The first few months after I moved from Indonesia to Malaysia, I could feel the pinch every time I spent money because of the currency rate. At that time, RM1 is equivalent to Rp3.000,00 (3x rupiah). Even mineral water was considered pricey to me.
Now I’m working and earning my own money, I’m still facing the same issue whenever I travel to countries with stronger currencies, i.e Singapore. You know you can’t skip water because it’s a staple, you need to drink lots of it daily.
Moreover, it’s the cheapest beverage you can find so you have no excuse, especially when you’re traveling to areas where you can’t quench your thirst with tap water.
It wasn’t until I decided to travel to Cuba (April 2018) and tried to find a way to reduce my spending that I learned about the filtered water bottle. For your reference, the rate for Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is equivalent to USD.
CUC1 = RM4
LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle
I came across LifeStraw, a brand that produces filtered water bottle which eliminates 99,99% waterborne bacteria, waterborne protozoa and microplastic. They have an option with double filter functions, eliminates both harmful microorganisms and odor. Wow!
I was sold straight away and purchased LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Filtration. It’s a wise decision because I can use it for travelling and everyday use. On their website, it’s stated if you use it daily, it will last for almost four years. It will last much longer if you only use it for travel and outdoor activities.
I saved a lot of money when I was in Cuba with this filtered water bottle. I’m so happy with my LifeStraw, I used it too when I traveled to Hội An, Da Nang, Toraja and Beijing. Sure, the price of mineral water in those countries isn’t expensive but I have the convenience of turning contaminated water into safe drinking water anytime, anywhere I want*.
BONUS: I save the earth by reducing the usage of plastic bottle
It feels so good to be able to save money and the earth at the same time!
To me, the downside of my LifeStraw filtered water bottle is the chunkiness. With 23cm tall and 25cm waist, it takes space if I’m carrying a small bag. It also makes my bag heavy as it holds up to 650ml of water. At first, I was thinking to get the kids’ size but considering I would use it for travel, I chose the regular size.
Varieties of LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle
I didn’t know that the company produces LifeStraw Flex, a soft-touch version with a filter that can be used in five different ways. Should I know sooner, I’ll buy that one. But again, it’s all depends on your need and budget because the price is varied for each model.
My LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Filtration fits my need and budget, so I don’t mind. Besides, when I travel I carry lots of stuff so it’s good to carry a medium-sized bag. About the extra weight? Since I can filter contaminated water anytime, I learnt not to fill the bottle full to ease my shoulder and make my move lighter.
If you don’t want to be bothered carrying a filtered water bottle, LifeStraw Steel suits you best. Like the name, it consists of just a “straw” aka the filter, made from steel.
Here’s more info about LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Filtration (the one that I own).
- Uses replaceable activated carbon capsule to reduce bad taste, chlorine and organic chemical matter for up to 100 liters (26 gallons)
- Uses advanced hollow fiber membrane technology (0.2 microns) to remove waterborne bacteria and protozoa up to 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons)
- Removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria, protozoan parasites and microplastics
- Replacement hollow fiber membrane cartridges available
- Replacement carbon capsules available
- Meets US EPA standards
- BPA free
- Bottle capacity: 22 oz
Blow a breath of air back into the mouthpiece to purge all remaining water trapped within the filter. You can also suck clean water into the filter and backflush it again. Leave both ends uncapped to air dry at room temperature.
Important: When you wash, don’t let the top part of the straw get contact with running water as it will be spoiled. Keep the mouthpiece dry to avoid contamination.
For first time user
The first time I used my LifeStraw, I couldn’t suck any water. I thought my filtered water bottle is a defective product, turns out it isn’t. A new LifeStraw filtered water bottle has a completely dry filter, thus takes a longer time to be in action. Hold the straw vertically in water (halfway up the filter) for around 30 seconds before using. This will moisten the membranes so the water can pull through
What to Avoid
Don’t store your Lifestraw in an area above 43°C or frozen area. Your LifeStore is also not dishwasher-friendly.
*LifeStraw filters (LifeStraw, LifeStraw Go) and purifiers (LifeStraw Family and LifeStraw Mission) do not remove contaminants that are dissolved in water including chemicals (like arsenic, chlorine) or salt from salt water