#1: The BEST choice right now would be a glass water bottle. Consider reusing a glass juice jar that you purchased (filled with juice) and then ran through the dishwasher to sterilize it. There are absolutely no contamination concerns with glass, and it is easy to clean. Additionally, glass can hold just about any type of liquid. The one catch, of course, is that glass is breakable. A clever idea: wrap your glass jar in a hand towel before putting in your backpack or duffel bag, and then you can also use the hand towel throughout the day in restrooms,etc.
#2: If glass will not work for you, your best bet is appearing to be stainless steel water bottles with no liner (liners can themselves cause problems), like the ones available at The Greater Green, 20 oz Stainless Steel Water Bottle with Carabiner, that is the perfect size for that on-the-go lifestyle. It fits in most cup holders in cars, attaches to a belt loop or backpack, and is perfect for hiking, biking, or even just running errands. Stainless is extremely crack- and break-resistant, and does not stain easily. Additionally, at less than ten dollars, these bottles are an affordable choice, especially when you consider that if well-taken care of, these bottles will certainly last for years. For optimum performance, we recommend you only use your bottle for water (which will help keep it cleaner, too), though you can safely fill it with other cool liquids as well. Manufacturers do NOT recommend putting hot liquids into these bottles (use an insulated thermos for that).
Stainless steel is great because it is totally BPA-Free, toxin-free, sturdy, usually dishwasher-safe, and affordable. There are a lot of stylish stainless steel bottles available these days. If you are looking for some funky, stylish designs, check out these picks:
Get Real Sticks and Stones Stainless Steel Water Bottle: Sleek black design fits any mood, any occasion. Dark
on black with a touch of color. This handsome, elegant bottle dresses
up OR down. Whatever your mood. 20oz./600ml. BPA free stainless steel
and decorated with lead-free inks. Threaded screw-on cap is totally
Get Real Drink the Drops Stainless Steel Bottle: Fun, quirky design with the cool screw-on cap. Birds,
squirrels, strange little deer-like creatures with mouths wide open for
the big drops above. Subtle and eye-catching at the same time. Mostly
white design on a deep blue background. 20oz./600ml. BPA free stainless
steel and decorated with lead-free inks. Threaded screw-on cap is
Hydrate Responsibly Stainless Steel Bottle: Simple, stylish message on a sleek silver bottle. "Hydrate Responsibly" and enjoy the pure taste of clean water in our designed stainless steel water bottles. 86% of plastic water bottles used in the United States end up in landfills, taking up to 1,000 years to biodegrade. Transporting bottled water consumes approximately 1.5 million barrels of fossil fuels per year. Help reduce this number by carrying a refillable bottle. With our 25.36 fl. oz. (750 ml) stainless steel bottles, water remains free of unhealthy plastic residues. BPA-FREE.
#3: The next best option for a safe water bottle would be aluminum bottles like SIGG, with an epoxy-resin liner. Though SIGG has insisted in the past that their bottles are BPA-Free, as of the summer of 2009 SIGG finally admitted that prior to 2008, their secret liner contained trace amounts of BPA. They are now supposed to be using a liner that is BPA-Free, and if you'd like to mail in your old bottles, say they will exchange them for free. Personally, we find this to be a bit disconcerting.
A company that has been a little more upfront with the safety of their bottles is Gaiam. Their aluminum bottles also contain an epoxy resin liner, but they have been very clear about the BPA issue. Extensive testing has shown that no BPA is present under normal conditions; however, under exteme conditions, trace amounts were found. That means that as long as you don't use your Gaiam bottles to drink very hot liquids, you should be fine. And aluminum is not only super light-weight, it is also a bit more affordable than stainless. Be aware, though, that you should not put your aluminum bottles in the dishwasher, and they will dent a bit easier than stainless steel.
Here are a few of our favorite aluminum bottles:
Tree of Life Aluminum Bottle: So simple and elegant, in a beautiful sage green color. Our
Tree of Life 100% recyclable, reusable aluminum leak-proof water bottle
by Gaiam is a reminder that all life on Earth is related. Bottle holds
25.36 fl. oz. (750 ml) and is sealed by a ring-top screw cap. Aluminum
material does not contribute to the unhealthy amount of eco-polluting
disposable waste plastic.
Cloud Bouqet Aluminum Bottle: Fun metallic blue design! This
100% recyclable, lightweight aluminum water bottle comes in an
attractive, metallic blue with a delicate yellow floral design. Gaiam
offers reusable aluminum water bottles as an eco-friendly alternative
to disposable plastic water bottles. Our leak-proof, generous aluminum
bottles hold 25.36 fluid oz. (750 ml), with a ring-top screw cap.
Persian Paisley Aluminum Bottle: Our 100% recyclable Persian Paisley aluminum water bottle is light and fun, and also eco-friendly. 86% of post-consumer disposable plastic bottles end up in US landfills, where they can take up to 1,000 years to break down. This reusable, leak-proof and generous aluminum water bottle holds 25.36 fluid oz. (750 ml), with ring-top screw cap.
#4: Our fourth choice for safe water bottles is the PLA Corn Resin Bottle. Now, this bottle serves a slightly different purpose, because it comes with a charcoal filter that makes the PLA bottle reusable for about 3 months, at which point it is compostable (though only in a commercial compost). We like the filter, because it means you can fill up with tap water wherever you are. Though PLA is not the perfect plastic, it is a good first step in creating sustainable plastics that are not so detrimental to the environment. We have discussed PLA at length in previous posts. Clicke HERE to read all about it.
WORST: Near the bottom of our list are the polycarbonate bottles. Because of contamination concerns with Bisphenol-A, we do not recommend these bottles. Please keep in mind that many baby bottles are also affected by the BPA concerns, so please look for BPA-free bottles, like those made by Born Free.
And, of course, the very last resort would be regular disposable plastic bottled water. First of all, this bottled water is often just plain old tap water anyway. And we now know that only a small fraction of plastic bottles actually enter the recycling stream (some estimates show only about 14% of plastic bottles are being recycled), so we have a major problem with plastics that will potentially last for millions of year. Read all about it in The Problem with Plastics.
Here's to healthy hydration!