Say No to Single Use Plastic Water Bottles 35

Photo: stevendepolo

I heard lots of success stories from the people who tackled the no drinking straw challenge. But now I’m really going to ask you to stretch a bit! Throughout the month of July I invite you to go plastic bottle free. Yes, in the middle of the heat of summer! It is pure craziness that Americans consume two million plastic bottles every five minutes. Pure craziness. I know this is a tough challenge, but will you join me? Just think of the waste we could eliminate!

This means you’ll have to plan ahead a bit; no quick stops to grab a bottle of water or a soda when you’re hot and thirsty.

  • Invest in a reusable bottle or travel mug to take drinks along with you. We have one for every member of the family (and then some) and my kids rarely leave home without filling their own bottle.
  • If you’re a fan of sodas and juices, find a couple of juice recipes that you can make at home to take with you. Liliko‘i gingerade is very refreshing and if you don’t have passion fruit growing in your backyard, you could use lemon juice instead.
  • Try making your own homemade sports drink.

Anyone have any other tips for drinks on the run?



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35 thoughts on “Say No to Single Use Plastic Water Bottles

  • Jessica

    WooHoo!!! This is an easy one for me! I gave up bottled drinks about 6 months ago. Not only is it great for the environment, but it also helps me keep track of what my family and I are putting into our bodies.

  • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart

    I’m pretty good about bringing a bottle of water or my own coffee mug with me in the car, when I’m running around. And, we don’t buy much pop (or whatever), so this one might be doable for me … since we’re so close anyway.

    Don’t forget the awesome homemade ginger “beer” booklet you can buy from Frugal Kiwi. It required some fiddling to get the sugar level right for my taste, but it was pretty easy to make and good.

    BUT< it does require the use of old soda bottles. You can do glass, but safety is an issue.

  • April

    For the last couple of years we have been focusing as a family on experiences rather than things. We’ve asked grandparents to take kids on a special outing or pay for a class instead of more toys. I took my niece on a special date with my daughter to a dance performance for her birthday present. For Christmas we got the kids reusable snack bags from snack happened (I prefer those bc I like the zipper instead of the Velcro types that snag clothing and collect lint. ). We pack snacks for all of our outings. We also got them each a stainless steel water bottle from I already had some for my husband and I and love them bc they are insulated, don’t sweat and fit normal cup holders. So whenever we head out we pack snack bags and water bottles. It saves us from wasting bottles and plastic bags. It saves our health bc we eat only wholesome foods dlfrom home and it saves my wallet. We drove 2000 miles to visit my family and only bought 4 bottles of water among 7 people in 4 days. We refilled whenever we stopped. When we head back this week I’m going to see of I can make that zero bottles of water.

  • April

    Roxanne I’ve never had ginger beer. Since his son drank it I’m assuming it’s non-alcoholic like root beer. What is the taste comparable to?

      • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart

        Well, we had to play with the sugar levels because when we followed the recipe exactly, it tasted gingery … but also a bit like medicine. So, I upped the amount of Ingredient X in each batch, and it tasted much more like a unique ginger ale (like Americans are used to).

        • Kris Bordessa Post author

          Good to know. I’ll keep that in mind when I actually get around to making mine!

  • Madeleine Booth-Smits

    Another great item is the good old soda stream machine (they are totally making a come back)!! I love mine. You can make about a million flavours now or just have fizzy water. There is even a great ginger beer flavour. You can buy the bottles in glass or plastic and then reuse them over and over again! I find having a drink bottle (I have a plastic camelbak one but am thinking about getting a metal one) at home really helps as I don’t drink enough if I don’t fill my drink bottle and I take it everywhere with me. I never buy bottled water. Great idea though – though I already do this but still makes you stop and think.

  • Yelena

    This will be an easy one for us as well. We take our insulated metal water bottles everywhere we go. Sometimes I drop a slice of fresh cucumber or a few mint leaves (muddled) into the bottle.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Once you get in the habit, it’s really very easy to eliminate the need for the plastic bottles, isn’t it?

  • Jane Boursaw

    This will be a tough one for me, because I tend to rely on bottled water when hiking or at yoga class or wherever. But it’s always in my mind, and now that you’ve nudged me, I’ll do my very best.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Jane, do you rely on store bought bottled water in plastic? Easy enough to fill your own reusable container!

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Thanks for that pointer, Liz! Excellent challenge for my readers who already avoid plastic bottles.

  • Jane Boursaw

    I want you guys to know I filled my own bottle today and took it to yoga. Baby steps! I think I’ve just relied on bottled water from the store because it’s so easy to take one out of the pack and pop it in the freezer (let it freeze about half-way, optimally), then it’s ready to roll. Or I’ll drink half, but the rest in the freezer, then take it out when it’s frozen and fill the rest with water for my walks, etc.

    I also don’t have an automatic icemaker or anything like that, so if I want ice, it requires me finding my ice trays, filling those up, and putting them in the freezer. It’s just an extra thing in my already-swamped days that makes it much easier to just pop a bottled water in the freezer. My daughter keeps telling me it’s a cancer-causer (freezing the bottled waters). I’ve heard both sides of that story and really don’t know. Anyway, I’m attempting to fix my bottled-water habit.

    • Kris @ Attainable Sustainable

      Jane, there’s no reason you can’t fill a stainless steel bottle part way with water to freeze it! I’ve done it and it works perfectly – and no bpa!

      Thanks so much for stopping to share your success – congratulations! May the July challenge be the beginning of a life-long change for you.

  • Jane Boursaw

    Ok, I’m on the hunt for a good stainless steel water container that’s lightweight and easy to tote along on walks.

    Jane – Thanks for the note about the stainless steel ice trays. I’ll search them out. Growing up, we always had those metal ones with the lever thingie on the top that you’d pull to loosen the ice. But I’m pretty sure they weren’t steel. I’m guessing aluminum. Lord knows how we survived our childhoods back in the day.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      We really like the bottles from Klean Kanteen. Get the type of cap with a loop top so you can use a carabiner to hang in on a belt loop.

      • carie

        I like the Camelbak stainless steel bottle better – it’s easier to put ice into it and since I got the insulated stainless steel Camelbak, it really keeps water ice cold all day! I filled it in the morning with cold water and a few ice cubes and it still had ice at the end of the day! It’s really good!

  • Kate E.

    I love this post! My family loves tea and I’d love to know how to make a healthier sweet tea, something like Honest Tea, at home. For now, I’ve been making up big batches of our own at home with tea bags and adding honey and lemon with gradually less sugar each time. I love unsweetened tea, but sometimes we just get a craving for sweet tea! Does anyone have a good recipe to share?

    • Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart

      My one and ONLY warning would be this: BE CAREFUL if you decide to try agave to sweeten your tea. Some people (like me) get serious tummy trouble from too much agave. It was short-lived, but still … lesson learned.

      • Kris Bordessa Post author

        Hunh! Who would have guessed?

    • kelbel

      We got some Southern Belle Tea Company tea bags–they are Half Gallon Tea bags “Specially blended for iced tea”. There are 12 in the box. I fill my half gallon pitcher with water, then pour half into a small pot. I boil the water, turn off the burner, and plop a tea bag in there. After 6 minutes, I remove the bag, add 1/3 cup of sugar and stir til it dissolves. I also add 3-4 slices of orange. Then I pour the whole thing in the pitcher (which is still half full of water). Stir and chill.

      • Kris Bordessa Post author

        Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      I’m partial to mint tea, myself. Just mint, and sometimes – if I’m indulging – a bit of sugar or honey.

  • Living Large

    Unfortunately, we haven’t had the money to get a filter for our well water as of yet and we cannot drink it until it is tested and filtered. We do, however, drink everything else from cans, which are more environmentally friendly. 🙂

  • Sheryl

    I’m so grateful for this reminder. I do try to take my own metal bottle wherever I go, but have to admit that sometimes, I grab a plastic bottle for convenience’s sake. Now, if I could only convince my husband to be as mindful. I just read him the statistic about how many plastic bottles are used every five minutes and he was shocked, like I was. Maybe it will stick in his head the next time he reaches for a plastic bottle…one can only hope.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      I figure it’s our job to educate others about what we know/learn. Thanks for reading that aloud to your husband. If people don’t realize the impact, they just don’t make the effort. Now that he knows, maybe he’ll be our next convert!

  • Jane Boursaw

    Ok, an update: I did take a plastic bottle to yoga the other day, because my re-usable one hadn’t been washed or rinsed out from the previous day. Clearly, I need better planning! But I’m glad for the challenge.

    You know what might make a great story, Kris — a piece on the best water containers for various activities, or even just the options available. I’m thinking I should have at least 2 or 3, like a small one for walking (that I can fit in my little fanny pack), one that goes easily in the freezer for freezing, etc.

    • Kris Bordessa Post author

      Great idea Jane. And I’m so glad you’re working on this! Even if we can change ONE person’s habits in July, it will be a lot fewer bottles in the waste stream.

  • Jennifer Margulis

    I am ON IT!! Yes yes yes. Will also post on FB.

    But I messed up the straw challenge when a drink was brought to me with a plastic straw in it. It was at an eco hotel. I was so mad I wrote a letter to the manager and suggested they purchase stainless steel straws. He never responded.

  • TNGammill

    I work for a company that makes aluminum beer and beverage containers.
    I make a concerted effort to buy beverages in aluminum cans to support my industry.
    Another benefit to buying aluminum packaging is, it is the only packaging that is worth money.
    After you are finished consuming the product in an aluminum can, you can save up a bunch of them, take them to a local recycler that buys metals and sell them for cash!
    Yep-anyone can do it.
    Last year I took over 80lbs of cans to the recycler and got $42 cash!
    Try that with plastic bottles!
    If you live in a state that has a deposit requirement on plastic bottles, you can hunt them and recycle them for cash as well!