Aside from staying home and drinking tap water out of a washable glass, the best way to be “green” while on the go is choosing your reusable water bottle wisely. From the lowly single-use-only bottle you can buy at your local gas station filled with tap water,to the stainless steel and aluminum options, making the right choice is important in maintaining both your health and the health of the environment!
Types of Reusable Water Bottles
The worst kind of water bottle is the kind that you only use once – the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle that you find in convenience stores, gas stations, etc, that holds water, soda or juice. This kind of plastic has been proven to leach DEHP (Bis(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate) after repeated use and is a probable carcinogen. They can also harbor bacterial growth inside any cracks and crevices inside the bottle, which cannot be too good for your health either!
Next to the regular old plastic bottles we see everywhere, probably the most common would be your typical reusable water bottle as seen here. These plastic bottles, commonly used by exercise buffs and campers, are made out of thermoplastic polymers that usually goes by the name polycarbonate. However, it’s not just water bottles that are made out of polycarbonate; CD’s, iPods, sunglasses, computer shells, and almost everything made from plastic is also made of the material. Thankfully though, we don’t normally chew on CD’s or computers because polycarbonates have been proven to leach BPA, a synthetic hormone that can mimic estrogen and cause prostate cancer. Even scarier is the fact that most baby bottles are made out of polycarbonate, and when you heat up milk in them to feed your baby, the BPA could be leaching in at an even higher rate than normal. Not good for adults but definitely not good for babies!
A much better option than either of the above two would be an aluminum reusable water bottle. A big manufacturer of aluminum water bottles is Sigg (which you can get at Reuseit.com, where I got mine), and they are available in all sorts of sizes, colors, and designs. They even have special-sized models for kids, too.
The best way to get your daily dose of water on the go, in my opinion, is a stainless steel reusable water bottle. Klean Kanteen is a large manufacturer of these type of bottles, and you can get them from Reuseit.com. They are made entirely out of stainless steel, which does not leach, is difficult to break or crack, and does not easily stain or interact with whatever product you are consuming. The water always tastes good out of it and it keeps it reasonably cold for a little while when I go hiking or out in the sun. They don’t recommend using them for hot beverages, which is understandable – that’s what a thermos is for.
Ideally, the best way to drink water on the go would be an aluminum or stainless steel reusable water bottle, as they seem to exhibit the least amount of health concerns out of all the choices. Add in the fact that they can be used over and over again with no degradation and do not need to be recycled each time you use one, they really are the “green” choice. And since upwards of 40% of bottled water is just tap water in disguise, buying it seems like not only a health risk due to the plastic leaching possibilities, but also a wallet risk due to wasting money on something you already have at home!