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Drink Up!

Here’s my water tip for the week: buy a stainless steel water bottle and, whenever you leave the house for more than an hour, fill it with filtered water and take it with you. This will prevent you from buying a plastic bottle of water when you get thirsty — taking one more plastic bottle out of the recycling stream or landfill. Best of all, it will help keep you hydrated and healthy. (More about those nasty plastic bottles next week.)

How do YOU stay hydrated without plastic? Do you avoid particular types of plastic bottles or containers? Click on “Comments” below and join the conversation.

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93 comments

Comments

Stephanie says …

I really like the glass tea bottles (think Snapple, Honest Tea, etc.) and they are only slightly heavier than plastic and just as durable. They are easier to recycle and I can rinse them, put them in the dishwasher, whatever!

Gabrielle says …

I have a Sigg water bottle (aluminum core) that I carry with me, filled with filtered water from my home faucet. I never buy bottled water.

Linda says …

I reuse the glass bottles from Cindy's Kitchen salad dressings that I buy at Whole Foods. They look alot like old fashioned milk bottles and are much sturdier than most glass bottles. Easy to grip and take in my lunch bag. I have shared my extras with friends and co-workers who have admired them. The cap works great for shaking up protien powders or green drinks.

Shannon says …

I take my stainless steel bottle everywhere I go. Look for ones without linings to be toxin free.

Annie says …

I don't feel the need to carry water with me, unless I am going hiking and it's warm out. I work out at the gym a couple of times a week, and run 5 miles per day, without water. I just don't get the need to constantly be rehydrating. Not that this answers the question, but my tip would be, drink enough water before you leave the house. Start using water fountains again- they DO exist, I used one in a museum just the other day. Ask for a water fountain. If enough people do that, maybe we'll see them come back and people won't need to carry water everywhere.

cyndi says …

I use stainless steel bottles as well...I have a water filter pitcher, and use filtered water....so much less waste than using plastic bottles...and the more they are finding out about what is in the plastics.....well, all the more reason to use a refillable stainless bottle....haven't convinced anyone else at work tho...I also use pyrex glass containers for my lunch food, and pack my own silverware, and cloth napkins...no plastic bags or utensils!

Janet says …

We reuse our organic maple syrup glass bottles as water bottles. We've acquired a few over the years, and we always put some in a cooler with an ice pack when we go somewhere. The bottles are sometimes mistaken for liquor bottles so they are often a conversation starter! I bought a stainless steel water bottle for my child for situations when a glass bottle would be "dangerous".

jerry says …

Good point, Annie. Despite the occasional news story about polluted wells, etc., the municipal water supply in the U.S. is among the safest in the world. How have we become conditioned to taking water with us everywhere we go? Have we taken this hydration thing too far?

fawzia Khan says …

I live in Florida .It's warm and humid, therefore I carry a bottle of water all the time. I bought it from Nikken a Japanese company. It's got it's own filter . I fill tape water where ever I go and drink ionic filtered water. Whether your body is hydrated or not depends on the kind of water you drink.

Nadia says …

Finding alternative to plastic water bottles only requires a little effort and innovation, like all other going green efforts. I've discovered that I can find drinkable water in many places without lugging around any type of water bottle. In addition to drinking fountains, how about stopping in at a cafe to ask for a glass of free tap water or leaving a mug in your school locker or office cabinet to refill during the day? Once you start looking, drinking water is everywhere - after all, about three-quarters of the world is covered in water!

Mindy Griffiths says …

Idea - how to be eco-friendly in preparing your child's lunch (or your own lunch). I bought reuseable "bento boxes" for my children's lunches. No more plastic baggies filling the landfill from this house! In addition I use cloth napkins for their lunches. I haven't lost one yet and my kids are only 7 & 9! They also use refillable water bottles everyday.

Brigid says …

I like the suggestions of glass bottles I reuse my Gus' Soda bottles. They are made of glass with a screw cap and are small enough so they are not too heavy to cart around. This is an alternative that is better for short trips. One could also store a four pack at work with filtered water in them to use throughout the day.

jerry says …

Alas, Nadia, very little of that water is fresh and only a small percentage of fresh water worldwide is suitable for drinking. Check out this U.S. Geological Survey site for details: http://ga.water.usgs.gov/edu/earthwherewater.html But you're right, good quality water can be found nearly everywhere in North America, so why are we using all those plastic bottles?

Linda says …

Do you folks actually know what is in the tap water you are so willing to drink out of any fountain? We have an RO filter at home and it is a much better option than relying on whatever is available on tap anywhere for free. Glass and Stainless steel are the way to go when out and about. Bring your own and know what you are drinking.

Nadia says …

Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that we drink ocean water or anything of that sort! It was intended as purely facetious...

Katina says …

I'm in the health profession and I NEVER drink from water fountains. Every person that I have come across in the last 10 years that has come down with "mono" drinks regularly from water fountains. Also, pay attention to how some people drink from them, they put their entire mouth on the faucet. Yuck! The mouth is "one" of the dirtiest places on your body. Just ask anyone who's been bitten by another person and then has had to spend 30 days in the hospital getting IV antibiotics. As for water bottles, I have a bunch of plastic ones that I have collected in the past and I just refill them from my filtered tap water. I don't actually drink from them while at work, I just pour the water into a larger cup. That way I don't have to waste water washing them. Another "green" idea! And a comment to the person who can't understand why people need to be drinking water all the time. Personally, I dehydrate very quickly because I don't retain water. And if I do anything that makes me perspire I dehydrate even quicker, so I'm one of those that can't go to the gym without several bottles of water. And I use plastic because consequently it is much lighter and than glass.

Barbara says …

I "put away" the plastic quite a while ago and have both Sigg and stainless water bottles. I prefer the stainless ones because of the cost factor and also because I don't have to wonder when or if the Sigg's FDA approved liner will be "un-approved" in the future. We use filtered water and I pack it whenever I go out. I don't need to drink constantly because my digestive health is excellent but I pack water so that I won't ever need to buy it in plastic. We also use ceramic lunch containers and wax paper to wrap. No more plastic for this family. It's really cool that we can do the safe thing for health, the right thing for the planet and in the long run the economically wise thing because we buy once and reuse. EXCELLENT!

Eli says …

I bring a sun tea jar filled with filtered water (from my fridge) to work. It usually lasts 2-3 days. I just refill my drinking glass throughout the day. No plastic necessary!!!

Mallory says …

If you have a full Sigg or aluminum water bottle with you at all times, you'll never have to worry about buying a plastic bottle. But what happens when you are out all day and run out of your home-filtered supply? For me, tap water and fountain water from most public places is undrinkable. Rather than dumping a $1.25 in a machine and another plastic bottle in the recycle bin, try a portable filter. Many companies now make small filters that fit right over the head of a faucet, and I have even seen ones that snap onto a drinking fountain spout! This way you can have fresh, clean water from anywhere to either refill your bottle or drink from the fountain.

jule small says …

Beware of any Stainless Steal containers from China. I had mine tested and found it was made with toxic materials.

Carla says …

Like many others who posted, I love using my stainless steel (SS) water bottle by Kleen Kanteen, and I fill it up with my own filtered water from home. I love it so much that I got a SS Kleen Kanteen sippy cup for my baby (couldn't bear to have him drinking out of plastic!). Kleen Kanteen does have a lining on the inside of the SS, so I've always wondered if it's ok. But hey - I figure it's better than all the phthalates & toxins in plastic!?! I feel much better knowing that I no longer add to the waste generated from all the plastic water bottles out there. If I am out without my own water and absolutely desperate, I'll only buy glass-bottled water (Pellegrino, Perrier, etc). I absolutely LOVE Whole Foods (I actually used to work there before I had my baby); however, I am disappointed they carry so much water in plastic bottles. I've noticed lately in my WF store that there is very little (or no) option of GLASS bottled water - particularly in the chilled section. I'd appreciate having this option, esp for times when I'm eating there.

Jill Blanchard says …

Our family uses thermal stainless steel drinking cups for our water to go. We never leave home without it. The great thing about these cups is that they keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. Living in Florida, the interior of our car gets extremely hot during most of the year. So when you return to your hot car and reach for your cold cup of water, it is still cold! The added benefits is that you can refill at a local water fountain and they are easy to keep clean.

Robin says …

I save almost all of the glass jars we use, everything from salsa to applesauce. When the kids and I are going to be out and about during the day and I know we are going to need a drink I have everyone fill up a jar with filtered water. They all look different so nobody gets theirs mixed up with anyone elses. We bring them home and wash them out and back into the cupboard for whatever we need to use it for next. My absolute favorite water jar is an old mason jar with a handle. I get a lot of "is that your moonshine" comments, but I don't care. I know I am doing my part to make this a better place for my kids to live. I honestly don't know why anyone buys glasses with all of the glass jars that go in and out of our homes on a weekly basis. Anyway that's my two cents worth.

Donna says …

I buy (glass) 32 ounce R. W. Knudsen juices at Whole Foods. When the bottles are empty I wash them out and stash them on top of my fridge. Every morning I take 2 of them, toss one green (organic/fair trade) tea bag into each, and fill with water. I take them to work and drink all day, thus avoiding the water out of the plastic bubbler at work, and also saving money by not buying a bottled tea. And it's healthy. I also brew my own hot tea in my coffeemaker, (one teabag per every 3 cup mark on the carafe), and after drinking one mugful at home, I put the rest in another of the bottles, along with organic milk and organic Florida (sugar) crystals. I keep a mug at work, so I am not wasting styrofoam cups every day by buying tea at a coffeeshop. I also control the ingredients that way. Everything I drink is organic, because I make it. I take all my lunches in Pyrex bowls, and wrap my sandwiches in wax paper lunch bags. No plastic for me! I take empty glass salsa jars and toss in a peeled, sectioned orange, and top off with some frozen berries. By lunchtime it's thawed and yummy. People laugh at my collection, but I am reducing, re-using, and recycling, and shrinking my "footprint"! Try it, you'll like it!

Susan says …

I make a 2-qt. pitcher of flavored water. Then I take a plastic bottle, fill it half to two-thirds full, and put it in the freezer. In the morning, I fill it with the refrigerated water, and I'm set for the day. The water stays cold all day, and there's usually still ice in it in the afternoon. I prefer the plastic, as the glass is too heavy and breakable for my long commute on public transit.

Raven says …

My Water Purifier is wonderful in so very many ways. I take water straight from the tap and run it through my purifier to replenish the pitchers that I keep in the house, and the water bottle that I keep in my car. I do have a plastic container that I use at work, but that is constantly refilled and has been in use for at least 3 months now....that's at least 75+ bottles that I did not have to add to the landmills and did not have to spend money on either. All in all, good for me and better for the planet!

Megan says …

This topic is something I've been debating recently. My fiance and I use refillable Nalgene water bottles, with water that we filter at home. I'm concerned about the potential toxins, and recently read an article that said warm liquids leached more of the toxin than cold liquids. I have considered aluminum bottles but have also read that patients with Alzheimer's often have an elevated level of aluminum in their system and that avoiding the metal may help reduce levels in your body. Are there any risks with stainless steel bottles? I think glass is great, but we need something that won't break so easily. Thanks!

Jennifer says …

My sister is an environmental engineer who now works for the U.S. Air Force. When she was studying water pollution and water supply in Colorado, she found that some bottled water had more contaminants than tap water. She, however, still uses a Nalgene bottle. My mom likes to use jam jars or pepperoncini jars because they are easy to wash and refill. And me? I am currently drinking from water fountains, but planning to buy a metal sigg bottle soon.

Kathy says …

In the United States, public drinking fountains are really taken for granted. The only places I have ever seen them in Europe or the UK is in the airports! I have really learned to appreciate them. I can hardly walk by one without taking a drink. The colder it is, the longer I drink. Grant it, the water may not be perfect, and sometimes it is truly awful, but it still beats using plastic water bottles and adding more plastic to the already overflowing landfills. And it also beats carrying around a bottle all the time just for "perfect" water!

Jess says …

We had a water purification system installed last year under our kitchen sink($400). We not only save money not purchasing water but we're conserving by not using plastic bottles. I also offer my friends & family to come on over and take our purified water and they fill up their jugs also. Pretty good investment, saving 2-3 households from buying bottled water.

Kelly says …

I live in Tucson where it's hot and very dry so it's imperative to have an adequate supply of water with me everywhere I go. I refill a one liter glass Gerolsteiner (mineral water) bottle with distilled water and carry it with me. The bottle is pretty (I've had many people ask where it came from) and it's an easy way to track my fluid intake throughout the day. Whenever it starts to look a little grungy, I recycle it and buy a new one.

Bonnie says …

I have a tendency to form kidney stones and have been advised to drink LOTS of water, so I do carry a water bottle with me - but mine is (HORRORS!) a plastic Rubbermaid bottle. It's a "permanent," refillable bottle, so I'm not adding to landfill problems. I love this bottle, although I do worry, I confess, about what might be leaching into my water. I like this bottle because it's light, I can see into it, and the drinking "spout" doesn't have to unscrewed or sucked on - it just flips up (requires only one hand) and the "spout" is the perfect size for drinking. It closes so snugly that even if the bottle falls, it never leaks. And the outside of it doesn't condense moisture on the inside of my purse. When the cover is removed, the bottle opening is plenty large to allow for thorough washing. Although I've looked, I can't find anything remotely like it made out of metal and I won't carry glass because of weight and breakage. Alas!! I am open to suggestions for appropriate alternatives.

Kelly Harris says …

I carry my stainless steel water bottle whereverI go. Atnight I fill it about 2 inches full and put in the freezer, then before I leave home, I fill the remainder of the bottle. That way not only do I have fresh water anddo not have to purchase a plastic bottle, but I have good cold water for many hours.

Kristin says …

You can get SIGG at www.northern-spirit.ca I have one too, they're awesome! They come in smaller sizes for kids, as well as accessories like sport tops and cozies (Kind of like the ones for beer cans) Because the bottles are metal, if you put cold water in them, the outside of the bottle is rather cold to the touch. A great product that I now can't live without!

marcia says …

I recycle my glass juice bottles for my water bottle. I'll use the smaller ones for the gym. I always keep a larger bottle filled with water in the car as this is the best time to try and get in that daily amount of water. When you're stuck in traffic or thinking about grabbing a coffee, this makes for a great diversion. Also, a squeeze of fresh citrus makes your water zippy. Don't use dish soap to clean out your bottles as it leaves a residual flowery smell. Use grapefruit seed extract to clean and disinfect naturally!

Antonia from Brooklyn says …

We use wine bottles to store filtered tap water. The cork works fine. We rinse them out with baking soda every dozen refills or so. We use mason jars to store leftover tea and coffee in our fridge, and also use mason jars for food leftovers. To tote around, we follow Stephanie's example (comment #2) and use glass tea bottles.

Kathy says …

Okay, this isn't really about drinking water. I have been reading alot of these green blogs and have not seen it ever mentioned that Sunday comics make great wrapping paper! I NEVER buy wrapping paper. This has been done in my family at least since I was a little girl and I'm pushing 50 now! Okay I have bought Christmas paper occasionally when it is 90% off at Target, or 25 cents per 100 ft. roll at Walgreens.

Mary says …

Great suggestions everyone. I have been using 2 tall glass evian bottles. After filling it with reverse osmosis water, I place both in this great wine cooler bag that I found. It also has a strap for easy carring. I also use a wide mouth mason jar as well. I find any of these two options helpful. It funny how far we have gone from using glass to now using plastic. I teach high school and the students as well as the staff think that I am weird when they see me drinking out a of glass container. They often ask me why. Takes them a while to figure that one out. Can you believe it. Aside from the enviromental impact, we need not forget about the impact that plastics have on our health. For example zenoestrogens (causing unbalanced estogen levels) that arise as artifacts during the manufacture of plastics and other synthetic materials. These zenoestrogens increase the risk of breast and uterine cancer, harder to lose weight, salt and fluid retention, high blood pressure, depression, and headaches.,interferes with thyroid hormone, greatly increases the risk of stroke, decreases libido, hampers control of healthy blood sugar levels and fatigue. Some food for thought. Thanks for sharing.

Stella Perez says …

I loved bottled water. But I was consuming about 25 per week. This seemed like such a waste. What I do now, to help the environment, I buy water by the gallon. I serve it in a glass, and drink from the glass rather than a bottle. In the end, I recycle a gallon jug, rather than 12 bottles. I'm not sure if this is better, but it feels better.

susan says …

um, the water fountain? we have water fountains everywhere, for people to drink out of. i know what's in tap water. if you notice there's a problem, it's usually something you can bring up with the city you're in, it might be a temporary problem due to flooding, but it could be something that needs attention. i should feel lucky i don't live near a farm that sprays crops and use well water for my home--i doubt there's much a filter can do for that stuff. that's why we eat organic foods when we can. i suppose no one uses public restrooms either?

Jackie Clonan says …

I am an American, working for a Toronto based company [how I found Whole Foods in Oakville] & am on the road for hundreds of miles-----I need water to hydrate. I found the perfect container......a Whole Foods organic liter sized milk bottle----it's great since I can wash it out, & has a plastic cap. However, I have to refill from a plastic gallon water bottle I keep in the minivan. Our Buffalo, NY area water is heavy on flouride, making it difficult to get past the smell which is why I continue to buy the gallon jugs. My suggestion would be to bring out gallon sized glass water bottles, like the milk bottles, & charge a depost which would be returned on refill.....just like we did with pop/milk bottles. Make sure the tops screw on for reuse.

David C says …

These are all great ideas, but in order to make a significant change, we need to stop the use of petroleum-based plastic water bottles altogether. That is where Whole Foods can help. Sell water in plant-based biodegradable bottles only. They do exist. Very simple and perhaps the rest of the world will catch on.

bill benton says …

where can i buy 1 gal stainless steel water bottles?

PJ says …

For work, I used to reuse the little plastic milk containers you find in six packs, but now I use the glass peanut butter jars. If I don't have to tote it all day with me and there isn't anywhere I can get refills, I'll sometimes use the glass spaghetti sauce jars because of their larger size.

Crystal says …

We buy single bottles of Mountain Valley Spring water and leave it our van, during the Summer. The thirstiest time of year! This way, the hot temps do not affect the water, like the plastic that leaches. Also, we use SIGG bottles for the kids' lunches (to avoid the plastic "leaching" hazard).

Laura says …

I'm fortunate to work for one of our local 'big' employers. The facilities department has installed filtered ice and water dispensers all over our buildings. Many of us bring a refillable container and use those daily, instead purchasing bottled water. Urge your employer to do the same. It adds up!

Gabrielle says …

But why search out fountains and cafes when you can easily carry your own with you? It's like pay phones... why search for one when you can carry a mobile? It's much easier for me just to carry my own water around. My Sigg bottle is really pretty too - I get a lot of compliments on it! They say it looks like a genie bottle. :)

Adrienne Porter says …

If you work in an office setting with a community water cooler, instead of using a new plastic cup from the dispenser every time you want water, bring a glass from home that you can wash and reuse when you need hydration.

Alba says …

I simply use my Kleen Kanteen. They come in various sizes to suit your needs. There are even different cap styles from which to choose. Get a couple to accomodate the length of your trips. (One small, one large.) I even drink out of it at home, by keeping it handy on a coaster on my bookshelf. It's perfect since I like room temperature water (which is better for hydration than frigid water) and will use it to give my nearby plant a drink as well. Of course, it's filtered first. I'm aware that filtration will not rid the water of all toxicity, but every bit helps. At work, I have a mug I refill throughout the day in addition to a water fountain I utilize every time I pass it. The movement is gaining momentum. I suggest this Spring and Summer we all start advertising and bring out our reusable water bottles for the masses to see!!!!

miguel says …

Our individual personal practices amount to much, a little at a time. On occasion we can do much more at once if we not shun the opportunities that arise. Whenever you are on a committee that is planing an event, do not be discouraged by the inertia of fellow planners, from providing food and drink in ways that not generate disposables. You might think that it would be a given for an event named Veg Fest. Repeatedly I had to relift the rug under which the issue was being swept. I recruited a filtration system vendor to dispense water at the event, into sports bottles, promotional of our organization, which we sold.

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