If you ever have a few idle minutes around your house or apartment and want to blow your mind a little, go over to your refrigerator and cupboards and start adding up, item by item, the miles your food and beverages traveled just to be with you. What’s your number? 10,000 miles? 25,000 miles? 50,000? 100,000? 250,000? More? It’s amazing how quickly the numbers add up, not to mention all the resource-devouring packaging used to transport that food around. As a beverage entrepreneur I was inspired to find a way to challenge and change this eco-system of incredible waste.
Since the dawn of long shelf life, processed food and beverage products that emerged as the by-product of manufacturing advances and the rural-to-urban migration driven by the industrial revolution, the pathway the modern bottled beverage travels in its creation and distribution has been to be factory manufactured, plastic-packaged, and then shipped around the world.
The pragmatics of building a business meant it was going to be hard to materially change the first of these steps so we focused instead on how to dramatically reduce the inefficiency and the resources consumed in packaging and transportation. The key insight to solving this challenge is in recognizing that almost 99% of a beverage is water; it’s only that final 1%, consisting of flavors, colors and potential nutrients, that differentiate one beverage from another.
We wondered why are we needlessly shipping an omnipresent resource (water) around the world and wasting tremendous resources on packaging to do so. What if we could simply isolate the non-water ingredients and put these in the hands of consumers so they would be empowered to simply add them to their own water? That way they could create a fresh, healthy beverage whenever and wherever they wanted, using a glass or reusaeble water bottle such as a Sigg to eliminate packaging waste.
Our answer to this question became an all-natural product called Zenergize – an effervescent tablet that is simply dropped in water to create a vitamin-rich, freshly made, fruit flavored beverage. The mission at Zenergize is to fundamentally change the way people think and drink. When it comes to integrating individual and ecological health and wellness into their active lifestyles, Zenergize provides essential nutrition in a fundamentally better way than either bottled beverages or traditional vitamins can deliver.
In the first two years, over 10 million Zenergize tabs have been enjoyed by consumers. That means the potential to save 10 million plastic bottles from being produced and ending up in landfills and over 1 million fewer gallons of water needlessly shipped around our planet. It’s fun and exciting to be having such a tangible impact while as move down the road in following our vision of “Healthy People, Healthy Planet”.
Brad Barnhorn, Founder, Zenergize
wonderworks via Flickr/Creative Commons
by Brad Barnhorn, Founder, Zenergize