Monday, January 26, 2009

No More Plastic Bottles

Ok, we hear the mantra "drink more water" all the time from media, from our doctors, and health specialists. The best part is that they are actually right on this account. However, in our very busy, hectic society the quick answer has been to grab a bottle of water, lots and lots of plastic bottles filled with water. In 2004, Americans drank 26 billion liters of water out of bottles. In this quest for our 64 ounces, we've produced A LOT of trash. It is estimated that 8 out of 10 of these bottles end up in landfills. If the bottles are burned, they release toxic byproducts such as chlorine gas and ash containing heavy metals. Buried water bottles can take up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. Even of those recycled, many are sent to countries such as China to be reprossessed. In this article, we will not discuss that this bottled water is more expensive than gasoline, WAY more expensive. We will also not discuss the fact that this water is not regulated and often of poorer quality than your tap. What i want to focus on is some alternatives to buying and throwing away plastic bottles of water.

The most obvious answer is to drink tap water out of a glass at your home. If your water doesn't taste the best or you have concerns, you may buy a filter to run your water through. This doesn't relieve the problem of how to take a drink with us to work or for our time in the car, though. For this you have a couple of options.

One of which is to buy a Nalgene bottle. These bottles are durable and will last you a long time. They come in all kinds of fun colors with nifty features. When choosing one you want though, please, make sure it is BPA free, which has been linked to a lot of nasty stuff.

Another options is the Siggs company, they produce the bottles that are a metal on the outside and a special liner on the inside. The liner is impervious to the liquids you put in there, so they will not retain the flavor of your favorite drink. They are also extemely durable, with backpacker magazine dubbing them the world's toughest bottle. They are more expensive than the Nalgene bottles, though.

Kleen Kanteen is another stainless steel option. They come in a wide variety of colors, are durable, and are a member of 1% for the planet.

If you must buy plastic bottled water, please, save the bottle, rinse it out and reuse it. But with so many other great options out there, I can't imagine why you would.

1 comment:

  1. From experience, the original, polycarbonate Nalgene bottles, were the most durable. They have been filled, then thrown from cliffs onto rocks and run over by cars. All this with only a few scratches. However, the new Tritan, BPA free range, would break under both of these tests.

    With that in mind, the new version is still very durable, though.