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This is one of the reasons I am not down with bottled water.

This past weekend, we sat on a local beach, enjoying a lovely May day. Out of the blue, this bottle rode in with a wave.

And that made me sad.

Beaches should have sand and pebbles and happy people, but not plastic bottles.

Plastic water bottles can be recycled.

But the problem is that most people drink bottled water when they’re not at home, which means that recycling facilities aren’t readily available. So, a shockingly small percentage of water bottles actually make it into a recycling bin (about 75% aren’t recycled.)

When we drink water out of disposable bottles, we’re just not nearly as careful with them as we are when we used non-disposable bottles.

Nobody in their right mind would leave a Klean Kanteen sitting on the beach or picnic table, but plastic bottles have so little value to us, we leave them all over the place (and leaving them all over the place is far worse than sending them to the landfill!)

I’m not picking on bottled water because it’s so much worse than all the other plastic waste we produce.

No, I’m picking on it because it is so largely unnecessary.

The vast majority of us have access to high-quality tap water that’s almost free, and considering that as much as 40% of bottled water is filtered tap water, it’s a little silly to pay a huge markup for it. Plus, bottled water is less strictly regulated by the FDA than tap water and there are safety concerns about drinking from those ubiquitous plastic bottles.

If you’re a bottled water consumer, consider buying a Brita Pitcher or installing an on-tap filter.

And then get yourself a nice, sturdy water bottle that you value, because we’re inspired to take care of things we value.

(We really love our stainless steel Klean Kanteens…I highly recommend them.)

Even with the up-front costs of a filter and a canteen, you’ll be money ahead in the long run, and you’ll be treading a little more lightly on our planet.

Or if you really need bottled water, maybe you could use the really large, refillable jugs in your home, and carry reusable water bottles with you.

And if you end up with a single-use water bottle in your hand, do make sure it ends up in a recycling bin, or at the very least, a trash bin.

My beach will be grateful.

P.S. For more of my thoughts on bottled water, see my post about the Tapped documentary.


Today’s 365 post: Science + Sparkles

Joshua’s 365 post: I love coffee!

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Christine D

Tuesday 5th of June 2012

Love my Klean Kanteen stainless - don't love trash on the beach!

Amanda Y.

Friday 1st of June 2012

I just wanted to add that not all tap water is better. I have a medical condition that I cannot have flouride and since it's in our tap water and can't be fully filtered out (even with the Berkey attachment, which is the closest I've seen), so I have to buy Spring water -usually Deer Park is my only choice that is not from someone else's tap. So, just wanted to throw in defense of that. And I do make sure 99% of my bottles are recycled--I even put them in my purse empty to bring home if I can't find a recycle bin when I'm out!

Jenn H

Wednesday 30th of May 2012

If you are looking for a different sort of reusable "water bottle" you should check out the Cuppow ( It is an American made, BPA free lid that fits under the ring of any wide mouth canning jar. I just got one for my birthday & am pretty much in love. I got rid of a whole cabinet full of various kinds and styles of water bottles & replaced it with this one little lid. You can also fit a canning lid under the Cuppow so I can throw a jar of water in my purse without worrying about spills or leaks.


Wednesday 13th of June 2012

Wow, those are so neat!


Monday 28th of May 2012

What would you do if you were hosting a summer party? There is no way my Brita would keep up with the amount of water people drink during a party. I guess I could buy a huge jug and pour it into a pitcher and keep icing it...any other thoughts?


Monday 28th of May 2012

You could do that, certainly. But a party isn't probably a huge's the day in, day out usage that's more important. Plus, at a party, you can provide adequate recycling bins and so the odds are good those bottles won't end up in the ocean.

It would probably be a good idea to provide a sharpie for labeling bottles. I find at gatherings, people tend to lose track of their bottles and then get a new one, so you end up with a lot of half-drunk bottles.


Saturday 26th of May 2012

We have a creek the children enjoy playing in, and there are always tons of plastic bottles (mostly water) that travel through these water-ways, into our rivers, and ultimately to the ocean. Sad.

I found I really like drinking from our canteens, the water feels and tastes so much better than drinking from plastic. Thanks for sharing.

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