As we get closer to Earth Day, you will start noticing reminders about the importance of not using disposable plastic products and messages about how crucial recycling is. And while both those things are true, it isn’t easy to go plastic-free. Even if you are diligent enough to bring your own bags to the supermarket, when you look around the store, you will notice that many of the items you can purchase are either wrapped in plastic, or their packaging is plastic.
But the facts are sobering: almost one million single-use plastic bags are used globally every minute, and more than half a billion plastic straws are used daily. In the United States, we drink water from 70 million plastic bottles daily, and 60 million are thrown away, with most ending up in incinerators, landfills and our waterways sometimes floating into the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
While those numbers seem overwhelming, you can make small changes that will make a huge difference. If you use a plastic water bottle, make sure that it is reusable. Try to avoid using single-use plastic items. Instead, switch to aluminum and stainless steel replacements that may even keep your beverages cooler for a more extended period of time.
Here are some of our favorite alternatives to bottled water products to help you break your single-use plastic habit.
1. Boxed Water
Boxed Water is a sustainable alternative to plastic or glass bottles and aluminum cans. The packaging is 100% recyclable and refillable and contains 100% purified water with no added minerals. You can recycle the carton as you would a juice box or milk carton. The packaging is 92% plant-based and the company has planted over 1,000,000 trees in our National Forests. In addition to plain, the brand has recently introduced flavors like lemon, blackberry, cucumber and grapefruit.
Flavored Variety Pack Boxed Water
2. Path Water
For many, the convenience of using a lightweight plastic bottle keeps them hooked, but Path Water’s refillable bottled water stores as easily and fits in the same spaces. You can buy a nine-pack at a similar price as single-use plastic water bottles, except that you can reuse this aluminum bottle. And no worries, the bottles are lined with a very thin BPA-free liner so there is no weird aluminum after taste. The water is filtered through reverse osmosis and when refilling with your favorite beverage, keep it cool to avoid heat transfer.
3. Just Water
Actor and rapper Jaden Smith can often be seen toting around water from the company that he co-founded. Just water was launched after Smith saw plastic trash floating around him while surfing. After learning of the impact plastic has on our environment, he wanted to help reduce our carbon footprint. The bottle is made using 82% renewable resources, and instead of using tap water that has been purified which uses energy, it is spring water.
4. ShakeSphere’s Double Wall Steel Tumblers
There are few things more wonderful than a product that does more than one thing well. ShakeSphere’s Double Wall Steel Tumblers are fantastic as they are water bottles that are also designed to create shakes without a blender, thanks to their capsule-shape design. It can even blend fruit without the use of blades. Additionally, they are able to keep beverages cold for 12 hours and hot for eight hours, functioning like a thermos. Who needs single-use plastic when you have a triple threat?
5. Lifefactory Reusable Glass Water Bottle
BPA/BPS-free and phthalate-free are what you get when you buy a Lifefactory reusable glass water bottle. The wide mouth makes it easy to add ice or chunks of fruit. There are different iterations of the bottle, but if you are someone that likes to hop on your treadmill, run outside or use a stationary bike, the flip cap version is the best — no spilling.
Lifefactory Reusable Glass Water 22 Oz Bottle
6. Flow Alkaline Spring Water
Alkaline water has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years. Its advocates believe that since it has a higher pH level than regular drinking water, it can neutralize your body’s acid and can lead to positive health benefits. But some experts don’t think that there is much evidence to support health claims. Still, if you like to consume it, try to do so from a renewable container like that of Flow. The brand’s alkaline spring water contains minerals that occur as part of the process of the water flowing over subsurfaces to get to a limestone aquifer where it is kept.
7. S’well Stainless Steel Water Bottle
S’well’s stainless steel water bottle is not only stylish but also great at keeping your hot and cold beverages at the right temperatures. The vacuum-insulated, triple-walled stainless steel bottle has a copper layer, so you don’t get any drippy condensation all over your clothes or that stack of papers sitting on your desk. The founder Sarah Kauss launched the company over a decade ago, intending to get rid of single-use plastic bottles. The brand has partnered with UNICEF and has committed $1.4million since 2017 to help provide clean water to the world’s most vulnerable communities.
S'well Stainless Steel Water Bottle
We all need a little motivation from time to time, including making sure we stay hydrated throughout the day. It is pretty easy to lose track, and no one wants to feel parched. To that end, Hydromate has created water bottles that not only remind you when to drink water but also do so in a kind and gentle way. It is like your personal trainer for water drinking. The bottles are free of BPA, chemical taste and odors and make a fantastic alternative to a single-use plastic water bottle.