Getting a new water bottle carries with it the same low-key satisfaction of picking up a new notebook or cute office decal.
You’re equipping yourself with an item that you’ll see on the daily, so you make sure it looks super cool and fits perfectly in your backpack or bag, feeling quietly pumped at the new addition to your real-life inventory.
Then you use it, and it works great, but you skip washing it for a few days — maybe because you don’t like washing water bottles and you’d rather relax and watch Netflix — and the next time you pick it up, it stinks. The bacteria has made a stinky army in your water bottle that’s so disgruntling you’re not sure if any amount of washing can make the bottle seem appealing again. Perhaps even after you’ve washed it, the bottle still smells a bit, and you’re stuck drinking water that smells of rotten eggs.
Now, the water bottle you were so excited to own is a questionable object that you tend to avoid.
At least, that’s my frequent issue. I didn’t actually know others felt the struggle too until I glimpsed Quartz’s Kickstarter page.
The successful campaign offers a solution to the stinky water bottle campaign via the use of short-wavelenght ultraviolet, or UV-C, light purification.
The Quartz bottle’s 280nm UV-C light — located in the cap — reportedly neutralizes up to 99.9999 percent of odour-causing germs when it activates every four hours.
In scientific terms, the process is called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). It disinfects with UV-C light through killing or inactivating microorganisms by destroying nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA, rendering them unable to perform vital cellular functions.
While that sounds intense, the effectiveness depends on variables like length of time of exposure, and the ability of the microorganism to resist UV, so instead of saying the bottle sterilizes itself, the company sticks to terms like “disinfect” and “purify.”
The company says it carries a two-month charge and can be set to an ‘Adventure Mode’ for killing germs in somewhat questionable water when hiking or travelling. It also charges via USB.
Other than that, it’s a pretty standard mercury, BPA and plastic-free 525ml/18oz bottle with a minimal Soylent-esque design. It comes in a range of colours and promises to keep water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours.
It currently costs $68 CAD on Kickstarter with an estimated delivery date of March 2018.
There are a lot of rabbit holes one can go down when discussing the efficacy of UVGI, but Quartz doesn’t focus on water sterilization as its main pitch; the sales hook is mainly that your water bottle won’t stink.
And that’s a great pitch. You may want to hand wash the Quartz water bottle occasionally, but it’s going to feel a whole lot less gross than a normal water bottle. Plus, you might just feel a bit more comfortable drinking water in a new place.
Not to mention, you get to tell people you just killed tons of microorganisms by destroying their nucleic acids and disrupting their DNA. That’s pretty badass.