For years, I’ve always carried my own drinking water when I’m running errands around town or on trips. That’s because I don’t drink out of water fountains with all their chlorinated, fluoridated public water sources (yuck!). I can’t stand restaurant water, which is usually just gross tap water with ice cubes in it. I also don’t drink out of plastic water bottles because, well, I don’t particularly wish to grow a pair of BPA-induced male breasts (although I’m sure that would be amusing to YouTube viewers).
BPA (Bisphenol-A), after all, is the now-infamous “hormone mimicking” plastics chemical. It will probably be outlawed in the next few years because of the emerging science linking it to hormone-sensitive cancers like breast cancer and prostate cancer. Canada seems poised to ban it soon, and many baby bottle manufacturers in the USA have already turned to BPA-free bottles.
So that leaves two choices: Glass bottles and stainless steel bottles.
When you first use either of these, the first strange thing you’ll notice is that you can’t squeeze them. When we used to drink out of plastic bottles, we all got used to squeezing them to make the water come out, right? Glass and stainless steel obviously don’t squeeze, so you have to rely on gravity to drop the water into your mouth.
Glass is nice because you can always tell how much water you have remaining. But of course it has one major drawback: It shatters when you drop it.
That effect is particularly not cool at the gym where people don’t appreciate you covering their exercise floor with shards of razor-sharp glass.
So stainless steel becomes the obvious choice for people who want a rugged, portable and lightweight bottle, too. (Stainless steel is much lighter than glass for the same sized container.)
The drawbacks are that you can’t tell how much water you have remaining in the stainless steel bottle, and you can’t squeeze it to get more water out. Instead, you tip the bottle up and drink the water coming out of the nozzle.
I don’t know if you can really call a stainless steel bottle “sexy” but here’s a company that sells some pretty “hot” ones:
Save the planet by avoiding throwaway plastic
These are high quality, rugged stainless steel bottles that can actually take quite a lot of abuse without breaking. (They may get dented, however, if you throw them at things. They usually kick you out of the gym if you start doing that, however…)
The best part, of course, is that you can reuse them a thousand times over. And that’s the really important point here: This whole scheme with plastic water bottles has just gone too far. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, two companies that once battled against bottled water, are now the top producers of it, and their bottles are piling up in landfills everywhere.
Honolulu can’t even find a place to export its trash, and Los Angeles is facing a long-term landfill crisis as well. We don’t have much room left in our world to pile up a zillion plastic bottles. And besides, BPA is bad for you and you shouldn’t keep drinking out of plastic unless you particularly enjoy conventional cancer treatments.
That’s why a stainless steel bottle (or a glass bottle) can really make a difference. Invest in a countertop water filter like the excellent ones made by Aquasana and you can bottle your own water for a few pennies per gallon. It’s not only cheaper than bottled water (by far!); it’s also more eco-conscious since you’re not tossing plastic into the trash every time you chug a few ounces of water.
In fact, regardless of whether you get our stainless steel bottle, I sincerely hope you find some way to replace plastic water bottles with something more reusable, safe, and environmentally friendly. That’s the real point here: Ditch the plastic habit and drink out of something reusable.
By doing so, you’ll avoid exposing yourself to the chemicals that leach out of plastic bottles, and you’ll help reduce the growth of landfill at the same time. Even if you recycle all your plastic bottles, it’s still better to avoid purchasing the plastic in the first place.
So help keep the planet (and your health) free of plastic as much as possible! Go with stainless steel or some other material that’s safe and durable.
I’m concerned about aluminum bottles, by the way, given that aluminum is somewhat toxic to the human body. Drinking out of aluminum bottles doesn’t necessarily mean you’re swallowing very much aluminum, of course, but I wouldn’t even want to take that chance. I personally avoid aluminum and plastic bottles wherever possible.
On occasion, I’ll drink out of plastic at a trade show or some other on-the-road event where I don’t have another option, but that’s an exception, not the rule. I’m not perfect, but much like you, I’m trying to make my life healthier and more eco-conscious every single day.