported in municipal water quality reports. As a result, 19 million people become ill each year due to contaminated water. In fact, a 2012-2014 study found that nearly 21,000 municipalities across the U.S. issued Boil Water Advisories (BWA) for microbial contamination. On a global scale, over 3 million people in the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, and  Canada have received BWAs.

These issues contribute to an environmental crisis

Since the LARQ Bottle launched in 2018, more than 95,637,301 single-use plastic water bottles have been saved from entering the landfill. Unfortunately, during the same time nearly 1,000,000,000,000 (that’s a trillion with a capital T) single-use plastic bottles have been tossed away–likely due to inaccessibility to clean drinking water.

Categories
Featured Series Interviews Lifestyle Sustainability Travel

Creator Series: Ecologist-trained Nature Photographer Charles Post

Welcome back to the Creator Series! If you’re new here, we’re taking this opportunity to chat with our favorite nature photographers who really know adventure. The LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition is our brand-new colorway and we’re excited to share how these nature photographers capture their adventures with LARQ.

This week, we’re speaking with Charles Post, an ecologist-trained, Montana-based photojournalist.

Meet Charles, and his pup–Knute.

Charles Post and Samoyed dog Knute

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I grew up with cameras. As a kid and younger version of myself, surfing was my passion and so I always brought a camera along as I traveled the world in search of waves. I really got into photojournalism as a young field scientist when I started thinking more deeply about using a camera as a tool to tell a story. I loved the ability to capture the moments of being a scientist in the field that most never saw – the subtle moments of an immersive life. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

I would say my style has a heavy focus on environmental and conservation narratives. I try to bring the view into the moment, and really paint the picture of what’s unfolding. I think what’s unique about my approach is that I typically paid my images with some deep, nerdy writing, and so the entire collection of images may be coupled with the text to reveal the whole story as I saw it. 

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

Lofoten Islands, Norway is my absolute favorite place on Earth. There’s surf, incredible fishing, and birdwatching, endless mountains to explore, great skiing, and a culture that suits me well. My great grandparents are Scandinavian, and so it feels a little bit extra like home. 

What’s in your camera bag right now?

I always have my Sony A7rii, a few good Zeiss lenses like a 70×200 f4 with a doubler, 35mm 2.8, 55mm 1.8 and an 85 mm 2.8. I also ALWAYS have my binoculars in there. Honestly, I tend to have those in my hand more than a camera. And of course, my LARQ bottle which keeps my hydrated while I shoot.

What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not shooting)?

I love surfing, gardening, hunting, mountain biking, running, hanging with my puppy, Knute, and of course spending time with my wife, Rachel Pohl. 

Charles Post with dog Knute and LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition
Charles Post, Knute, and LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay (32oz / 950ml)

How do you stay hydrated on the go? What do you love about LARQ?

I always have a bottle of water within reach. I don’t go anywhere without one. And so, having a LARQ bottle with the ability to purify water wherever I go is a major bonus. 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I’m an ecologist with a passion for protecting our natural environments and wildlife but I also bowhunt, and take pride in being able to harvest an animal just a mile or two from my home, and feed my family for months and months. There’s nothing like having a hand in the food you eat. I also grow veggies, have an orchard, and well over a dozen berry bushes growing on our land of the currant, thimbleberry, Saskatoon, gooseberry and raspberry varieties.

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

I support environmental NGOs like the Audubon Society as an extension of my love for birds and also support The Nature Project, a non-profit I co-founded of which I am the Vice President of the Board. TNP focuses on creating opportunities for underserved youth to experience nature while in the company of mentors, all of whom are professional athletes, and many of whom are NFL players. 

Charles Post with Knute and LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition

What do you like most about what you do?

I love the freedom and flexibility to do what compels me and keeps me fulfilled.

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

  1. Lofoten, Norway
  2. New Zealand
  3. Zapata Ranch, Mosca, CO (Ranchlands.com)

These are my favorite because of the wildlife and quality of the subjects. All three are just brimming with substance and dynamism thanks to the people and the wild settings.

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

Gates of the Arctic National Park, Iceland, or Svalbard to see the wildlife like reindeer and musk ox, arctic fox, and seabirds. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

Lofoten, Norway because there’s surf, incredible yet few people, abundant wildlife, huge mountains, and a rich culture that values nature and time outside. I’m truly hoping to / planning on moving there!

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

  • My wife, Rachel Pohl
  • My dog, Knute
  • My binoculars
  • Good hiking boots
  • and a good cap

Follow Charles along on Instagram @charles_post or check out his work at charlespost.com!

 

Categories
Featured Series Interviews Travel

Creator Series: Through the lens of Mason Strehl

At LARQ, we’re all about adventure, and we’re getting out there this summer in a safe and distant manner. Escaping into nature can be the reset you need. But don’t just take it from us. This week, Washington state-based outdoorsman, photographer, activist, and writer–Mason Strehl gives us a look through his lens at adventures.

Mason’s work really captures the beauty of the places he’s traveled, and makes you feel like you are right there in it. He’s living the dream, on the road, traveling to gorgeous sites right in our own backyard.

Meet Mason StrehlMason Strehl, outdoor photographer

How would you describe yourself and what you do in 5 words or less?

I’m an outdoorsman, photographer, activist, and writer.

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I got started in photography about 8 years ago. I grew up in central Alaska, so I was always surrounded by incredible nature. I’ve always loved adventuring, so eventually, I found myself with a camera in hand documenting my trips. Backpacking, canoeing, skiing, where I started and it’s moved further into surfing, mountaineering, packrafting, and more. Shooting in the outdoor landscapes and being in nature have always held my heart, and it’s always what I go back to. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

I try not to define my style, I think it puts up unnecessary borders in the work you allow yourself to do. My editing style usually keeps consistent, but I try to vary my subjects and how I shoot as I learn. Photography is incredible in that there is always a new area to push into, whether it be studio work, portraits, extreme sports, etc. So yes, my style has changed over the years as I’ve expanded and taken on new projects in different realms. 

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

One of my favorite outdoor adventures was my three months in Patagonia last spring. We stayed in hostels only about 10 nights the whole trip and spent the rest of the time trekking long trips by icefields, massive glaciers, mountains, beautiful rivers, and lots of wildlife. I think we ended up doing over 500 miles of walking in that time.

The weather down there made it interesting – massive wind storms would send winds that could knock you over, and rain made many days tough and cold. But the adventure was there, and a lot of new culture and experience. I think the most memorable and life-changing thing about that trip was just realizing how little you need to live happily. We had everything we needed for 3 months strapped to our backs and felt like we could do anything. 

mason strehl photographer with LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition
Shot by Mason Strehl // Featuring LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine (950ml, 32oz)

What’s in your camera bag right now?

Gear usually ends up getting in the way of creativity, so I actually have very little in my camera bag. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mk IV and a 24-70 most of the time and my only other lens is a Canon 100-400. Aside from that, a bunch of batteries, snacks, and my LARQ water bottle for hydrating on the go. 

What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not shooting)?

I like to read, write, design, roast coffee, and sit in the sun with a nice view. 

mason strehl with larq bottle movement terra edition in black/clay
Shot by Mason Strehl // Featuring LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay (710ml, 24oz)

How do you stay hydrated on the go?

I’m usually terrible at hydrating. When I’m hiking I try to carry as little water as possible to save weight, but try to stop at every stream to drink and purify water. Since getting the LARQ, it’s allowed me to do this much easier – it’s a compact and light bottle that purifies quickly. 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I helped direct a Netflix Documentary about Hip Hop music! It’s called Underdogs. 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

Love this question, I think we need more giving in this world. I support Leave No Trace, I’m carbon negative through a nonprofit called Cool Effect, I give regularly to the National Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund, the Sierra Club, and the Access Fund. Planned Parenthood and the Yellowhammer fund are great nonprofits supporting women’s rights. Recently, I’ve been focused on nonprofits helping with inequality and injustices in the black community and am supporting Colors of Change, NAACP, and the Minnesota Freedom Fund. For coronavirus relief, Direct Relief is my go-to – it gets PPE to doctors in need. I’ve also donated to Native American tribes that are especially deeply affected such as the Southern Utah Paiute tribe and the Navajo Nation. 

Lastly, my absolute favorite Nonprofit is the ACLU – they do a wide variety of issues and fight them legally, one of the most effective ways to bring change. They’re fighting cases of police brutality and discrimination, they fight for women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, they fight for access to healthcare and voting rights. They do so much at the local and national level. 

If you’re looking to donate, take a look at some of these – they have low admin costs so most of your donation will go to fighting for the causes!

What do you like most about what you do?

I like the freedom. Most of my work is remote, so it allows me to travel and spend most of my time in nature. 

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

Patagonia – Breathtaking scenery, rugged landscapes, and incredibly kind and fun people. 

Washington – So many trails and the rugged North Cascade mountains. So much to do, so little time. 

Alaska – My home will always hold a special place in my heart. One of the most beautiful places in the world.

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I don’t really have one. I guess I’m content to just keep exploring the places I love and seeing them in a new light. I’d love to go back to Patagonia, but just as happy in Washington. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

Right where I’m at in Washington. With a little summer cabin in Alaska. That’s all I need. 

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

Water, food, sleep… haha! Just kidding. I love my books, my camera, nature, my 98 Tacoma, and my few good friends. 

Check out Mason’s work on Instagram @masonstrehl or at his website

Categories
Featured Series Interviews Travel

Creator Series: Tim Landis

Welcome back to part 2 of the Creator Series where we chat with creators about their life, passions, and adventures. Today, Tim Landis, Pennsylvania-based travel and portrait photographer, father, and husband, tells us about his life through a lens.

Meet Tim

Tim Landis

How would you describe yourself and what you do in 5 words or less?

I love family, photos, adventure

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I first started by assisting my wife with weddings and then grew a love for landscapes and nature while having a job that allowed me to travel and see and take photos of landscapes. 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

Just a little different. What I mean by that is I try to capture landscapes and angles and places that are not the norm of what everyone else captures. It feels like everything has already been done but my goal is to photograph it just a little different. 

I just feel as it has improved and I have honed in on my skills little by little.

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

I would have to say it’s a toss-up between Turkey and Iceland. I’ve been to Turkey many times but this last time was best and I had always wanted to experience Iceland. What makes both of them memorable is that I was able to share those experiences with my wife and kids. To watch them go on an adventure was the greatest!

What’s in your camera bag right now?

I have a pretty standard setup. My Canon SLR and a 24-70mm lens and my 35mm lens, a bunch of cables and batteries, an IPad for editing, and my LARQ!

Tim Landis reading with LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble

What do you like to do in your free time (when you’re not shooting)?

I’ve been really enjoying reading lately. I know that is so simple but it’s true.

How do you stay hydrated on the go? 

What I love most about LARQ bottles aside from how aesthetically pleasing they look, is that you don’t have to worry about your water source. You know you will always be drinking clean water. Honestly, in our fast-paced world, the last thing you want is to have something else you need to be worried about and concerned about. LARQ allows you to get water from anywhere. 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

This is always a tough question to answer. I’m pretty laid back and what you see is what you get…. Hmmm maybe that I once fractured my kidney in baseball. 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you? 

I really love and support a couple humanitarian efforts that I have worked with in the past. One Child Matters, IJM, and Remember NHU. All are along the same where they are aiding the oppressed, the orphan and the widow throughout the world and preventing slavery and from the sex trade. All I believe are living out the gospel of Jesus Christ which I am a believer in. 

What do you like most about what you do?

I truly love adventures and meeting people from different cultures and lifestyles and trying new things.

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

Turkey – I love the vast difference from urban and landscapes that are incomparable to many

Argentina – Argentina might have been the most eye appealing, especially Bariloche. I got to experience Argentina in a variety of ways.

Iceland – Well because …..Iceland

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I dream of going to Norway. I’ve seen so many peers go there and it just looks otherworldly. I’d like to take a crack at it. I also wouldn’t mind seeing more of Iceland.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

I think I would live right where I am right now. I think we always have this thought the grass is greener somewhere else but I have learned to be content with the freedoms I have been given here in the US. I can always visit other places in the world 🙂 The US is a beautiful place too 😉

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

Well if it’s things and not people then here goes. Mostly in this order. I kind of have to say LARQ here right? 🙂 

  1. My Bible
  2. pizza
  3. camera / iPhone
  4. WATER / LARQ
  5. coffee

Take a peek at Tim’s work on Instagram or over on his website at timlandis.co.

 

Categories
Featured Series Interviews Travel

Creator Series: Travel Photographer Andrew Ling talks adventure

As a design-forward brand, we’re proud to see that our LARQ Bottles have become the number one choice for a broad range of creatives in various industries. We see you guys creating imagery, videos, and graphics for your LARQ on Instagram and we’re loving it. 

So in honor of you guys, we’re putting together this all-new Creator Series to peer into the lives of some of our most talented LARQ ambassadors. Kicking off this week’s Creator Series is a travel and commercial photographer based in Seattle, Washington, USA, Andrew Ling. Ling captures the essence of adventure beautifully in his work–capturing moments in nature we have never seen before. 

Say hi to Andrew:

Travel Photographer Andrew Ling

How did you get started in photography? What most interested you about shooting landscapes and nature?

I wasn’t very exposed to the outdoors until I was in school at the University of Washington. Even though I studied finance and marketing there, I met friends who introduced me to this new world. I was eager to capture my new experiences to share with friends and family at home.

 

How would you describe your photography style? How has it changed over the years?

To me, it’s always important to capture moments as they are. People will always connect with stories that are more genuine. Over the years, I’ve learned that it’s so important to take time to get to know your subject and what you’re shooting. Listen first, then shoot.

 

Tell us about one of your favorite outdoor adventures. What made this trip memorable?

Iceland in the winter of 2018, with two of my colleagues who are also two good friends of mine. During their worst storm of the year, we were snowed in for several days at a remote cabin. The storms throughout our trip made for some beautiful light.

 

What’s in your camera bag right now?

Phase One XT/IQ4, Rodenstock 32mm HR f/4, Sony A7R bodies, Sony 24mm GM f/1.4, Sony 85mm GM f/1.4 are some of my favorite prime lenses right now and a variety of zoom lenses when necessary. And, the LARQ Bottle Movement in Black/Clay. 

 

What do you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my family/friends/loved ones. Hike, climb, exploring places that push the limits. Working on my truck, learning new things. Fishing and golfing are two recent activities that I’ve picked up and am working on to improve.

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine. Photographed by Andrew Ling
Photographed by Andrew Ling // Pictured: LARQ Bottle Movement in Black/Pine

How do you stay hydrated on the go? What do you love about LARQ?

I’m a hydration freak. I truly believe water to be the key essential. I love that LARQ allows me to have access to safe water anywhere, and everywhere!

 

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people.

I love country music.

 

What kind of causes or nonprofits do you support? Why are they important to you?

Providing clean water for others. Too often, I think we all take for granted the level of access to clean water we have. I think it’s important that people all around the world at least have that access, and that is the foundation for good health which in turn is the foundation for quality of life for billions around the world.

 

What do you like most about what you do?

I’m lucky to be able to work in some of the most remote, and beautiful places in the world. It always inspires me to hear others that are inspired to go out and do more, to see more, to explore more.

 

Name 3 of your favorite locations you’ve shot. Why were these your favorite?

 Alaska, Montana, and Patagonia (Chilean Patagonia) for all the same reasons. How wild they are. To me, they are a reminder of why we need to protect our planet.

 

What is your dream location to shoot? Why?

I’ve yet to have an opportunity to go to Antarctica. The highest, driest, coldest, and most isolated continent is a place I’d love to tell a story about. 

 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live? Why?

Montana, or Alaska. They’re a great combination of having large enough cities, mixed with some of the wildest places the world has to offer. A great mix of seasons and activities as well.

 

What are 5 things you can’t live without?

 Family, creativity, challenges, hot sauce & my partner, Makenzie.

 

Find Andrew Ling’s work on Instagram @andrewling and on his website, andrewling.co

 

 

 

Categories
LARQ News

Introducing the all-new LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition

“Excited” is an understatement for what we’re about to share with you. We just dropped all-new colorways for our award-winning LARQ Bottle Movement. We’re calling this earth-inspired release the LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition

“Terra” is the Latin, Italian and Portuguese name for Earth. A fitting name to call these earth-toned colorways. Inspired by the beauty of Mother Earth, the Terra Edition is a reminder of the adventures we’ve yet to explore. It’s enough to pull us back outside–and let’s face it, outside is where we really want to be these days. 

The LARQ Bottle Movement is ultralightweight and non-insulated, so whether you’re backpacking or on a day hike where every ounce counts, you can move with ease. Without sacrificing the self-cleaning and on-the-go water purification of PureVis™ UV-C LED technology. Yep, zap germs and get on your way to exploring the wonders of Mother Earth. Where will you go next with the LARQ Bottle Movement?

White/Dune

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Dune
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Dune

As Californians, white sandy beaches are a part of our DNA. Dune is inspired by the beaches and seaside hiking trails we know and love. Feeling the sand between your toes, sunbathing with a good book on a warm day, or watching the sunrise with a loved one–the beach reminds us of a calm we strive for every day. 

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition : White/Dune
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Dune

 

White/Pebble

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble

Our inner waterfall-chasers felt that Pebble perfectly embodies the majestic waterfalls that wash over every unique rock or pebble that reside there. We’re reminded of that feeling we get after a 10-mile hike where we finally hear the water crashing down. We’re ready to dip our toes in! 

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition: White/Pebble
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in White/Pebble

Black/Clay

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay

We couldn’t do Mother Earth justice without including a substance from the Earth itself. Clay naturally occurs from the ground in areas where streams or rivers once flowed. It’s a product of the ecosystem–made from minerals, organisms, and forged by the climate over time. Clay is a true tribute to the wonders that the Earth has to offer. 

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Clay

Black/Pine

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine

From the deep greens to the rich scent, Pine is the scent of adventure for us. Trees are a vital part of our environment. They provide oxygen, store carbon, stabilize soil, and are home to much of the world’s living organisms. While humans are generating more carbon emissions, it’s more important than ever to continue planting trees and caring for our existing forests. 

LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine
LARQ Bottle Movement Terra Edition in Black/Pine

We’re thrilled to follow our core LARQ Bottle Movement colors with the gorgeous earth-toned colorways of Terra Edition. Get your hands on the new Terra Edition today. Effective germ-busting PureVis™ UV light in a light-as-air, non-insulated bottle. Stay tuned for an exclusive Terra Edition series in the weeks to come!

 

Categories
Wellness

COVID-19: What to know before going out

We’re just about ready to return to normalcy, but is it safe?  As businesses start to reopen, there’s one thing you need to remember: COVID-19 hasn’t magically gone away. 

That doesn’t mean you should cancel that cross-country road trip, or refrain from going to that outdoor restaurant, but it does mean you should continue to take all the precautions necessary to stay healthy. Luckily, we’ve all had months of practice–we just have to tweak our methods a bit for social gatherings and other encounters as businesses and restaurants begin to reopen. 

Thus far, this reopening includes hair salons, barbershops, dentist offices, some nonessential retailers, outdoor dining, and a few more. At the time of this post, there are over 8 million cases of coronavirus worldwide and over 2 million of those cases are in the United States of America. However, we’re seeing a spike in cases amidst the reopening of businesses all over the United States. Experts are predicting another spike in the number of coronavirus cases, and awareness and mindfulness should be top of mind. 

There’s a caveat with reopening that with more contact, we might end up right back where we started. The CDC wants everyone to know that “In general, the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.” The number one thing to avoid contracting the novel coronavirus is to minimize exposure, which means staying in unless absolutely necessary. 

But in the cases where you just need a break from your apartment (we hear you), here’s how to resume going out during COVID-19 safely:

  1. Wear a mask
    By now, you should have a mask you can wear to protect yourself and others from contracting the virus. Even though things are reopening, you should still wear your mask unless you are eating or drinking. Since coronavirus is believed to be spread through the air, be sure that your mask fits snugly on your face. Gaps can introduce airborne contaminants to your airways.

    Touching a surface that has COVID-19 on it and then touching your nose, mouth, or eyes, could be another form of contracting the virus. Wearing a mask will keep you from touching your face, reducing the likelihood of contracting the virus from contaminated surfaces.

    Yes, it’s going to be hot under that mask, but the far worse outcome is contracting and spreading the virus to others. 
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly
    You’re probably familiar with the 20-second rule when washing your hands, but here’s a refresher. Wash your hands for at least 20-seconds with soap and warm water. Be sure to get under your fingernails, and lather up to your wrists. 20-seconds is about the length of singing “Happy Birthday”, as a rule of thumb. Washing your hands thoroughly will prevent the spread of coronavirus as well as protecting you and the people you live with from contracting it.

    If you’re about to head to a restaurant or picking up food, make a habit of washing your hands thoroughly before and after your meal. 
  3. Sanitize regularly
    As you start to go out more, sanitizing is more important than ever. The CDC recommends hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Wearing a mask can prevent you from touching your face as you’re touching other surfaces like doorknobs, elevator buttons, and other high-touch surfaces, but get into the habit of also using hand sanitizer between touching public surfaces and belongings like your car door, steering wheel, cell phone, and other personal items. When you get the chance to, wash your hands thoroughly, but in the meantime, hand sanitizer is your best bet! 
  4. Stay 6 feet away from others
    Prolonged exposure near others will increase your risk of getting infected or infecting others. When you’re out, stay at least 6ft away from others.  Coupled with wearing a mask, this will minimize the risk of getting infected, especially when having a conversation or in more crowded areas.

    Keep this in mind when eating at newly reopened outdoor restaurants. These establishments should already be spaced according to this guideline, but you should ask a waiter or waitress if you suspect the spacing is too close. When you’re eating, drinking, and socializing without masks on, it is imperative that you keep this 6-foot rule. 
  5. Stay home when safe
    If you feel sick or are exhibiting any symptoms, stay home, and avoid going out until your symptoms subside.
  6. Socially distance outdoors
    Studies show that well-ventilated areas are less likely to spread coronavirus than those that aren’t. Avoid gathering indoors altogether. But if you are gathering indoors, opening a few windows will help disperse any airborne contaminants. In addition, wear a mask and try to keep a distance between people that don’t live with you.

    Luckily, gathering outdoors is so much nicer anyway. Wear a mask when you’re not eating or drinking and keep a 6ft distance from others. You should also bring your own utensils and reusable water bottles or drinking glasses instead of using your friends’. 
  7. Use disinfectant wipes
    When getting gas or going to an ATM, be sure to use a disinfectant wipe if available. If not, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol after fueling up. When you get home, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.

    Additionally, when ordering takeout or getting food delivered, use disinfectant wipes on the outside of the bag or dispose of the bag it came in immediately. Then, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before eating or drinking.

  1. Precautions apply to pets too!
    Although it may be tempting to, refrain from petting that super cute labradoodle you encounter at the park. Likewise, keep your pet on a short leash to prevent contact with strangers and other dogs. This can keep your pet and others safe. Although there isn’t sufficient evidence to say that the virus can’t be transmitted from pet to pet, it’s better to err on the side of caution–for your sake and theirs. 
  2. Get tested
    Coronavirus testing is becoming more readily available and accessible in certain areas. Some don’t even require insurance, citizenship documentation, and are completely free. Check your local area for more information. If you’ve been in a large crowd recently, or are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, find a testing center and get tested immediately.

    In addition, there are also antibody testing available in certain areas. It’s believed that some people remain asymptomatic as their bodies can fight off the virus, but these people can still spread it. It can be reassuring to know if you’ve got these special antibodies, but it’s also good to get tested if you have the means, to be extra careful not to spread the virus to others.
  3.  Keep your social circle small
    Spending time with friends and family is a healthy way to cope with all the uncertainty going on in the world today, so it’s no surprise that people are eager to get back to their social lives. However, the more people you interact with, the higher the risk of getting infected or infecting others. Keep your in-person social circle small to minimize your level of risk. 
  4. Assess your risk
    Of course, it’s your choice whether or not you want to take the risk of exposure no matter what you’re going out for. Consider the three D’s when deciding whether or not to go out: diversity, distance, and duration.

    Diversity refers to the number of households you’re interacting with outside of the people you live with. As stated previously, the wider your social net is, the more likely you could get infected. Pay special attention to whether or not the people you plan to interact with have been to any high-risk areas in the last 14 days. These can include large crowds, social gatherings with people from other households, doctor’s offices or hospitals, hair salons or barbershops, malls, and offices.

    Distance pertains to the proximity of your interactions with others. Are you taking a bike ride with some friends that don’t live with you? Are you dining at an outdoor restaurant without adequate spacing between others? The rule of thumb is to stay at least 6ft apart from others, especially when people aren’t wearing masks. Whether that’s with the friends your dining with or people sitting or walking nearby, these are some things to consider.

    Duration is in regards to the amount of time spent with others outside your household. The longer you spend with others, the more risk you have in contracting or spreading COVID-19. If you’re having an extended conversation with someone or browsing a store in close proximity to others, this risk might increase. 

As we slowly transition back to normalcy, keep these tips in mind. When in doubt, it doesn’t hurt to stay home for the time being to stay safe.

Categories
Wellness

How to prevent digital eye strain

Headaches? Eye strain? Trouble sleeping? Digital eye strain can be uncomfortable and affect your work and wellness. There are several causes of asthenopia, or eye strain, unrelated to underlying disease. The cause of this is attributed to the overuse of digital devices that emit blue light, prolonged driving, bad eyeglasses prescriptions, extreme fatigue, or lack of sleep. 

Blue light is produced by common devices such as televisions, smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Your 8-hour workday in addition to a few hours of video gaming or Netflix, plus a couple of hours of scrolling through social media, is a lot of time exposing your eyes to blue light. This isn’t inherently harmful though, but with overuse, it can cause discomfort such as headaches, eye strain, and difficulty sleeping. 

Eye strain symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Tired eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye strain
  • Difficulty sleeping

Tips for eye strain relief

Overuse of devices can cause eye strain, make it more difficult to sleep, and cause eye strain headaches or migraines. Reducing your usage of digital devices will be a surefire way to reduce eye fatigue and eye strain, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. We know! So if you can’t take a digital detox, try these tips for eye strain relief. 

Blink often

Many people blink less frequently when working on the computer. Blinking helps the production of tears to prevent dry eyes. Remember to blink often when working on a computer or other screens to refresh your eyes. 

The 20-20-20 Rule 

Think of this as taking a break to reset your eyes. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet (6 meters) away from your screen for at least 20 seconds. 

Calibrate your display settings

In most modern devices, you might have the ability to set a “night mode” that will adjust your screen to warmer tones at night to reduce blue light emission. The warmer tones that reduce blue light may help you sleep better as blue light interrupts your circadian rhythm as you may have learned from a previous article on how to sleep better. You should also reduce brightness on your screen according to the amount of light around you. As it gets darker, reduce the brightness on your screen to reduce strain. 

Reduce glare

A bright light bouncing off the screen or sunlight shining in from a window can cause glare on any screen. You can lower the brightness on your screen, draw the shades, or change the position of your screen to reduce eye strain.  

Blue-light blocking glasses

These are special glasses that block blue light from your eyes. To note, the general overuse of devices won’t be remedied by using blue light blocking glasses alone. Refer to the previous steps as well to improve your overall comfort when using your gadgets at home.