Ever since mineral water became popular and the fitness craze kicked off, it is common to see plastic bottles being carried by people in the street and on public transport. But, it isn’t just gym goers and joggers who are carrying water bottles. Many commuters, window shoppers, and people taking a leisurely stroll seem unable to operate without having a water bottle in their hand.
But, is it necessary, and what harm is it causing the planet with most of these containers being one-use plastics?
What is the problem with carrying water bottles?
In itself, carrying a water bottle isn’t harming anyone and could be very beneficial to the owner. It’s the type of water bottle that is used that is the main concern.
Around 1.3 billion plastic water bottles are sold each day. This amounts to a million sales per minute, and many of these are simply unnecessary. The main problem here is that most plastic containers get sent to landfill. Plastic will remain in landfill slowly breaking down for hundreds of years.
What are better choices for water bottles?
There are a number of materials that make far better choices for water bottles, and they can be reused time after time. Glass and stainless steel are more environmentally friendly than plastic. And metal in particular makes a good choice.
Stainless steel is perfect for drink bottles because the metal is 100% recyclable. Some bottles from companies such as VidlLife are insulated to keep water cold, and they can be personalized. If you choose a reusable water bottle with ethical backing, you may also find some of your money is going to worthy projects instead of fizzy drinks companies.
When do you really need to carry water?
Obviously, there are times when buying a plastic water bottle is a necessity, and no one should avoid staying hydrated. But, planning ahead a little can help to avoid buying one-use plastics too often. There are occasions when you shouldn’t leave home without your trusty reusable water bottle.
Exercising (especially in the heat)
When people exercise they can lose up to 3 or 4 liters an hour especially when it is hot.
When you consider that you can lose up to 10 liters a day through sweat, the importance of carrying water during exercise is obvious.
It is advisable for pregnant women to drink only filtered or bottled water. There is no harm in having a container to hand when on the move when pregnant at all.
However, plastic water bottles leach chemicals that are believed to harm babies’ brain development. It is far safer to choose a reusable bottle and fill it with filtered water.
Traveling on the subway
New Yorkers have been battling with the heat of their subway for years now. In 2018, temperatures went past 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and three years previously the heat reached 122 degrees.
While the subway cars are air-conditioned, it is these very systems that are generating vast amounts of heat on the transit platforms. This kind of temperature causes dehydration and can lead to fainting. Hydration is vital for all parts of the body including healthy skin.
Skincare routines are important to slow the signs of aging, but hydration is vastly more important than creams and lotions, so keep a bottle of water with you on the subway.
In hot weather
It probably sounds obvious, but many people underestimate the heat of the sun. Keeping hydrated will help you to keep cool, replace lost fluids, and offset the side effects of sunburn should you be out too long.
A reusable bottle can make a great way to encourage kids to drink more water. Some makers provide the option to personalize reusable water bottles with different colorings and messages.
Gift your kids a personalized water bottle they are proud to carry, and let them know how they are helping the planet by avoiding disposable plastics. You can always cheat and add fruit flavors to the water if it helps.
In countries where tap water is not drinkable
During travels to countries where drinking water is only available in bottles, it is necessary to carry a drink with you. Fortunately, many guesthouses and hotels will have some option to refill bottles so you can still avoid buying too many plastics.
Currently, only 9% of plastic is recycled, but avoiding plastic bottles completely will help to reduce the level of waste heading to landfills, and this is perhaps even more important when visiting other countries for vacations and travel.
There will be a time when buying a plastic water bottle is necessary, and no one should go thirsty when water is available. But, if more people stopped buying water in stores there could be a time when plastic water bottles stopped being so common.
A reusable water bottle will pay for itself in no time. And every time you refill it you will have avoided buying one more plastic bottle.
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