Are you using reusable water bottles?  You should be!  Heres my list of why:

1.  Price:  We pay much, much more for bottled water than tap water.  In fact, if you look at the price per ounces in the average bottle, you’re probably paying 5 cents and ounce, versus tap water, which is about a cent per gallon.  If you’re looking to save money in this tough economy, quit buying your water pre-packaged.

2.  Quality:  As much as bottled water distributers would have us believe that their water is cleaner than what comes out of tap.  However, most cities have extremely rigorous water controls, and studies have shown that most bottled water is not cleaner than tap water, and sometimes its even dirtier- and it sure doesn’t usually come from mountain springs, either.  Much of it comes from the tap, just like that in your kitchen sink.

3.  Trash:  Think about how much trash is created by throwing away these bottles after just one use!  Even if they’re being recycled, it is very likely that the materials are being downcycled, which means that they’ve already had their highest and best use, and they’re going to be used at a lesser quality and functionality.  We’ve taken for granted that our waste to “goes away”, but we’ve got to wake up to the fact that plastic in particular takes a LONG time to break down, and that we’re filling up our landfills when we don’t have to.

4.  Manufacturing :  Its easy to forget about the invisible factors that go into making the things we use on a daily basis.  Even if the materials being used in the water bottles are healthier today than they were a few years back, there are still all of the pollutants to consider in the manufacturing process, not to mention distribution.  The more water bottles we consume, the more have to be manufactured- think about how many fewer you’d use if you had the same reusable one or two for years.

5.  Materials: We’ve got to face the facts on the finite amount of resources on this planet.  Contrary to our pre-colonial belief system, we’ve got the capacity to fill up the earth and drain it of usability.  It may seem like we’ve got materials to spare, but the reality is there is only so much, and the mega consumer attitude we’ve adopted in filling our homes and cars with junk, and removing resources from the earth.  Whether manmade or synthetic, it takes some complex set of things that at one point came from the earth to make anything, and its time we consider that in our shopping.

So you’re all set to get at reusable water bottle, right?  Yes!  Grab a Camelbak if you like drinking from a straw (super useful in bed and at the gym), one with a push button like Contigo, or a screw top like Nalgene (plastic) or Sigg (metal), and go to town!  Glass is also a great option, and is much better for recycling when you’re done with it, but of course there is the breakage factor.  It doesn’t even have to be a container meant to be a water bottle- my current favorite is a wide mouthed glass screw top container that iced tea came in.  Go figure.