Bringing Water Back To Life

“Water is the soul of the Earth.” – W.H. Auden

Water isn’t just necessary for life. It is life. Our bodies are largely made up of water and most of the earth’s surface is covered by water. H2O is a miraculous, magical molecule and after hydrogen, the second most abundant substance in the universe.  Yet of all the water on the earth, 97% is salty, 2.1 % is trapped in polar ice which means that just under 1% is available as fresh water.

What are we doing with that less-than 1%?

Astonishingly, we’re bottling it into single-use plastic and then selling it to willing buyers at a rate of a million bottles per minute* just so we can meet the demand for mineral water and sodas. Not only that, we’re using 2- 3 times the amount of water we’re bottling, to create the plastic we’re putting the water into.  And once we’re done, we discard that plastic, polluting the very rivers and oceans that give our planet life.  That plastic lasts hundreds and hundreds of years, if not forever. Even when it breaks down into tiny pieces, these micro-plastics cause untold damage to marine life which has repercussions throughout the entire food chain.


We may believe we’re doing our bit to stem the tide of plastic by recycling, but the truth is that we’re way beyond being able to keep up with the sheer volume of plastic being produced.  Globally, only about 18% of plastic is recycled which leaves a staggering 82% in landfill or floating in the ocean.

An additional eco-impact is the cost of water being used to wash the plastic before it gets recycled. When plastic is recycled, up to 15% of virgin plastic is required in the process, so the truth is we’re still creating new plastic anyway. Then there are the carbon emissions at every stage of the recycling and reprocessing to take into account. 

It seems obvious that recycling is not a long-term sustainable answer. We have to stop using single-use plastic altogether. But how feasible is that?


One option has been to replace bottled mineral water with filtered tap water.  But water filter jugs and cartridges can not only be expensive, they’re made of plastic too, adding to the ever-growing mountain of plastic waste as cartridges get discarded.

Given that chlorinated tap water is going to be around for a while, is there a cost-effective plastic-free water filter solution that doesn’t cost the earth?


KURO-Bō (which means ‘black-stick’ in Japanese) is a dynamic and innovative South African company using ancient Japanese technology to solve a modern problem.  KURO-Bō’s activated charcoal water filter is unlike any other on the market. Based on the ancient Japanese art and alchemy of Binchotan, KURO-Bō is a 100% natural, recyclable and plastic-free water filter.

By placing the activated charcoal stick or box of Kōins into water for a few hours, the Binchotan process turns activated charcoal into nature’s own toxin magnet which is scientifically proven to:

  • Purify water (removes heavy metals and chemicals)
  • Mineralise water (adds in magnesium and calcium)
  • Improve taste and odour (removes Chlorine)
  • Remove bacteria (E.coli)
  • Balance an acidic pH

Using minimal packaging that is also plastic-free and compostable, KURO-Bō’s filter solution is 100% zero-waste resulting in wonderful, pure, clean water with a delicious refreshing taste. Taste without the waste.


Once the charcoal has been used up (after approximately 3 months) it can be either reinvented or recycled, continuing to be used in numerous ways including as an odour remover, as a biochar, adding to your braai or in your fireplace.  KURO-Bō is part of a growing initiative committed to eliminating unnecessary packaging by adopting the cyclical practice of ‘from nature, back to nature’. Here are some fellow zero-waste-heroes, who stock KURO-Bō, to check out and support:

FAITHFUL-TO-NATURE is an online shopping site that allows you to filter your choices by selecting for waste and plastic-free food, health, beauty and lifestyle products

HOUSE OF BRAVO is a new waste-free life-style grocer

NUDE FOODS have created a plastic-free shopping experience, filling your pantry without filling your bin.

SHOP ZERO is a zero waste, plastic-free lifestyle store promoting the idea of making one small change at a time.

THE REFILLERY is a new bulk-retailer offering a stylish plastic-free ‘weigh-and-pay’ shopping experience


It’s World Water day this month on the 22nd March and we’re inviting you to join in the flow, to bring water, the soul of the earth, back to life. Your decision to act now, will become part of a ripple effect that will have far-reaching consequences for our planet.   As anthropologist Margaret Mead said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

To recognise this we are offering an amazing #WaterWithoutWaste Giveaway with Holistica.

All you need to do is visit Holistica’s Facebook or Instagram to find out more and enter!

Winner will be announced on World Water Day – 22nd March. 

*stats from:

#waterwithoutwaste #tastenotwaste #zerowaste #fromnaturebacktonature