Water is essential to every person's life. So perhaps one of the most influencial things we can do is think critically about what we're drinking and what we're drinking out of. The re-usable water bottle revolution has been going on for years now. Our goal is to remind you why it's important and show you some of the best ways to change your water-drinking game. We do this by looking at the hard science, and balancing economic viability with the healthiest, most socially and envrionmentally conscious options.
Think about it, if every person made a change in this one simple daily activity, how could it benefit the world?
Why It Is Important
For Your Pocket Book
Drinking filtered tap water and using a re-usable bottle is by far the most cost-efficient option.
You see a lot of statistics out there about how much more bottled water costs than tap water. I've found that these sources don't show their math, and they're likely considering the more expensive water bottle options. I did the math and used the cheapest single-use water bottle option I could find. You can check my calculations here.
I found that, if you're drinking a gallon of water a day and you're not caring about the quality of your bottled water at all...
Water bottles: Even the cheapest water bottles, bought in bulk will cost you US $255 a year (that's not including what you'd need to pay for your Sam's Club membership to get that price).
4-Gallon Jugs: Buying 4-gallon jugs to refill your waterbottle seems to be even more expensive (to my surprise) at US $410 a year (again, not including the Sam's Club membership)
Tap Water: Tap water would cost you US $2.19 a year + the one time cost of a reusable water bottle. If you buy a water pitcher with a filter you can get really great models, plus the changeable filters for a decent price. A great water bottle can last you 10 years. A great water filter can last longer. Even if you bought an expensive bottle and an expensive filter pitcher, you'd have a one time fee of $50 for the bottle and $50 for the pitcher plus about a $25 yearly maitenance fee. So...
One time price of US $100 and then US $27.19 per year.
My calculations seem to draw a similar conclusion as everyone else: tap water, even with a nice filtration system and a high-end water bottle is cheaper than bottled water.
Investing in a nice waterbottle will be cheaper in the end.
The price of some water bottles may seem daunting. When I first looked at the S'well site I thought, there is NO way I'm paying $48 for a water bottle.
But by the time I was buying a standard plastic, grocery store model for the third time that year, that $50, durable, long-lasting S'well bottle started looking pretty good. I wear hard on things like water bottles because of all my hiking, running and general adventuring. My S'well bottle hasn't had a single issue in the entire year since I bought it. And ask any of my friends, that's a BIG deal for me.
The cheaper option won't degrade the taste or safety of your water.
Between a good bottle and a good filtration system, your water will taste as good or better than even nicer bottled water brands. It will be safe from potential chemical contaminents and, given the right filtration, it will also be safe from most potential water polutants. You can see a review of taste in our bottle reviews as well.
No more taking your recycling bin out every single day.
Seriously, who wants to deal with that? Not throwing out several bottles a day = not having to deal with all the waste. Ditch that Pinterest board completely dedicated to water bottle crafts. Please, for all our sakes.
No more lugging cases of bottles up the stairs to your apartment.
Even if you're changing your Soma water pitcher's filter every two months, that's still much easier than your weekly water bottle run....
Even if the jury is out on BPA, why take the risk?
We’ve all heard the claims against BPA, we all know the controversy. This topic is certainly contentious, but even more so, it’s a lengthy discussion. Not only is BPA of concern, but other chemicals contained in plastics are as well. I am in the midst of hours of research on this topic, so stay tuned for my expose on PBA.
For my product search, I’ve picked BPA-free bottles without plastic liners so as to stay on the safer side. If there are truly great options out there for BPA-free products and they don't seem to compromise some other important health or safety standard, then why not minimize any potential risk?
There are countless chemicals and packing ingredients to be aware of, but for now I’m staying about here on the spectrum of worrying and concern:
If you're on the far right or left of the spectrum, let's talk so you can help me in my research. If you're totally judging me for my artistic skills, then, let's not talk. You're completely justified. Unless you're a graphic designer. Then let's talk so you can work for me.
A higher quality bottle may help you drink more water, and we all know that that is better for your health.
A higher quality bottle will provide better portability, more ease of drinking the water and better taste. If we enjoy the taste of our water and it's easier to access, we'll drink more of it. I used to frequently have headaches that were likely linked to dehydration. When I started using my S'well bottle, I found myself drinking way more water. Now I'm actually up to the gallon a day recommendation. This is because:
It's easy to drink out of
It keeps my water ice cold, like I like it
I don't feel bad chugging through four plastic bottles a day
It looks cool and I like having it around
No one can deny that plastic waste is a problem.
I don’t need to dwell on this subject. Some will tell you that water bottles aren’t nearly as bad as environmental activists tout. No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, creating more plastic waste can’t possibly be good in any way. The more packaging involved in the products you use, the more “stuff” you’re loading into your trash bin. The worst part is, even if you are recycling, most of the time it’s not actually being recycled into something useful - it actually winds up in the dump. The info is everywhere; less waste is going to be the best way to go, irrefutably.
There are countless other potential environmental dangers associated with plastic waste and with a high proliferation of plastic water bottles specifically. Many of these issues are contentious and so I will save further exploration for a more detailed article in the future.
The waste issue is more than an envrionmental issue.
The global social impact of using plastic water bottles is less of a direct connection. Discussion of this topic is focused on our health and environment. But the fact is, every one of our actions has a social impact, even if it’s indirect.
Filling the landfill with plastics that won’t degrade for… how many years? That’s more than an environmental issue. Our waste problem is so bad that we’re actually shipping cubes of garbage overseas to decompose in lesser developed communities.
You local community landfill may even be facing it’s own issues. These problems overflow into your life, making their impact on your tax dollars, property value and the state of your local environment. These are just a few things for you to start to think about.
For Your Time
For Your Environment
For Your Global Community
For Your Health
What Are the Best Bottles?
For the quick scoop, check out our info graphic below.
A more detailed review of each bottle will be provided by the review team shortly.
Our Suggested Bottles
S'well: High quality bottles that are durable, insulated and leak-proof. They partner with UNICEF, already having donated over $100,000 to provide clean drinking water to children around the world. Different collections of bottles may also contribute to specific causes. AND they look cool. AND they're all the rage.
Hydro Flask: A wide variety of styles including leak-proof and insulated bottles, growlers and food storage. Their 5% Back program allows any customer to choose from a selection of charities they'd like to give 5% of their purchase to. A true classic in the relm of adventurous people wanting a cool drink of water.
Klean Kanteen: Extreamly similar options to the Hydro Flask, but they give 1% of all profits back to preservation and restoration projects regardless of customer participation. They are largely geared toward active people, they have a fun community and a great message of caring for the envrionment.
Mizu: Also has similar options to Hydro and Klean, but they also offer a glass bottle with a silicone sleeve. They have several inventive products for campers and backpackers. Different collections support different causes by giving 1% of sales to groups such as Chill, SIMA Humanitarian Found and Charity: Water.
Liberty Bottleworks: They have the standard waterbottle, but it's prettied up with awesome, outdoors-y, quirky designs. But the best part is they use 100% recycled aluminum in a near zero waste factory and everything is entirely American made.
Faucet Face: Fun glass bottles with a classic milk bottle design. The bottles sport artwork promoting the drinking of tap water. The bottles are also well priced at only $12. The best part? Every bottle bought helps provide 100 liters of water for families in India.
Our Suggested Water Filters
Soma: Nifty designed pitchers and carafes that filter out chlorine and other basic contaminents using Coconut carbon and plant-based PLA. They also have a cool giving mission: "All Soma employees launch their own fundraising campaigns and Soma matches employee donations to charity: water 100%."
LifeStraw: Are you a hiker or backpacker? This could be an awesome way to ensure clean water on the go as well as contributing to a great social cause. LifeStraw filters water from natual bodies of water as you're sucking on the straw. They also have waterbottles and other nifty creations.
Best Single Use Bottles
I'm certianly not someone who would call an end to all single-use water bottle production. I think they certainly have their place in the marketplace; it's always good to have a healthier alternative to soda if you're out-and-about. If you're going to buy a single-use water bottle then check out these brands that have great missions:
Canned Water 4 Kids: A novel idea, great water and an even greater mission add up a good option for single-use water bottle purcahses.
People Water: Promoting the building of wells in underdeveloped countries, they have a variety of interesting products, including single-use plastic bottles.
It seems like the best option in this situation is actually a pretty good option in all three of our categories: price, feasibility and social and environmental consciousness.
Skip the bottled water.
If you’re out-and-about and you forgot your own water, then please, do buy a bottle of water. It’s certainly a healthier option than other bottled drinks. If you are going to buy bottled water for yourself or for an event or to just have on hand, we’d suggest trying out some of the brands listed above. But if you're able, don't buy single-use water bottles. It's just not worth it.
Buy a reusable water bottle.
Spend the money on a high-quality, sturdy bottle that you won’t have to replace every 6 months. Our favorites are stainless steel, thermos bottles and we opt for PBA-free.
Fill that bottle with filtered tap water.
Tap water is so cheap compared to other options; it’s a no-brainer if you’re trying to be thrifty. But when it comes to mitigating possible health concerns, throwing on at least a basic water filter for your faucet or using a filter pitcher is also a must. This makes filtered tap water still cheaper than bottled water and just as easy (think of those few times you have to do maintenance on your filter and then think of lugging bulk water bottle packages in from your car every week). Worried about taste? You can do your own research, but personally, I love the taste of my filtered water.
Thanks for reading!
Please leave a comment.
As Winston Churchill said -
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.