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Which Reusable Water Bottle Is Best?

Which Reusable Water Bottle Is Best?

“I do believe that there will be a time when we look back and say, ‘Oh yeah, that was the plastic age. Look what we did to ourselves.’ And to be honest, I think the plastic footprint is a greater risk to the health of our environment, to the people here and to the marine species for sure, than the carbon footprint.” – Bill Francis, president of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation as quoted in popularmechanics.com in an article by Chris Ladd.

I agree with Bill Francis and believe that the number one choice we can make in cleaning up our planet, making our lives greener and helping our children be healthier, is giving up disposable plastic bottles, water and otherwise.

Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottle

Image from www.kleankanteen.com

When I started writing this post, I thought that the title’s question was one with many answers, depending on individual preference. But in researching the companies behind four stainless steel and three glass bottles, I came to realize that one company in each category, and one company overall, is the best; when you couch that judgment in terms of environmental and humanitarian stewardship. I also know that the “best” option can be decided by sheer practicality: the bottle that is best for writing about water bottles at your desk is not necessarily the best for climbing Half Dome.

STAINLESS STEEL:

1. Klean Kanteen: Responsibly Made in China, “The original BPA-free stainless steel bottle.” Klean Kanteen goes to the greatest lengths to be transparent in all of their practices, and they go to the greatest lengths to be sustainable, kind to their workers and charitable to non-profits. They are a member of 1% For The Planet. They also make bottles for kids and babies. If you want to support a company for their small footprint, their large hearts and their commitment to sustainability, Klean Kanteen is your first choice (and mine too).

2. Blue Q: It says “Made in the USA” on the bottom of the bottle, but I’m having a hard time getting a hold of anyone there. As soon as I do, I’ll confirm or deny. 1% of sales of water bottles go to The Nature Conservancy. They support and employ local people with disabilities and brain injuries. Their graphics are fabulously left of center.

Image from www.earthlust.com

3. Earthlust: Ethically Made in China: “Our bottles are made from high quality materials and are created from our own custom mold. They are…designed and tested in California.” I own one and I think their graphics are the most lovely I’ve seen, and not just on a water bottle. I want most of their images on a pillow or t-shirt or rug or coffee mug, or, or, or.

4. Sigg: “Responsibly Manufactured in China.” No photos, videos, images or other documentation of their China facilities are on their website, and they make no mention of sustainable practices, except that Switzerland is one of the greenest countries in the world. Which it probably is, but I’d still like to see some stats of stewardship and community participation.

GLASS:

Image of the Metro bottle, made in the USA, from www.betrulyyou.com

1. Be Truly You: Made In the USA! Also Made In Canada and China. “Eco-friendly, soul-friendly”. Be Truly You is transparent about their practices, they give back to the local community and are working towards having, “all of our bottles manufactured in the U.S., as close to home as possible.” The Metro bottle is currently US-manufactured. Their graphics are cute and whimsical, spiritual and meaningful.

2. Love Bottle: “Responsibly Made In China.” No photos, videos, images or other documentation of their China facilities are on their website. “Did you know that words and pictures have energy and water is affected by that energy?” The idea behind Love Bottle is sweet and lovely. I don’t find their graphics compelling, and they mention no commitment to sustainability practices or community or social stewardship. They are better for the environment than plastic in that glass is recyclable.

3. Life Factory: Made In France, Poland and the US (each bottle has a part made in one of these places). No photos, videos, images or other documentation of their facilities are on their website and no mention is made of sustainability practices or humanitarian stewardship. They do state that their bottles are made to last a lifetime.

I give so much attention to manufacturing location, because it is an important factor in sustainability practices. The carbon footprint of moving a product back and forth all over the world until it’s sitting in your hand can be a big carbon footprint. Hence, we give extra applause to products made here in the US.

Personally, I love drinking water out of a glass bottle. It feels really nice. My favorite is a Kombucha bottle I saved and washed. It’s a great size, a great shape and reminds me of an old medicine bottle from the 19th century. (I have a thing for old bottles). But since I drink something or other (usually fizzy water or juice) out of glass bottles every week, and have a hobby of collecting beach glass (some of which is still in bottle form), I find it unsustainable that a company manufactures brand new glass bottles. If someone were doing so out of recycled glass, I could get behind that. Otherwise, I prefer to support the stainless steel folks and refill my Kombucha, Calistoga (best bet for bottled water as it’s made here in California), Perier or Gerolsteiner bottle.

-Jocelyn Broyles

Image © Michael Kempf | Dreamstime.com

Related:
What’s In Your Bag? Ideas to Help Waste Less
Enough With the Plastic Water Bottles Already
How Much Water is Used to Make Your Food?

Read more: Babies, Children, Conscious Consumer, Eco-friendly tips, Family, Green, Health, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse, , , , , , , , , ,

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245 comments

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8:34PM PDT on Jul 9, 2013

I work for Love Bottle, and this is a pretty interesting read. A few things to clear up though, as far as helping the community, a portion of our profits are given to our non profit partner globalwater.org. We are trying to build hand washing stations in countries without clean water. Our bottles are made from 20% recycled glass as well. Thanks for the article!

4:14PM PST on Jan 16, 2013

In Australia, our stainless steel water bottle is called 'Cheeki', and my has lasted for years. It's nice to finally have re washable and re usable bottle, instead of the horrid plastic, which is still around. I'd like to see the plastic bottles become obsolete, and everyone using a stainless steel one.

11:03AM PST on Jan 16, 2013

Your article is helpful but neglects the opinion of one very important group, the FDA. There is only one reusable water bottle that is FDA approved as a food-grade container. Check out Liberty Bottleworks (www.libertybottles.com). Coincidentally, they are also the only metal bottle manufactured in the USA, and made from recycled/recyclable materials.

9:24AM PDT on May 7, 2012

As usual, a great article on care2.com. After some thorough research I decided to get the CamelBak BPA-Free Better Bottle with Bite Valve. To my mind it's the perfect bottle.

I even bought a second one for work.

More info: http://best-gear.org/camelbak-bpa-free-better-bottle-with-bite-valve/

8:29AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

Find Flaska on http://www.flaska.co.uk

8:26AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

I would go for Flaska glass water bottle. Not only it's recyclable, reusable, made of glass, neoprene protected etc. it also changes water on the go. No need for filter or tabs or anything. It literally changes water quality and taste in just 5 minutes.

6:24AM PDT on Aug 19, 2011

ok

7:55PM PDT on Aug 18, 2011

You mentioned that you would consider a company that made water bottles out of recycled glass? Check this company out:http://www.bottlesupglass.com/pages/shop.html
It looks like they are relatively new, but they do 75% recycled glass water bottles.

5:59PM PDT on Jun 25, 2011

Ta.

7:50AM PDT on Jun 13, 2011

Thanks, great info!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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