Reusable water bottles are superior to single-use, throwaway plastic bottles when it comes to reducing throwaway plastic and saving water.♥ It’s estimated that as much as two gallons of water might be wasted for every gallon that’s bottled in a factory, so filling up at home, at work, or on the go is a great way to save this precious resource.♥ Plus, one reusable water bottle can eliminate the need to buy and trash literally hundreds of single-use containers – containers that actually never really biodegrade.
Do the math. If you buy three plastic bottles of water every week, that’s 156 bottles you throw away in a year. In five years, that amounts to almost 800 water bottles – and that’s just you. Now multiply that number times the billions of people who are buying plastic water bottles. No wonder that, in the U.S. alone, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away … EVERY DAY!
There are plenty of reusable water bottles on the market, but not all bottles are created equal. I prefer those that are either glass, stainless steel, or aluminum. They last longer than plastic bottles and don’t leach Bisphenol A, or BPA, into the water.
Unless it says otherwise, a conventional plastic water bottle contains BPA, a compound that has been linked to a variety of worrisome health problems, including increased risk of cancer, obesity, early onset puberty, and diabetes. “BPA-free” bottles do exist, but at some point, those will wear out, and then you’re still left with a plastic bottle to dispose of. Plus, there are a lot of questions about with the alternatives to BPA are really any healthier than what they’re replacing. Better to use steel, aluminum or glass, all of which can be recycled over and over and over again.
Want more background on BPA? See our post, “How to Protect Your Family From Bisphenol A.”
BEST REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES
Here are the 5 best reusable water bottles I’ve come across. They work great and are easily available in grocery and hardware stores or online.
The BKR (as in, beaker) – The BKR is a glass bottle; it comes in either 16 ounces or 32 ounces. The upside of glass is that it leaches nothing into the liquid, so whether it’s water, juice, milk or wine, your beverage will taste exactly like it’s supposed to. The downside of glass bottles, of course, is that they could break. However, the BKR is protected with a full-body sleeve made of silicone that also provides a good non-stick grip for the bottle. If you’re a fashionista or you just like variety, buy one bottle but a few different sleeves, which come in a variety of colors.
Kleen Kanteen – These stainless steel bottles and to-go mugs keep contents hot up to 6 hours and cold a lot longer. They have nice wide mouths, though you can get tops with straw attachments and sippy-cup tops for kids. You’ll love the colors and fun designs, too.
Ello Syndicate Glass Water Bottle – I like the flip lid on this bottle, and the fact that you can put the entire bottle, including its silicone sleeve, in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. It comes in lots of pretty colors, too, from aqua and pink, or orange and purple.
Yorkshire Mason Jar Mug – OK, to be fair, this is not a water bottle per se. But it is a great alternative to a plastic bottle if you’re hanging around your house or heading out on a road trip. Imagine a regular Mason jar, like the one you might use for canning fruit or tomato sauce, only turned into a mug when you fill it with iced tea, lemonade or something stronger. Now, add a handle, plus a lid that has a hole in the middle that’s big enough for a Slurpy-sized straw to fit through. Voila.
Lifefactory – This clever company was a pioneer in developing glass bottles with silicone sleeves you could take anywhere. Now they make casserole dishes, wine glasses, baby bottles, and food storage containers all protected by their signature stylish silicone sleeves.
Price Tag, Please!
By the way, the cost of these bottles ranges from $9.99 to a little more than $40. However, think back to the original calculation we did on how many throwaway bottles you buy in a year. Even if it’s only one a month, for 52 a year, if each of these throwaways costs at least a bottle, you’ll spend over $150/year. Even the most expensive reusable bottle is cheaper than buying throwaways.
Another tip: at home, rather than buy big throwaway bottles of water for a party or picnic, I keep several glass bottles with stoppers on hand (I reuse the decorative glass bottles I sometimes buy seltzer or sodas in). I then filter water in a handy pitcher, fill up the bottle, and I’m good to go.
Rather than buy anything new at all, convert an existing Mason jar to a water bottle with this cool lid fitted for a straw.