When most people think of volcanoes, they think of a huge, monstrous mountain full of hot flowing lava that can burn its surroundings to a pile of ash. Conversely, when they think of volcanoes in Hawaii, that somehow makes the volcano a beautiful, happy volcano–one that is really cool and wants to be your friend. An example of this can be depicted in Lava, a Disney animated short film about a Hawaiian volcano that is looking for love. One thing that usually does not come to mind when thinking about volcanoes, Hawaiian or not, is drinking water. One company is about to change this disassociation forever.
Waiakea Water, founded in 2012, is a bottled water company headquartered in Culver City, California. Ryan Emmons is the founder and CEO of the company. Emmons had a vision to improve conservation and promote access to clean water and education in impoverished communities. He wanted the idea to be unique as well as environmentally friendly, so Emmons came up with the idea of a bottled water company whose unique selling point (USP) was that the water was filtered through thousands of feet of the porous rock of the Mauna Loa volcano in Hilo, Hawaii. Just like that, drinking water will now and forever be associated with monstrous volcanoes.
Another great development for Waiakea Waters is the fact that in 2018, the company will begin to use the world’s first fully degradable water bottles. In conjunction with TimePlast, Waiakea Waters has developed an additive that will make their plastic bottles degrade 97% faster than traditional water bottles. Considering the fact that traditional plastic takes 1,000 years to degrade and 8 millions tons of plastic gets dumped into the ocean each year, this is a pretty significant accomplishment. Emmons has stated that this scientific achievement was not for profit, but for the hopes of a more sustainable future and that other bottled water companies should follow his lead.