In search of a champion, word of mouth led me to…

It’s no secret that Portland’s warm-summer Mediterranean climate, spoils residents with ideal conditions and endless opportunities to explore. The city topography delivers one of the best “rise and shine” coffee views from the west hills, putting you in a constant battle with your inner demon to “play hooky” and seize such a beautiful day. Ultimately though, our little demon loses out and we start our workday (aside from a few 20 somethings that come here to retire).

In Portland, we tackle work with the mindset of a champion. I imagine this is because we’re in “Sneaker Town,” surrounded by inspiring athletic brands inviting us to bring our A game. As a reward for relentlessly cultivating our craft, reduced work hours during the summer is kind of our thing. With that extra time, we embrace the diversity of what our outdoor playground has to offer, from miles of forested city hiking trails to Dragon Boat racing on the river.

Living in what sometimes feels like a fantasy land, surrounded by the natural beauty and wonder of the PNW, it’s almost a prerequisite that we are champions of the environment. Not only in protecting and preserving it, but in bringing to fruition the best of its glory. That glory and perfection is shown in a prized rose, a culinary lavender bud, a fresh hop varietal, the subtle aroma of a Douglas Fir, a hazelnut and the painted landscape of rich green moss.

I might not have realized it at the time, but while searching for gems to go in the Slice of a City Portland Box, I was also looking for champions. Lucky for me, I found Minna Yoo, a woman packaging water in all its glory with Love Bottle Company.

When I met with Minna, she greeted me with a big hug and invited me into an office bathed in natural light and populated with beautiful glass Love Bottles. Unsurprisingly, there was also a puppy in its play pen (yep, this is Portland). Minna asked if I would like a glass of water and presented me with a perfectly chilled Love Bottle out of the mini fridge. It was the best bottle of water I have ever had.

Minna has a background in neuroscience and nutrition and quit her day job when she decided she wanted to create a better water bottle. “Water tastes better in a glass bottle,” she explained. “It’s the more sustainable choice and it’s better for you.” Minna turned the ­water drinking experience into LOVE and GIVING BACK. At the bottom of each bottle you’ll find a message of love.

Love Bottle is also a champion of the environment, encouraging the use of reusable water bottles in order to reduce plastic waste. They are a Certified B Corporation, meaning that they’re a company that meets “rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.”

We could all give a little love to Portland’s champions. That’s why you can find the Love Bottle in the Slice of a City Portland Box! This bottle will become your favorite go-to bedside water bottle, just as it has become mine. I’m also convinced that if every corporate conference room in Portland offered Love Bottles to their guests, we could help the City of Portland with their goals to be more sustainable while enjoying a sip of purity. Nothing beats a great glass of water…besides maybe craft beer, but more on that later….

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