While it is true that science and medicine can sometimes have changing voices over the decades (still wondering if eating avocado, meat, chocolate, or drinking wine is good for you?), some recommendations stay the course and it seems fair to say that glass, or stainless steel containers are safer options than plastic when it comes to your health (and better options for the environment). We also know that drinking water is good for your health even though most of us do not drink it often enough or in enough quantity. That’s two good reasons to make a quick easy, cheap change in your daily routine for a better health: Buy a refillable bottle, fill it with water, drink it and refill it often.
“Water is the only drink for a wise man.” – Henry David Thoreau. We likely agree on the water part of the advice. As for the container part, you may be tempted to go with plastic, and just hop from plastic bottle to plastic bottle. When you have used one, whether once or several times, on to the next. After all, some plastic materials are not that bad, especially the drinking bottle ones and they always seem to conveniently pop up in our life, whenever and wherever we need them. They are light but solid enough to live in our bag, non breakable if they fall, always at an arm’s reach, sometimes free and if not, very cheap. These are all good reasons to go for it, except they are not if you are looking to make a healthy choice. And a healthy choice is the only (good) choice you should make.
Glass or stainless steel seem to have all the drawbacks of plastic’s advantages. They are heavy and not convenient to store, can crush other items in your bag, fragile (steel gets scratched and dented, glass breaks), possibly expensive and not available whenever and wherever you need a drink. Yet, the small upfront time and money investment of taking it on yourself to do some research, find one you like and buy or order it, is a one time cost that will pay back health dividends for as long as you stick to the routine. Do not surrender to the easy way and make the change, for your health and for the landfill, where disposable plastic bottles often end up even though most of them are recyclable.
How about we take it a step further and refuse plastic water bottles altogether? Very easy once you have your own beverage container. And while you are at it, close the loop and buy one re-usable bottle for your spouse or partner, and if it applies, one bottle for each of your children. I can tell from experience that children like having their own bottle and the responsibility that comes with it, so make a big deal out of it because they will keep it for a long time. Plus, now that it is somewhat fashionable (I did not say popular, unfortunately), many nice styles, shapes and sizes are available.
Above are our kids’ bottles. On the right is the somewhat beat up stainless steel bottle of 4 year old Green Girl. She has had it for 3 years, and she loves it. Just because it’s hers. And she always thinks she is thirsty (therefore drinks), which is a good thing. On the left is 18 month old Green Baby’s red stainless steel bottle. See how cute it is? Bold colors and fun design attract young kids’ attention. She’s had it since she turned 1 and loves it too.
And here is my glass bottle, or Green Dad’s one. We both have the same bottle so I only took a picture of one of them. Note that this brand’s bottles sold in store only come in plastic material and therefore, are disposable. Ours are made of glass. We bought them at a restaurant… in 2006! As you probably know, restaurants do sell the glass version of plastic bottles you’d typically find in store. Now talk about a small investment… and a great return on them seven years later! All four bottles are easy to maintain, I regularly plunge them in boiling water and otherwise use a baby bottle brush to keep them clean.
What about, from there, starting a virtuous cycle? When you own a refillable bottle, get in the habit to always have it with you, you will drink from it naturally, almost unconsciously and will refill it just as naturally, to drink some more. Because it is there, handy, whenever you need it. No more temptation to quench a sudden thirst by buying a plastic water bottle, or worse, a plastic bottle of soda or other sugary drink. You will save yourself some money and improve your health. What is not to like about this?
Do you own a glass or stainless steel bottle? If yes, do you regularly carry it around with you and what do you put in it?
If not…yet…. what’s yours going to look like? Since the plan is to have it with you everyday for years, you might as well make a statement with it!