Light Shades of {Green} - Month 1: Water Bottles

You hear it all the time "go green".  Product packaging often promises "green" which is supposed to mean "buy it, this is good".  Many times this is true, however, as we often see things listed "organic", "natural" and "heart healthy" when it's not necessarily so, the term "green" can be misused as well.

The next step in choosing whether or not to take a green step is to determine how inconvenienced you might be to "go green".  Do I have to purchase different appliances?  Do I need to remodel my home?  Do I need to change my lifestyle?  You certainly can, but what if we focus on small things we can change?  What if we strive to achieve light shades of green?

Let's talk about water bottles.  Water, in general, seems to be quite a confusing subject.  Should I buy bottled water?  Is it safer than tap water?  What about filtered water?  This is something you'll have to determine based on the quality of your tap water.  Keep in mind, however, that bottled water is less strictly regulated than tap.  I, personally,  have rusty well water that with a small filtration system (such as Brita)  tastes and tests just fine.

Disposable water bottles are extremely bad for your health as well as for the planet.  Let's take the planet first.  Making, bottling, packaging and shipping of disposable water bottles means the usage of nonrenewable fossil fuels and adds to the pollution and greenhouse gases never mind the fact that most aren't recyclable and end up in the landfill.  Definitely not green.

As far as the harm to your health goes, studies have shown for quite some time the ill effects plastics can have.  We know that reusing plastics not meant for that purpose can mean exposure to the chemical BPA (Bisphenol A), known to interfere with hormonal development. 

Bottles made for one-time use only are thin and most likely made of PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate).  They have the possibility of building up germs and the plastic begins to break down with each re-use.  Additionally, you never want to leave plastic bottles in the sun or high heat.  The chemicals will leach into the water much quicker, which in turn, you ingest.  Unfortunately, most often these are the disposable bottles that are actually recyclable so people think it's a good choice.

Then there are plastic bottles made from Polycarbonate, such as nalgene bottles.  There is the possibility these too can leach BPA into what you store in them.  More recently are bottles made of HDPE (High-Density Polyethelene), such as opaque nalgene bottles.  They are currently listed as cautiously safe.  If you choose to use any type of plastic bottles use them with care.  Clean by hand, don't put them in the dishwasher, and when they become scratched replace them with a water bottle made from stainless steel or glass.

The safest bottles to date are those made of stainless steel or glass.  There are no ill side effects to drinking liquids from these materials.  I personally use stainless steel from Klean Kanteen though there are many brands to choose from.  If you are considering purchasing bottles that are stainless steel, make sure they aren't lined as the lining has the potential of being dangerous.

Making this small change will have a positive impact on both your health and the planet.


Rural Revival said...

Yay! I wholeheartedly agree. We switched to stainless steel bottles a few years ago. Reusable and safe and so much gentler on our ecosystem. A lot of bottled water IS tap water, and with all the talk about plastic it surprises me how many people still stock up on cases of the stuff.

Love this post Staci!


Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

good post! so many have no clue of the dangers of plastic containers. i refuse to microwave with plastic as well. thanks for the great info!

texwisgirl said...

"cautiously safe". Yikes! I'm lucky we live in an area with great-tasting water right out of the tap. My hubby tends to re-use water bottles (and leave them in hot cars too). I'll have to chase after him on that! Thanks for the tips!

Verde Farm said...

What a great post! Very informative and I needed this information. I am going to check out the Klean Kanteen too. We would like the stainless stell ones. Thanks Gal :)

Marilyn said...

Great topic, I'm sharing this post!

Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much for all of your feedback. I too have replaced all plastic food containers with glass containers as safety precautions. I have a few plastic left but I don't store anything with acid in it (tomato sauce, acidic fruits, etc.) since it leaches the chemicals even more so.

John Gray said...

loved your photo blog!

Life At Cobble Hill Farm said...

Thanks so much John, I really appreciate it.