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May 3rd, 2011

Which Eco Friendly Reusable Water Bottle Is Right For You?

Recently we asked on our Facebook page what reusable water bottle people liked to use. We got some good feedback, and it made us want to do some more research.

A few years ago the outcry with water bottles was that they contained BPA, and what that might do to those who drink from water bottles containing BPA. Over the past few years, that has become less of a concern, as water bottle manufacturers have largely removed BPA from their water bottles (though you should still make sure your water bottle is BPA free).

When you're looking for reusable water bottles now, you have a lot of choices, and some pros and cons for each water bottle. Some things to consider when purchasing your reusable water bottle:

  • Material used to create the water bottle.
  • Where the water bottle is made
  • Is the water bottle recyclable

Materials used to create reusable water bottles.

There are a few common materials reusable water bottles are made from (I'm sure there are others, so feel free to leave a comment and tell us about your favorite options).

Materials used to create reusable water bottles.

Glass Water Bottles: Glass, an inert material that won't leach anything into your water has only one real draw back. It breaks. The fact that a glass water bottle could break sometimes keeps people from choosing it as their main water bottle, especially if they do a lot of sports or are hanging out with kids.

Metal Water Bottles: Stainless steel and aluminum water bottles are both relatively good options, though there has been some slight concern raised over the safety of aluminum bottles, most experts agree that aluminum bottles are generally safe. Stainless steel water bottles are a bit more durable as they don't crack, leach or break. Both are also recyclable. The aluminum water bottles are usually lighter weight than stainless steel water bottles and therefore work well for those hiking or camping.

BPA Free Plastic Water Bottles: BPA Free plastic reusable water bottles may be a good choice; they're durable, relatively light weight and can come in fun designs. But as Beth Terry from My Plastic Free Life points out, there are a lot of chemicals we don't know are in our plastic water bottles. So there is some question still for some people whether these water bottles are a good choice for your family. Some plastic water bottles are also recyclable.

Where is your reusable water bottle made?

This is a topic that gets some people really worked up. Many people feel very strongly that their water bottle must be made in the USA. The problem, it's quite expensive to manufacture water bottles in the US. Many manufacturers have reluctantly had their products made in China and other countries. As far as a product being eco friendly, choosing a water bottle made closer to home is a great choice, all things being equal. But not all things are equal. You may not be willing to use a plastic bottle, or you may not be willing to use a bottle made outside of the US. These are decisions we each have to make based on our needs. Our hope is that this will be the start of a kind discussion about those items that are important to us.

Is the water bottle recyclable?

What do you do with your water bottle when you're finished with it? Can you recycle it? Whenever we're purchasing anything, it's a good idea to think about what you'll do with it when you don't need it anymore. The best eco friendly options are to buy things that will last a long time and can be handed down through the family, barring that, returning the product to a usable material is the next best thing.


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