It’s been months since announcing my Zero Waste journey, so it’s high time I start sharing results and ideas.
My first idea isn’t only for those interested in no waste living. It is for everyone because in one way or another we all leave a footprint to the planet and plastic does on us. As much as we don’t want to believe it we are a critical mass; critical enough to have huge implications on the environment.
Therefore, my idea for today is to BUY A METAL WATER BOTTLE, which can be used again and again.
Many online resources allow us to get informed about the negative impacts of bottled water. Thousand of organisations, companies, non-for-profit organisation and celebrities push us to think about our actions. ‘Think outside the bottle!’ is San Francisco’s campaign – the first city to ban the selling of disposable plastic bottles. All of them have one goal, to show us a reality otherwise difficult to see, but still easy to understand.
Story of Stuff gives us an easy description of the ‘bottled water’ phenomenon – a strongly manipulating marketing strategy, which scares, pulls and misleads its consumers for profit. In reality tap water in developed countries is safe to drink and costs practically nothing. But we are easily tricked and pay 1000 times more for water out of a bottle than the tap. Pacific Institute tells us that the production of one liter of bottled water, drank and thrown away in minutes, requires 250ml of oil and 3 to 5 liters of drinking water. And the recycling of those 20% of bottles that reach the recycling center is 100% ineffective. The other 80% end up filling a landfill, not degrading for over 450 years, releasing toxins into the soil.
You might have seen Plastic Pollution Coalition’s video on social media. It shows the sad consequences of the industry, threatening wild life, oceans, people without drinking water and even us directly. Many are the dangers of plastic.
Of course buying a reusable bottle could seem quite costly. But actually when we do quick math a metal bottle is about a month’s worth of bottled water and with the correct maintenance can last forever*. And it is also a great gift idea. I got mine for Christmas and have gifted so many others for birthdays.
Some people consider the weight of the bottle as a big disadvantage. But from personal experience I can say it is not that much heavier than the plastic disposable alternative. Also metal bottle come in many sizes, the smaller ones only require filling up more often. (Mine is 600ml). For me the moral reasons make the physical weight obsolete. And the best thing is life is no more run on auto pilot and requires a bit more thought which changes up things a lot. “Am I going to drink water when I’m out today? Yes? Cool, I shouldn’t forget my bottle then.”
For quite a long time I used a normal disposable bottle to refill again and again. But it turns out that it can pose quite the health risk. The long use of disposable plastic increases the quantity of toxins released in the water which we then drink into our organism. The video mentioned above displays a big list of illnesses connected to fluid intake from disposable plastic bottles. Additionally those bottles are far less valuable than a metal one will be. They are easily forgotten, easily replaced. The metal bottle teaches me responsibility, attention, sense of value and loyalty.
The metal bottles do not leak. I know from experience how important that is. Your phone will not end up in a month-long repair after an accident in your bag.
They can be used for cold and hot liquids alike – water, coffee, tea, and maybe even soup. They are double walled** (insulated), which allows the temperature to be retained longer and not to be felt on the outside.
They are easily maintained – only water and soap needed. You can easily find them in stores and online in any shape, size and color. (I personally love the ethno design mine has.) There are also some glass ones, but that would have been dangerous in my hands.
About lack of water fountains around towns to refill the bottle: I have personally not had a problem with it. And if you really want to, you can always talk to your local council about that. ***
Overall, I see no problems around substituting bottled water for a reusable metal one. We just need to make a decision and leap!
For the environment.
BUY YOURSELF A METAL WATER BOTTLE!
*I have been using mine for over two years and the only change is that the lion has rubbed off.
** Not all bottles are double walled. If it isn’t the temperature isn’t retained, but for example to Nic that isn’t a problem. The single walled ones are cheaper and might have a better selection.
*** No coffee shop or restaurant will refuse to help. In England they are even obliged to by law.
**** I am basically inseparable from my bottle. I do not leave the house without and it is always number one thing packed for holidays. If your bottle is double walled and insulated just take the lid of and put it separately.