Sunday, August 29, 2010

K is for KleanKanteen (or similar reusable water bottle)

Americans buy more than half a BILLION bottles of water every week! Enough to circle the globe more than five times!   And the funny things is, 1/3 of bottled water is actually filtered tap water, such as Dasani and Aquafina.  Other bottled water, that comes from freshwater springs, rain forests, and groundwater undergoes less testing than your tap water. Yup, that's right, Federal and state regulations require that municipal water sources, ie your tap water, be tested for bacteria hundreds of times per month, yet bottled water plants have to test their water once a week!

So for the convenience of drinking water that is not tested as frequently, we actually pay about $1-2 from vending machines, concerts, airports, etc.  That's about 2000 times more than the water from our own tap.   WHAT!?!  If that sounds crazy, it is!  Would you pay 2000x more for an apple, a banana, or a pizza?

And please don't  forget the plastic bottle that contains the convenient water...Americans throw out 38 billion empty water bottles a year, more than $1 billion worth of plastic. The oil used to make the plastic water bottles is equivalent to the amount of oil and energy to fuel 1 million cars.  And additional energy and fuel is required to ship these bottles around the Earth, and keep the bottled "gold" cold.  Then after all this water is consumed, there is the plastic bottle disposal issue.  80% of the bottles are disposed of in landfills or incinerated (resulting in toxins being released into the air), and it is estimated that it takes thousands of years to break down plastic.  

And if the plastic water bottles are made of oil, what about the chemicals that may be leaching out of plastic water bottles, and ingested?  There has been much press about this issue, and the single use bottles made from #1 polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE) are often reused when they shouldn't be.  When reused, they can leach chemicals such as DEHA, a possible human carcinogen, and benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), a potential hormone disruptor. So unknowingly, by trying to reuse the bottle which you can't clean well enough, you are risking drinking harmful bacteria and chemicals with each sip.

So, bringing your own water on the go is sounding better and better, right?  Much less costly, much less impact on the environment, and healthier....

When choosing a reusable water bottle be aware that many are made of polycarbonate plastic, which may contain bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical linked to reproductive problems and heart disease. Look for bottles advertised as "BPA-free" products, and if you aren't sure, recycle that old plastic water bottle.

While there are many brands of reusable water bottles, I'm particularly impressed with Their stainless steel water bottles do not have a lining to scratch off, they are free of BPA, phthalates, lead and other harmful substances, dishwasher safe, and I like that the company takes sustainability seriously, and is a member with of 1% For The Planet. In addition, all of their packaging, from the hang tags on the bottles to the boxes and other materials to ship their products, is recycled from post-consumer waste or made from materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).  And finally, they've adopted a green shipping program to offset the carbon footprint from all orders placed through their online retail store.

So carrying your own clean "canteen" or reusable water bottle is totally hip and worth it :)  Do your research, pick a good stylish, healthy reusable water bottle, and say yes to your own tap water.  You'll stay hydrated, be saving money, and the planet in the process. 

sources:'  (Natural Resources Defense Council)

    1 comment:

    1. Another stainless steel bottle that we like is Green Canteen, found them on sale at Kohls for $2.99 (regularly $9.99) during back to school.