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Why You Should Use a Reusable Water Bottle? The Positive Impact on Your Health & the Environment

Alyssa Mertes

Published: March 24th, 2022

People are busy these days, and for convenience alone, you might drink from a disposable plastic water bottle. In fact, 1,500 disposable water bottles are consumed every second. We throw them into our grocery carts without a second thought.

However, it's time to think twice about this harmful habit. Disposable water bottles are horrible for our ecosystem, and to add insult to injury, they're also single serve, so you're not getting a lot of water out of the deal. It's really a lose-lose!

The average person needs between 11 and 15 cups of water per day, so it makes more sense to buy a reusable water bottle instead. The positive impact to your health and the environment is worth every penny!

Water Bottles: Environmental Impact

Why Are Plastic Water Bottles Bad for the Environment?

Need proof that plastic water bottles are bad for the planet? 22 billion end up in landfills every single year! Billion! When these bottles break down, the particles get into our water, soil, and even the air we breathe.

Bottle in water

Water

Microplastics, which are little resin pellets that break from larger pieces of plastics, are finding their way into our fresh water sources. Because of this, we could be consuming tiny bits of plastic every time we drink water or eat seafood.

Landfill

Land

People aren't recycling plastic water bottles properly, and as a result, they're piling up in landfills. It could take up to 1,000 years for the bottles to fully decompose, and when they do, the particles end up in the soil we use to grow fruits, vegetables, and other crops.

Smokestack

Air

The emissions from manufacturing disposable water bottles and then transporting them to grocery stores is extremely harmful to the atmosphere. The more bottles that are produced, the more toxins in the air we breathe.

A reusable water bottle is part of the solution toward a greener world. With so many stylish water bottles, you're sure to find one you'll love carrying every single day. This is more important now than ever considering how disposable water bottles are affecting our planet.

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While we all benefit from modern plastic's variety of uses - from hip replacements and artificial hearts to iPods and ballpoint pens - we cannot discount the environmental and health concerns.

Norman H. Finkelstein, author of Great Inventions: Plastics

How Much Plastic is Saved By Using Reusable Water Bottles?

By switching to a reusable water bottle, you could be saving an estimated 217 plastic bottles from going to a landfill. Now imagine if you encourage all of your friends and family to start using their own bottle. That's a ton of plastic that won't end up in our ecosystem!

Bottles on windowsill

You can shop for many types of water bottles, from plastic squeeze bottles to brand names like CamelBak and Contigo. These bottles are ultimately better for the planet since you can use them over and over again for years.

Woman with bottle

Are Reusable Water Bottles Good for the Planet?

Reusable water bottles are definitely better than disposable ones. Not only are you preventing waste from going into landfills, but you're also cutting down on harmful emissions caused by the production of plastic bottles.

Bottling water requires 16 million barrels of oil and contributes to 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide pollution every year. When sales from disposable water bottles go down, less toxins are going into the atmosphere.

Can You Recycle Water Bottles?

Good news! Disposable plastic water bottles are recyclable. Leave the cap on, and crush your bottle to squeeze out the air. You should then put the bottles in a plastic bag before they go in the curbside bin.

As long as they're made from a safe material, you can also recycle old reusable water bottles. Contact your local recycler to see what they will and won't accept.

Here's what you need to know about recycling reusable water bottles!

type plastic

Plastic Water Bottles

It helps to know which type of plastic is used to make your reusable water bottle. For instance, PET, HDPE, PVC, LDPE, and PP can all be recycled. Ask the manufacturer for more information about your plastic water bottles so you can dispose of them properly.

type glass

Glass Water Bottles

A majority of glass water bottles can be recycled in your curbside bin at home. These bottles are then taken to a treatment plant where they're crushed down and molded into new bottles or jars.

type stainless

Stainless Steel Water Bottles

Stainless steel water bottles are usually recyclable. More than 192 million Americans have access to centers or shredders in the United States, so do your research to find one near you.

type aluminum

Aluminum Water Bottles

Like stainless steel, you can't just throw aluminum water bottles in your household recycling. Check to see if you have access to a local center or shredder. You can then gather all of your aluminum items to take at one time.

Keep in mind, the exterior of the reusable water bottle is the only part that should be recycled. Additional pieces like rubber grips, straws, lids, straps, etc. will need to be recycled separately.

If you're not sure where to start, Recycle Now makes it easy to find out where you can recycle certain items and materials. Visit their website, enter your zip code, and you'll have instant access to recycling locations near you!

How to Repurpose Water Bottles

Does it seem insanely difficult to recycle your water bottles? No worries! You can repurpose them into something new instead, which is ultimately a lot better for the planet.

Here are some ideas on how to reuse and repurpose water bottles!

repurpose storage https://diypedia.club

Storage

If you've decided never to drink from your water bottle again, you can use it for storage. Store cleaning supplies, tools, arts supplies, and other odds and ends inside. DIY the outside so it doesn't look tacky!

Water on plants https://www.thespruce.com

Take Care of Pets & Plants

Use an old water bottle to water plants or pour water into your pet's bowl. You can also turn the bottle into a scooper for dry pet food.

repurpose vase https://foshbottle.com/

Vase or Planter

Remove the lid from your water bottle, and put flowers inside to make a vase. You can also cut the bottom off a disposable bottle to make a cute planter for your bedroom or office.

Piggy Bank https://sassytownhouseliving.com

Piggy Bank

Keep spare change in a reusable water bottle, or cut up a disposable one and add ears, a snout, and a curly tail. The money in your DIY piggy bank can fill up really fast, which ultimately helps you with savings.

Ice Pack https://www.instructables.com

Ice Pack

Frozen water bottles make good ice packs. They'll come in handy for scrapes, bumps, and bruises, especially if you have kids who play sports.

Bird Feeder https://empire-s3-production.bobvila.com

Bird Feeder

Take your garden to the next level by repurposing a water bottle into a bird feeder. All the birds will be singing “thank you” after you complete this eco project.

Lights & Lanterns https://www.kiwico.com

Lights & Lanterns

Place an LED tea light inside of a clear water bottle, and put it on a shelf at home. You can also turn disposable bottles into a chandelier or string lights if you need to decorate for a party.

Maracas http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/

Maracas

Turn your party into a fiesta with DIY maracas! Pour beads or stones into old water bottles, and decorate the outside with fabric. These noisemakers are great for birthdays, sports championships, and New Year's Eve celebrations.

Easter Basket https://www.thespruce.com

Easter Baskets

Hop into the holiday with a DIY Easter basket. You can cut the bottom from a disposable bottle and glue a handle onto the top. Now that you don't have to buy weaved baskets, you can spend more money on chocolate bunnies and jelly beans!

Christmas Decoration https://bestlifeonline.com

Christmas Decorations

'Tis the season! Decorate your Christmas tree with candy canes, ornaments, and a few bells made out of old water bottles. This is a great DIY project to do with the kids around the holidays.

Wall Art https://www.countryliving.com

Wall Art

You can use colorful water bottles or bottle caps to create wall art. Feel free to also embellish other furniture in your home like mirrors or clocks.

Decorative Bowls https://www.deepjunglehome.in

Decorative Bowls

Do you lose your car keys all the time? Never misplace them again by keeping them in a decorative bowl made from a disposable plastic. All you need to complete this project is a few Sharpies!

Water Bottles: Impact on Your Health

Are Plastic Water Bottles Bad for You?

Person drinking water

Studies have shown that a staggering 90% of disposable water bottles contain microplastics, which are made with a harmful chemical known as bisphenol A (BPA). According to Mayo Clinic, if consumed in high quantities, BPA is linked to many health issues including: high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Person drinking water

You don't have to panic if you're still drinking from disposable plastic bottles, but now's a good time to switch. Some reusable water bottles are better than others in terms of quality and durability, and there is an ongoing debate as to which materials are safest. Do your research about how your water bottle is made ahead of time so you can make the most informed decision.

What Are the Benefits of Reusable Water Bottles?

Do you want to improve your health? How about contribute to a greener world? If so, reusable water bottles are definitely a great choice. Here are all the benefits in using one!

Water icon 1

You'll Drink More Water

Buy a water filter that you can attach to your sink so you can refill your water bottle throughout the day. The one time cost is definitely worth it, and if you buy a large water bottle, you'll end up drinking more water as a result.

Water icon 2

It's Healthier for You

It's not a good idea to drink from disposable water bottles all the time since they're often made with BPA. You will have less health risks if you drink from a BPA-free water bottle.

Water icon 3

Saves You Money

Experts claim you will save over $200 a year by using a reusable water bottle. You work hard for your money, so it doesn't make sense to waste it on cases of water every week.

Water icon 4

Less Plastic in Landfills

Unlike disposable bottles, you can use a reusable water bottle for years. This means less to throw out and way less plastic on the land and in the water.

Water icon 5

More Refreshing

Insulated water bottes keep your drink cold for 24 to 36 hours. You won't get that same magic from a disposable water bottle, which can taste lukewarm after only 20 minutes.

Water icon 6

Works for Any Lifestyle

Hikers might want a bottle with an attached carabiner so they can hook it onto their bag, while athletes are probably looking for a flip-top lid so they can sip quickly. No matter what, there's a water bottle out there for you!

Water icon 7

Trendy & Fashionable

Scroll through Instagram, and you'll see a ton of water bottle pics! There are many trendy options out there - glass water bottles with silicone sleeves, metal water bottles in bright colors, plastic water bottles printed with a funny quote…the list goes on and on!

Water icon 8

Customizable

Do you need a gift for your BFF's birthday? How about something special for Mother's Day? No matter what, everyone will love a personalized water bottle. Print a photo, inside joke, or just the person's name on the front. They're sure to hold onto this gift forever!

Are Reusable Water Bottles Worth It?

People carrying water bottles

The verdict is in - it's a good idea to drink from a reusable water bottle. You don't need a kitchen cabinet full of bottles, but you should try to rotate between 2 or 3 throughout the week.

60% of the germs on water bottles can make you sick, so be sure to also regularly clean your water bottles to avoid any contamination. A little bit of care helps your bottle last for years, which ultimately, is better for your health and the environment.

People carrying water bottles

Stats for Success

Stats 1 icon

The market for reusable water bottles is at $8 million and continues to grow every year.

Stats 2 icon

80% of disposable plastic water bottles end up in landfills.

Stats 3 icon

An estimated 60% of U.S. adults are currently drinking from a reusable water bottle.

Stats 4 icon

1 stainless steel water bottle is equal to 50 plastic bottles in manufacturing energy consumption.

The Bottom Line

You may just be one person, but the choices you make matter. Do yourself and the planet a favor, and stop buying cases of water. A good filter and the right reusable water bottle can go a long way towards a healthier world!

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Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products. As a promo expert, she's uncovered the world's first custom tote bag, interviewed the guy behind rock band ACDC's logo, and had a piece published by the Advertising Specialty Institute, a leader in the promotional products industry.

References

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Dougall, D. (2018, June 15). 9 Reasons You Need to Start Using Reusable Water Bottles. Retrieved October 15, 2018, from https://trekbible.com/9-reasons-need-use-reusable-water-bottles/

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Kim, T., et. al. (2017). The Cleanliness of Reusable Water Bottles: How Contamination Levels Are Affected by Bottle Usage and Cleaning Behaviors of Bottle Owners. Food Protection Trends, International Association of Food Protection; Des Moines, IA.

Scholtus, P. (2009, October 15). The US Consumes 1500 Plastic Water Bottles Every Second. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://www.treehugger.com/plastics-4846072

Hatch, J. (2015, April 3). 5 Shocking Ways Bottled Water is Ruining Our Planet. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://hydrationanywhere.com/5-shocking-ways-bottled-water-is-ruining-our-planet/

Gifford, D. (2018). Why You Should Finally Give Up Bottled Water for Good. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://www.smallfootprintfamily.com/why-plastic-bottles-are-bad-for-the-environment

Rains, J. (2012, April 18). 25 Things to Do With Reusable Water Bottles. Retrieved October 16, 2018, from https://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-reusable-water-bottles

Mayo Clinic. (2020, October 14). Water: How Much Should You Drink Every Day? Retrieved from, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256

Franklin, P. Container Recycling Institute (CRI). Plastic Water Bottles Should No Longer Be a Wasted Resource. Retrieved from, https://www.container-recycling.org/index.php/issues/.../275-down-the-drain

Schroeder, A. How to Recycle Plastic Water Bottles. Retrieved from, https://distillata.com/blog/how-to-recycle-plastic-water-bottles/

Be Bottle. (2020, May 25). Environmental and Health Advantages of Reusable Water Bottles. Retrieved from, https://bebottle.com/blog/environmental-and-health-advantages-of-reusable-water-bottles/

Bauer, B. (2021, May 14). What is BPA, and What Are the Concerns About BPA? Retrieved from, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/bpa/faq-20058331

Goodwin, E. (2020, October 13). People Are Using Reusable Water Bottles Less During the Pandemic, But Will it Stick? Retrieved from, https://civicscience.com/people-are-using-reusable-water-bottles-less-during-the-pandemic-but-will-it-stick/

McPhillips, K. (2020, July 6). Why Reusable Water Bottles Are an Investment in Your Health *and* the Planet’s. Retrieved from, https://www.wellandgood.com/reusable-water-bottles/

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