Plastic WAAAHHH-ter Bottles
Cool title, huh? Whenever I see cases of plastic water bottles being purchased, or a trash can full of plastic water bottles at the gym, I want to scream, "WAAAAHHHHH!!!!" and then flip the can over. I'm way more dramatic in my head than in real life, I promise.
I'm not so naive to believe that we can fully eradicate plastic water bottles from our lives. They definitely have their time, place, and necessity. My plea goes out to the person who buys cases of water, takes one in their lunch every day, or has never thought about using a reusable bottle and repeats that process for all of eternity. Come on, there's a simple swap!
Entering the ring at 16oz and under $9.99, I present to you....... Reusable Water Bottle! ::screams and cheers::
Now, I want to speak to the several different levels of of water or drink bottle junkies. We've got the Costco purchaser who is getting cases of water, Gatorade, sweet tea, or soda. We've got the occasional offender who keeps forgetting to bring their bottle, and we have several varying levels in between.
I will speak to the family Costco buyer first, at the dismay of all Costco stores in the country. STOP buying cases of drinks. What's the other alternative, you say? Nothing. Just stop buying it. Here's why: Besides water, everything else you are buying by the plastic case probably is junky and bad for your health. Sports drinks, juices, teas, etc. are most likely loaded with sugar, artificial colors and nothing beneficial for you, and don't even get me started on soda. An easy way to cut calories, save money, and improve your health immediately! Woo! Look how good we are doing already.
Everyone in the family can have their own reusable water bottle. Kids can fill them up at the water fountain at school, and adults can refill theirs at work or home. I know, I knoowwww what you're thinking, "Chelsea, how am I going to freaking remember my water bottle? My kids can't even remember to put their shoes on in the morning." Here's where reminders come into play. Put a note on the garage door so you see it when you walk out of the house. Write a message on your kitchen dry erase board to bring your bottle. Slap a Post-It note on your steering wheel. Have your kid put a reminder in his or her desk or locker so that they will remember to bring their bottle home. Or they can leave one at school and have one for home! Start a new habit before you leave the house of asking yourself if you have all the essentials: keys, phone, purse/wallet, water bottle.
My reusable water bottle travels with me everywhere, ESPECIALLY when I travel. After checking in, the first thing I do is find a bottle filler or water fountain and fill up my bottle. This saves me buying a water before boarding the plane, and also saves a plastic cup on the plane if I would have needed water. More relevantly, my bottle comes with me everywhere in the car, even to the grocery store.
My suggestions for reusable water bottle purchases:
1.) Purchase a BPA free plastic water bottle or stainless steel.
I use two different stainless steel water bottles. One of them is insulated so I can keep liquids cool or hot. I love the functionality of this one. I usually bring this one traveling with me, especially for beach vacations to keep my drinks nice and cool on a hot day! The insulation feature is also fantastic for drinking tea in the winter, plus the outside of the bottle never sweats. The other bottle is also stainless steel and is slightly smaller, so that is better for car trips or throwing it into my bag if I am going to be out and about all day.
I personally don't have one of these, but I have seen the Que bottles online and they look badass. It's a plastic free water bottle that you can adjust the size, plus 10% of profit are donated to the Rainforest Trust! Freaking love them already. If you try one, let me know if you like it!
2.) Purchase a couple in different sizes/for different uses to make them more functional
If you decide not to get an adjustable water bottle like the one above, I would buy a couple based on what your life is like and how you would use the bottle. For example, do you walk or hike a lot? Maybe you want an insulated bottle with a carabiner so you can attach it to a bag or backpack. Maybe you want a smaller and slimmer bottle (note- not a flask, haha!) to put in your purse. Maybe you want one with a wide mouth lid so you can put lemon and cucumber slices in there. One thing I would have never thought about before purchasing, and I have now learned through life experience, is what kind of top do you want on your bottle? As a personal trainer, I would prefer a pop top that I can open with one hand. I get annoyed at my screw top bottles because I can't multitask and drink them. It seems small, but these things end up being a big deal when you use your bottle a lot! You might have to do some trial and error.
3.) Check discount stores for good prices on bottles
This is the second post where I have mentioned TJ Maxx, whoops. However, I have seen really good deals on large, insulated bottles there. They almost get me every time because they are usually hanging out in the check out line. Marshall's, Home Goods, and Big Lots would also be good places to look.
I couldn't end this post without a terrifying fact about plastic bottles. You're welcome.
According to plastic-pollution.org, "Published in the journal Science in February 2015, a study conducted by a scientific working group at UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), quantified the input of plastic waste from land into the ocean. The results: every year, 8 million metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans. It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world. In 2025, the annual input is estimated to be about twice greater, or 10 bags full of plastic per foot of coastline. So the cumulative input for 2025 would be nearly 20 times the 8 million metric tons estimate – 100 bags of plastic per foot of coastline in the world!" Read the full article and more about the devastating effects of plastic here.