This Black Traveler Invented An Eco-Friendly Water Filtration System
By DeAnna Taylor
No matter where you are in the world, the perils of plastic waste are inevitable. Even when venturing into some of the world’s most remote places, traveler Audra Huffmeyer saw plastic bottles and ramen noodle cups thrown on the ground.
The National Science Foundation Pre-Doctoral Fellow at UCLA realized that no place on earth was immune to the waste.
“I realized plastic pollution is not the fault of the consumer if there are no affordable alternatives, Audra Huffmeyer told Travel Noire. “After returning to the states (after spending five months studying in Nepal), I decided to commit to a sustainable lifestyle and limit plastic use in my daily life.’
After throwing away and replacing yet another BRITA™ water filter, Audra decided that it was time to make a change. She set out to create a re-usable alternative to help cut down on the number of filters thrown in the trash.
The Minnesota native hired freelancers to help her design a working prototype. She attended UCLA’s startup accelerator course this past summer to equip her with the tools needed to run a successful company. Now, she is ready to introduce the world to her product, Fil2r.
How does it work?
Fil2r, can be used with BRITA™ and PUR pitchers. The case opens and closes so that all you have to do is replace a pod of activated carbon every 2 months. The pods of activated carbon are made from 100% natural coconut shells and are biodegradable so you can throw it in a compost pile or in the trash guilt-free.
The design is built to last for several years and can be recycled once you are done with it.
“The primary goal of Fil2r is to reduce plastic waste associated with the water filtration industry and create a brand that cares about people and the environment,” Audra said.
There are plans in the works to offer the filter through a subscription service. That way, users won’t have to remember to replace them every two months.
One percent of all sales will be donated to domestic non-profits that provide clean drinking water to underserved communities and non-profits that remove plastic waste.
“It should not matter how much money you make or where you live, we all deserve access to clean water. As we grow, we intend to increase the one percent.”
Thoughts on creating this product
“It means more than I can express,” Audra said. “There is a long history of environmental racism in this country. Academic research has proven there are racial disparities in access to clean water in this country. Flint was not first and will not be the last community of color affected by polluted water. As a black woman, being able to operate a business in the water filtration space that aims to address some key issues in communities of color is important to me. I have humble beginnings, I am doing this from scratch, and I have been the first in my family to accomplish many things. So, I want to let anyone with an idea know that they can do it!”
DeAnna Taylor is a criminal defense Attorney turned travel blogger, author, and writer. While Charlotte, NC (her hometown) is her base, she's always somewhere on a plane. Catch her on IG: @brokeandabroadlife.