Get fit and healthy the free, easy green way

Along with the majority of people across the UK who have over-indulged over Christmas, 2012 is going to be my year for getting healthier and in shape.

But, as you would expect, I’m not planning to join up to an expensive (and not particularly environmentally-friendly) gym for my workouts, I plan to get fit as naturally and inexpensively as possible.

One of the activities that I hope to join is my local Green Gym® run by the BTCV. In brief, Green Gym® is a scheme that is open to all ages, which benefits your health and the environment at the same time.

Working alongside experienced leaders, you get your workout by tackling a range of physical and practical projects which improve your local natural environment, for example coppicing, gardening or even dry-stone walling. I’ll be sharing more of this with you later.

Another free and easy fitness routine I am going to start this year is to make sure I walk more. As well as the usual school runs and trips to the local stores that I currently make, I plan to make sure I have at least a one hour daily yomp.

Obviously getting healthy is not all about physical jerks, it’s about diet too. So what will I be hydrating myself with this year, special isotonic juices or expensive flavoured waters? Of course not – just water.

I do love my water and I regularly drink it throughout the day, but it is not always so easy when I’m out and about. Obviously I could buy bottled water, but I do hate to do this – not only because of the cost, but because of the waste too. So instead I usually take my own bottle of water which is fine until I drink it dry. What then – free fill-ups? Well, you may be surprised to learn, this is no longer a pipe dream.

Recently, I was contacted by the guys at, a not-for-profit organization that aims to raise awareness of the damaging effects of bottled water on our environment, by developing a network of refilling stations across the country.

Using the profits from the sale of their Lifebottles, as well as making free tap water easily available, profits will also be used to provide mains fed water machines at educational establishments.

So how does it work? First of all to help support their work you can buy one of their stylish, stainless steel reusable Lifebottles. Not just any old water bottle, this BPA free bottle has a clever cap that contains a compartment for storing their flavoured effervescent taptabs (in case you want a change from still water). Plus, the cap also has an innovative ice stick – a freezable screw that keeps your drinks colder for longer.

The other thing I love about the Lifebottle® is that you can customize it – call me a kid, but I love this. Using the free graffiti stickers supplied, you can create your own character  – how cool is that! :)

Once you’ve got a Lifebottle® (or you can use your own bottle) you need to find out where you can fill up for free. To do this, simply head over to their website and type in your location or postcode, the map will then indicate where your closest fill-up station is, giving an approximate distance away from you, plus full details of the business. All you need to do is pop in and top up your bottle – all totally free!

Out and about already, don’t worry have already thought of this. They have a mobile phone app which will locate free water refilling stations in your area. Be it a restaurant, pub, shops, café or public fountain, all of these will let you fill up for free and there is no catch at all.

With over 1000 re-fill stations so far, are always on the look out for more businesses to add to their network. Checking out their site for myself, unfortunately not being a city dweller, re-fill stations near me are quite thin on the ground. But as with anything, the more people get on board, the more successful and comprehensive coverage they’ll have. In fact, Tapwater plan to have a re-fill station every 400 metres in urban areas.

I really love the idea behind, not only is it helping reduce the 2.7 million tonnes of plastic used to bottle water worldwide every year, it is a clever and inexpensive way to keep you hydrated, wherever you may be – when you consider that a bottle of water costs between 70p and £3.00, you could save hundreds of pounds a year.

So to keep hydrated, save money and reduce waste – I’d definitely recommend that you check out

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Jenny Fletcher

Great idea. I usually carry a bottle or two of water when I’m out sailing as do most dinghy sailors. I do re-use the bottles and freeze them overnight in hot weather. My only concern is weight. How much does a filled bottle, with the freeze tube, weigh, compared with an equivalent amount of water in plastic bottles?


Thanks Jenny for your feedback, also, if you head over to Tapwater’s website, you’ll see that they’ve teamed up with other ‘free tapwater’ organisations around the world making it a truly global effort. Interesting point you made about the weight of the bottle, in my opinion the one I reviewed (350ml) is slightly heavier than a regular plastic water bottle, though they do also come in 500ml, 700ml and 1litre sizes, so that could solve the issue. Another idea, possibly this bottle would suit your situation more’s-den-pours-cold-water-on-their-sustainable-idea/


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