Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Reusing water bottles

We've given up our bottled waters, but now I share Leah's frustration. Our sport bottles leak in the most inconvenient places. And even though Nalgene is "better" plastic, I'm loathe to spend $6 on a bottle that might not return from the gym.

At first I laughed at No Impact Man's glass jar. After all, we Tennesseans have been drinking out of jelly jars for years. But on the go? A bit too extreme.

Then I recalled the Snapples of my college years--a near-perfect bottle to carry and reuse. The glass is thick and nubby, with metal cap that easily twists on and off. Unlike thin water bottles, glass bottles can be thoroughly cleaned in a dishwasher or in the sink. They also chill their contents quickly.

Of course, our low-processed lifestyle makes it hard to reuse packaging. I had to buy 5 Snapples on sale at Kroger first! My husband loved the unexpected treat, and I've hoarded the bottles for my own use.

I'd love to know what your family uses for drinking water on the go or at home. Are there any other bottles you reuse for drinking?

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Meredith, I use pint or quart jars and get lids that screw on from Lemans nonelectric supply. The lids are very resonable and i got plenty of canning jars :o}! Thanks for your blog i visit often. tammyp

Anonymous said...

Meredith,
For years I have been using the tall thin rubbermaid bottles with the blue and yellow lids. They never leak for me. Also for my childrens lunches I always use the small rectangle shaped rubber maid water bottles. They don't leak and kind of feel like juice boxes to me. We always lose the staws and they still work just fine.
Long time lurker,
Angel

Lynn Marie said...

We seem to have grown tons of travel bottles so we just keep using them. We have the rubbermade ones but also sports one from ball games or the ones you get as a free gift for joining something else. I really think that when the lights are off in the kitchen they breed because we really do have lots and lots and lots of them.

Amy said...

My husband runs and when he participates in 5K races they usually give us a water bottle with some company logo on it. These have served me well, but the truth is that I am horrible about drinking water and I really should drink more of it.

I love the Snapple idea. I did the same thing, but with those coffee frappe jars and I thought I could reuse them for other things (like making syrup) and I have been hoarding them :) Aldi started carrying the frappes and they are $1- still a convenience, but I am reusing the jar so I can justify the purchase ;)

Kiwi Strawberry Snapple is the best ever! Still my favorite drink!

Trina said...

I use a stainless steel vacuum flask from Sunnex. It keeps the water ice cold for hours and hours.

Christy said...

Thanks for posting this, Meredith. I have been trying to get away from plastic (to avoid BPA leaching into food and drink) and have been challenged to figure out something for drinks on the go. This is a wonderful idea. I'm also trying to switch to glass storage containers but they are quite expensive compared to Rubbermaid and such.

SongBirdy said...

We do have Nalgene bottles. We meaning my kids and I. My husband just slurps some of our water if he desires.

I find that it didn't take much and we've learned to remember our water bottles. After walking back to fetch them a number of times they rarely get left behind.

Now... my magnetic clip on sunglass fronts for my glasses... that is a very different story!

Ewokgirl said...

I just use a huge cup that a student gave me years ago. It has a lid and a big plastic straw that goes in it. It has a handle, so that makes it easy to carry.

For hot drinks, I bought 2 Tupperware travel mugs. They were expensive, but they've been the best travel cups we've ever owned. Definitely worth the money.

nea said...

we are an environmentally aware family as well...that's what we get for growing up in berkeley! that said, i do think most things in moderation and handled carefully are okay. we are careful about plastics, but we have not sworn off of them. (we do not microwave in plastic, for example, but we do store foods in plastic containers.) for drinking, we do use nalgene bottles. because they are a plastic, they should be washed very thoroughly in hot water first. we have had ours for years (older plastics may almost be better for your health, as they have off-gassed already (not great for the earth), so check freecycle or craigslist) and wash them in the dishwasher with no problems. for storage of water (we live in earthquake country), we use rinsed and water-filled bleach and vinegar bottles.

Anonymous said...

My parents bought us something called a "Bubba Keg", basically a heavy duty insulated travel mug. They come in various sizes but I believe ours are 32 oz. I fill this up with ice and water and keep it in the car for errands or when we go to any sort of gathering/picnic/outing.

Cathy

AmyG said...

I bought a case of water a year ago for work and have been re-filling and re-using bottles all the time. I have two at a time...one I am drinking on and one in my office fridge. I rinse and re-use and since they only ever have water in them, and only I am drinking from them, I don't get too hung up on germs. Every few weeks, i might start a new one, but have been pretty stingy with the bottles. When they are so old that I don't want to usethem any more, I toss them out. I also keep one or two on the window ledge to water my herb plant that I use for tea. This has worked well for me.

Amy W said...

We too have reused the Snapple bottles and I just "rewarded" myself with a couple frappes from Aldi's- so I'll be saving those too.
My kiddos' Nana has purchased them specialty juices before that came in nice heavy duty thick plastic bottles which we have saved and use for water bottles for the kiddos (they can go thru the dishwasher w/o problem). She (Nana) even purchased flip top sippy-type lids for my youngest that fit the bottles perfectly!

Diane said...

I have been frugally and surreptitiously collecting the discarded, wide-mouthed, glass bottles of my coworkers after they are done with them! Most are from bottled kombucha, and just recently got a Snapple bottle. Indeed those are nice ones, too.

Kathryn said...

I've been reusing water bottles and I don't usually forget them, but I stash them in my purse (not a great idea if the lid is not tight)....I was embarrassed a few times by my purse leaking....I'm sure it was hilarious to see as I stepped up to the checkout at Salvation Army, and noticed there was a slow dripping onto the floor and my shoes.

Laural said...

I am in the process of eliminating plastics in the kitchen. We just got rid of all the nalgene bottles and are using Klean Kanteen containers now (though I want to find another brand NOT made in China). I never thought of trying glass bottles! Much cheaper than buying the stainless steel varieties, and just the right size!

Robin said...

We have Nalgene bottles, re-use water bottles and also use glass bottles.

If you are worried about breaking the glass bottles while running about, you can cover the outside of the bottle with duct tape. If the glass breaks, it's contained.

Anonymous said...

I also use a stainless steel flask -25c at a garage sale.
I also just populated a $3 garage sale scandanavian dollhouse with 5c people - Woody out of Toystory and miniature doll dressed up little dogs and a ballerina - but thats all beside the point.

Ruthie said...

Oh oh oh!!

I did this awhile ago. I LOVE my Nantucket Nectar's Lemonade bottle!!! It is glass, the opening is wide enough to put ice in (big plus for me!) it looks gorgeous -- the glass is imprinted with sunflower shapes! I always drink more water out of it than anything else.

Sometimes I will buy a huge plastic bottle of water when I'm on the go and very very thirsty (very common event) but a lot of grocery stores and gas stations will let you fill up your water bottle for free! So all the better. :)

mothersong said...

This is one thing I spent money on. We each have our own stainless steel Sigg bottle.

The kids can't take glass to school, and I won't do a plastic bottle a day for each of three children. Each person in our family picked their own bottle design, and they love their bottles and so they never leave them anywhere.

In fact, the designs are the sole reason I picked Sigg over Kleen Kanteen, so that everyone would bond with their bottle.

Cindee said...

A friend's boys left their empty Gatorade bottles here one day (I can't stand Gatorade!) and instead of throwing them out, I saved them for my kids' water bottle use. They're great!

Dana said...

DH and I have to drink 24 oz of milk per day and 48 of water because we've had gastric bypass. After the surgeries we were tired of all the measuring. We went to Big Lots and bought Propel Fitness Water with the sports-like caps, gave the water to our 16 y/o foster daughter to drink, and have been using these same bottles for almost 2 years now. The bottles hold 28 ounces each so we just drink one of milk and two of water each day.

Dana

coffeemamma said...

We also sprung for Nalgenes and Siggs. Our kids aren't allowed to take glass into their hockey change rooms, and most plastics give me the heebie-jeebies.

nannykim said...

I use glass also--don't trust plastic. We use the SOBE bottles because they hold 20 ounces and the caps do not rust.

Martha A. said...

I would like to use glass, but any water bottles I get seem to grow legs and walk away or so it seems!

Hey, if you are interested in a giveaway come leave a comment on my blog, I am giving away a book and there is no comments yet.
www.homeschoolblogger.com/martha

Patti said...

I use a Tazo iced tea (glass)bottle. My son uses a stainless steel thermos, since he likes his water to stay cold. I take it to work full, and when I drink it all, I refill it from the sink in my classroom. I am a tap water activist, trying to convince everyone to stop buying bottled water and use the water our taxes pay to make it potable.

2boysmama said...

I would be WAY too scared to use a glass bottle with kids around. Our water bottles are forever getting dropped here and there.

We use nalgene bottles and for $6-8, they last FOREVER and are meant too. They never leak and I usually leave them in the car so I can't forget them places. I recently got rid of a nalgene bottle my hubby had growing up (20 years old).

pomo housewife said...

we use Sigg bottles because they are tough and seem to have the least worrisome lining. Yes, they are expensive, but if you look after them, they last for ages. You can replace the parts, too. Ours we have had for at least four years.

Nalgene bottles are made from number 7 plastic which can leach nasties - um, bisphenol I think - so we don't buy them anymore. (was very angry to learn that it was in the baby bottles I used - thank goodness I nursed them for quite a long time.)


I also avoid PET. When it is washed with hot water, PET can leach plasticizers, though some reference, like this one

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/safe-plastics-for-lunchboxes.html

don't mention it.

I think number 4 plastic is okay.

I use glass a lot at home, now that the children are bigger, but we have a lino floor here - with tiles, glass really shatters.

S & B In Asia said...

I had a Nalgene bottle until last week when the roach decided to jump in for a swim. I just couldn't drink out of it anyone. I don't have a dishwasher to run it through nor do I know anyone here who does.
I bought a replacement, Nikko. I drink lots of water and like being able to put 32oz in and go.
I do reuse some of the water bottles that we get when we are out.
I doubt I could do glass because the bottles get thrown in my bag and then we go.

Rebecca said...

We use Nalgene for water, but my husband has found that the jars I had bought raw honey in (from the grocery store) close well enough that he actually takes them in his bag to work - full of coffee, with cream and chocolate syrup!

He had to be brave to test it, though. :)

{Karla} said...

I'm laughing at your comment about Tennesseans and jelly jars...

My children were shocked to see a jelly jar with jelly in it when we went to visit my grandmother a few weeks back.

They had no idea that's what they were really for!!

Blessings,
Karla

Meredith said...

Wow, thanks for all the suggestions!

I've taken the Snapple bottles in my car, mostly, and not in a bag or for the children. So far, so good. They've also been great for storing mixed-up powdered milk in the fridge. Like an old fashioned milk bottle!

I had never heard of the stainless flasks until now. Will have to watch for those at yard sales.

Does anyone take along a large insulated water jug and plastic cups?

Carrien said...

I like Sigg. They are metal or Laken. My husband has had the same bottle for more years than he has known me, so it's an investment that lasts. I don't like to use plastic at all. I like the glass bottle idea for my kids to take when I'm not there to make sure their bottles come home.

Linda said...

I guess I'm missing something here.... but.. what's wrong with empty PET bottles? (like: empty 1/2 litre coca cola bottles?)

I've been reusing my empty mineral water bottles for..... well.. about half a year each.. :)

(or is it something in the plastic -i.e. toxics - that you do not like?)

nea said...

i can't remember where i read this, so take this with a grain of salt, but i try not to reuse the softer plastic bottles, like bottled water bottles and 2 liter soda bottles (neither of which we buy anyway), because i read that this type of plastic was not intended to be reused and breaks down more quickly, releasing more chemicals into your liquids over time. better to recycle these. around here, these have a 5 cent refund, so another co-worker or i collect them from our office to take to the recycle place for $!

whimsy said...

My daughters like to get Pom Tea for a treat at the store. They lured me in with the glass bottle "look mom, we can reuse the jar!"

True to their word, they do. The lid snaps on securely for several times. After that it goes in our drinking glass cabinet to use at home.

If I could remember how to post a link, I would.

http://www.pomwonderful.com/pomTeaHome.html

HopewellMomSchool said...

My kids are older....we use big insulated plastic iced tea glasses that even fit the car cup holders. It's just water so spills aren't a big deal [and don't happen much anymore] Otherwise, if I know we are camping or hiking we have "Boy Scout bottles" those hard plastic things with attached lid and measurements on the side. We need one more of those next time Bass Pro has a sale and I can finally stop getting a 6 pack of generic water bottles for the "extra" However a few of those frozen do make great emergency ice packs!

Debbie M said...

I've tried several big plastic thermoses, and they always leak if they tip over, which they always do.

Maybe you could make or find some sort of protective cuzzie for your glass bottles. And maybe you could add some sort of strap to it for throwing over a shoulder or clipping to a belt.

mama k said...

Well I bit the bullet and purchased a Kleen Kanteen for DH and Siggs for DS and I when they were on sale.

I like the snapple bottle idea though. You could easily sew or crochet a cotton cozy for the bottle to protect it a little and to absorb the drips. I have been contemplating one for my Sigg actually.

pomo housewife said...

http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/petbottles.asp

the above article seems to dispel concerns about PET.

I'm always so wary - you never know who has funded what research...

However, as one reader on a forum pointed out, if you are going to worry about the miniscule risks of toxins in PET, you should be more concerned about the pseudoestrogenic effects of grains and soy in your diet... there are loads of other issues to worry about.

So maybe I'll go ahead and use plastic and save myself the stress!

gosh it would be nice to have a totally trustworthy source of information.

Jane said...

I wish I had thought of that! I just bought (I hope) a safer plastic bottle recently to reuse. It has a pop up spout that I thought would be great. Well, it spurts at me whenever I start to drink! Very funny to a classroom of third graders!

Anonymous said...

We use these metal water bottles called "kleen kanteen". they work great and keep drinks cold for a long time.

Jens Dalsgaard said...

Here we have a lot of .5 liter bottles with mineral water. You get them all over the place, and if you ever visit an office, they are always available. I just re-use them until they show wear and then get a new one.

thehomespunheart said...

Funny - we took a picnic lunch to the park earlier this week and I toted my water there in a canning jar! I loved it!

ashley @ twentysixcats said...

Hmm I have never been concerned about plastics in my kitchen, especially after that Snopes article quoted above... However...

I LOVE using Gatorade bottles. I keep a 20 oz. one on my desk at work, and refill it several times a day. My doctor told me I should be drinking 80 oz. of water a day, so it's easy to me measure that.

We also keep Gatorade bottles filled with water in the fridge, easy for grab-n-go. They are thicker plastic than Coke bottles and seem to last longer. We also keep 32 oz. bottles around, which we use when traveling.

Anonymous said...

Hello. I am a little late getting to this discussion. I just wanted to share with you what I do for my grandson's lunch drink. We use empty peanut butter jars. I love them because they don't break. They have a large mouth, and I can put them into the freezer the night before with a little apple juice to freeze..then I fill in the am..with more juice and it is good for the kids at lunch. Even my 5 year old can open his jar and drink his juice without mess...

Anonymous said...

I heard that Nalgene bottles (and their imitations) leach out carcenogous materials, so we gave up plastic. I dig the glass, too, but it can be heavy and breakable. I'm a frugal girl, but I though investing $10 in a metal bottle at a heathfood store was a good option for my health. It seals well and is lightweight. It's pretty cool.

Frugal Disney Mom said...

Careful if freezing water in the snapple bottle. For some reason I did about 1/2 full and my "jar" cracked.

Jeanette said...

Hi,

We refill empty Gatorade plastic bottles, it does not leak and does the job well. For summer, we fill them up halfway and fill up the other half just before we leave the house so that we will have cold water all day.