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This Water Filter Brand Donates 90% of Profits — And Has for 15 Years Running

Sawyer is known for its lightweight, easy-to-use water filters — but the brand is also working hard to provide access to clean drinking water for developing countries around the world.

We were winding deeper into Belize’s Actun Tunichil Muknal Cave, an ancient Mayan archaeological site deep in the jungle.

Getting to Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) involved several hours of swimming, really sloshing, through a freshwater creek and its tributaries. Our guide had supplied each of us with a disposable plastic water bottle. As in most developing countries, these are the go-to sources of drinking water for both visitors and locals alike.

Everyone rationed the contents of their 12-ounce disposable bottles as we descended into the caves. But, not me. I had all the water I could possibly drink. For me, it was as simple as dipping my 24-ounce Sawyer water bottle into the strikingly clear creek and drinking out of the straw.

Fascinated by the simplicity of the device, I started thinking about how much plastic it could save to swap out the world’s disposable bottles with Sawyer’s. These filtration systems could render almost any natural water source safe to drink. And places like Belize that depend on bottled water might be able to break that dependence.

But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.

Continue learning about Sawyer's impact, written by Shauna Farnell here.

LAST UPDATED

October 3, 2023

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Shauna Farnell

Shauna Farnell is a freelance writer, avid skier, snowboarder and mountain biker based in Breckenridge, Colo. In addition to her stories at GearJunkie, her work can be found in The New York Times, National Geographic Travel, Thrillist and 5280.

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