A glass of water

One Small Thing – Water Bottles


In this series, I am highlighting one small thing you can change in your daily life and habits that add up to a plastic free world. Don’t forget to read up on cloth handkerchiefs and cloth napkins too. We as a species have a long way to go, but each tiny step in the right direction brings us closer to the goal.

Today, we are beating this dead horse: Water Bottles.

Unless you live under a rock, you know all about this. You’ve heard it a million times, seen it a million times.

Plastic is everywhere.

And none is moreso ubiquitous than plastic water bottles.

By the way, when I say water bottle, I also mean any other single use plastic bottled beverage. Sodas, lemonade, iced tea, sports drinks. They all come in plastic, and they are all part of the problem.

The numbers are pretty dire.

“Annual consumption of plastic bottles is set to top half a trillion by 2021, far outstripping recycling efforts and jeopardising oceans, coastlines and other environments” (Source: the Guardian)

plastic water bottles on a table

Think about everywhere you may have been offered or used a plastic water bottle.

  • Your office or work place
  • At a conference
  • A kids sports event
  • At a play or musical
  • Moving day
  • Lecture halls
  • On vacation
  • On a hike
  • At a lake
  • Camping
  • Potlucks
  • Barbeques
  • Office meetings
  • Retirement party
  • Birthday party
  • Wedding shower
  • Baby shower
  • On a plane
  • In an airport
  • At an amusement park
  • An aquarium
  • At the zoo
  • Skating rink
  • Soccer stadium
  • Baseball stadium
  • Football stadium
  • Hockey rink (you get the point)
  • Family holidays
  • At a friends’ house
  • At your house?!?

With the exception of times when local municipal water is honestly not safe to drink, there is absolutely no excuse to drink bottled water rather than tap water in your own home.

If this is your situation, then by all means drink from bottles. Water is hella important to the staying alive thing, and I’d far prefer that you drink water than not.

As the daughter of a chemist and director of seven water management facilities, I can tell you that 99% of tap water is perfectly safe to drink. I grew up my whole life drinking tap water.

Is it a taste thing?

Do you not like that water has no flavor? Does your tap water have too much chlorine or other flavor you don’t like?

Get a filter. Add cucumber slices or frozen berries. Squirt in some lemon juice. Invest in a SodaStream to make it fizzy. Hell, buy a few Mios and squirt some in.

No excuses.

And when you are out and about, there is a 90% chance that you can find a tap to refill a bottle, IF you have one. That’s a big if. Just like stocking every bag and car with a reusable cloth bag, why not start putting a reusable bottle there too?

If you have your own bottle, guess what?

That refill is free!

Yes, you can save yourself anywhere from $1 to $5 (depending on the location) by not buying a drink.

And, not use another plastic bottle!

AND, water is WAY healthier for you than any other sweetened, flavored beverage you might buy.

Win win win!

Any plastic, glass, or stainless steel bottle will do. Many colleges, businesses, or sports teams give them out for free. Thrift stores are bursting with reusable bottles for mere dimes. Get yo self a bottle and USE IT.

For the health of it. For the planet. For the financial savings.

SO, repeat this out loud please: I will stop using plastic single-use bottles.


  • It is 1,000 times cheaper to drink tap water! (Infinity times really because dividing by zero. #maththings)
  • Remembering my own bottle is easy, and will become a new habit.
  • I care about the future of our planet, forests, animals, and oceans!


Did I miss any water bottle locations or excuses? Just kidding, pretty sure literally anywhere could go on that list. How do you avoid single use plastic bottles?

11 thoughts on “One Small Thing – Water Bottles”

  1. No. Excuses. That’s really what it comes down to. And yes, of course there are the few exceptions for safety, but beyond that, nope. Freaking bring your own water bottle. I’m awesome at not buying bottled water, but I’ll admit I could do better on the bottled other drinks. Not horrible, but I use the “but at least it’s not water” excuse more than I’d like to admit.

  2. For serious! Well, there’s a reason I included this topic in a recent blog post of my own. 🙂 It’s just kind of silly. Besides, filtered tap water tastes way better than bottled water anyway.

    Bottled water is actually a genius marketing campaign; when else have you heard of people paying for something that is available in abundance at almost no cost?

    And not to mention adding to the abhorrent situation with regard to excess waste. It’s just crazy. I’m hoping we start to see a widespread cultural shift very soon.

    1. So silly! I have absolutely no idea how 99% of the US doesn’t realize how insane it is to spend $1 on something that you can get at home for like $0.01, and also are hurting the planet in the process…

  3. Yes, yes, yes! Bringing a water bottle really does not add much at all to the weight of a bag (exceptions of course if you have health issues).

    At our office we have one of those water coolers with a large plastic dispenser on top – and I never understand why people use it when there is a tap less than 10 meters away. I even had a colleague “helpfully inform” me that the water cooler existed just around the corner when she saw me using the tap – but why would I prefer that over perfectly healthy tap water?

  4. I have been very anti-bottled water for a long time, but recently I started trying to give up pop, and I justified buying flavoured waters as a substitute. But as I watched the plastic bottles pile up in my recycling bin, I realized this is not okay. Back to the plain water for me.

    1. Good for you! Plain water is also worlds healthier than soda pop. You will drop a lot of unneeded sugar, calories, acid, and colorings from your diet with that choice. Plus save a ton of money, and the world! 🙂

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