How many of us take for granted the water we consume every single day? In many countries, clean water is not a given. In fact, many of us either filter the Hong Kong tap water or buy bottled water (the ultimate eco NO-NO). Ever popular portable water filter jug Brita gets the job done but the fact that there’s no way to recycle the filter brings up the issue of plastic waste that we are looking to rectify. We are not going to talk about single-use plastic water bottles because we are never, ever ever getting back together (à la #TaylorSwift).
Going through countless plastic water filters, husband and wife Darrin and Camilla Morrisby decided a few years back that they had had enough. Researching natural ways to filter water, they discovered a time honored craft used for centuries in Japan to purify water. After settling in South Africa and going through the trials of battling water inequality, they realized the potential to improve rural water quality without resorting to plastic bottled water and founded KURO-Bō, a modern, eco-friendly way to provide the best natural water filter system with the most minimal environmental impact.
What is KURO-Bō?
Japanese for ‘Black Stick,’ KURO-Bō Activated Charcoal makes use of sustainably-sourced, high-quality hardwood from Laos, wherein the branches are baked in a special kiln in a process known as pyrolysis. The high temperature causes the wood to carbonize and activate, and at the same time enlarges its pore structure to enable maximum toxin adsorption (what happens when the molecules of chlorine, lead and mercury adheres to a surface; not to be confused with absorption). After a week or two, the carbonized wood is quickly cooled by smothering it with earth, ash and sand and that results in its glass-like appearance. This method of forming microporous hardwood charcoal softens water and draws out harmful bacteria, chemicals and metals while naturally purifying and mineralizing tap water.
While other water purification systems will strip virtually all contaminants and in the process, removing all of the valuable minerals we need, the activated charcoal from KURO-Bō does both. The unique system will significantly reduce levels of lead, copper, mercury, iron, aluminium and all traces of chlorine from water and at the same time, naturally enhance the water with health-improving minerals like calcium and magnesium.
The number one reason we love the KURO-Bō is that it’s the most eco-friendly way to enjoy clean water ON THE GO! It’s the perfect situation for camping, traveling, outdoor activities, school trips, long journeys and more!
How The KURO-Bō System Works
Remove the KURO-Bō stick or koin (from its compostable bag!) and boil it in a pot of water for ten minutes and allow it to cool. Fill your container with up to three liters of tap water and insert a single stick or koin. While the KURO-Bō stick begins to work immediately, it is best to wait at least three hours or more for the activated charcoal to perform its natural purifying process. Or, leave it for overnight – either at room temperature or in the fridge – for optimal results. The toxins from the tap will bind to the charcoal, while essential elements like calcium and magnesium will enrich the water and improve its taste.
After a month, you can boil the stick or koin for ten minutes to reopen the microscopic pores and reuse them again for up to three months, typically the saturation point. Completely natural, when said months are up, there are a number of innovative ways to recycle the charcoal like using it to dehumidify your bathroom, placing them in your fridge or cupboards to keep them odor-free, or throwing them in the garden soil to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (also known as biochar) and to remineralize and balance the pH of your soil.
KURO-Bō Water Filtering: Effortless & Eco-Friendly
The core ethos of KURO-Bō has always been to protect our natural environment. Deliberately factoring sustainability in every facet of its business – from the biodegradable bag that houses the charcoal sticks or koins and recyclable packaging to the multitude of eco-friendly and versatile ways to recycle the used products – the year-old company offers a natural way to purify, cleanse and provide safe drinking water. Available at most Just Green Convenience Stores, Confusion Plant Based Kitchen, online at Plastic Free HK and many more, it’s worth considering how this company is taking great strides to lessen their carbon footprint. If you’re looking to stay hydrated with clean water and reduce your environmental impact, KURO-Bō is an ideal solution.
For a list of all Hong Kong shops that stock KURO-Bō, please click here.
All images courtesy of KURO-Bō.