Around a decade or two ago American’s became obsessed with bottled water. Suddenly the stuff coming out of the tap was just not good enough, tasted terrible or, some would say, downright poison. So, we began buying our purified water at the store in small, single use, plastic bottles. We’d grab a bottle of water at the convenience store instead of a soda and we felt proud of ourselves because we were making good choices.
As our bottled water infatuation grew, so did our landfills. Experts say one in five disposable water bottles is recycled and the rest end up in the trash. Researchers say the plastic in these bottles will take 450-1000 years to decompose.
And is it really healthier for you? According to a US Congressional report released in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration has little or no authority to regulate bottled brands but our tap water is heavily regulated. Our local water boards are required to provide public reports of test results, bottled-water makers are not.
Fortunately, as we learn of the ill effects on our environment many of us are making better choices including our National Parks. Earlier this month the National Park Service (NPS) banned the sales of disposable water bottles inside of the Grand Canyon as part of their effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020. Currently, disposable water bottles make up 20% of the waste found at the Grand Canyon and make up much of the trash and litter found below the rim. In addition, in a document to the NPS Regional Directors on December 14, 2011, NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis stated that, “Parks are strongly encouraged to reduce the sales of disposable plastic water bottles through visitor education on the environmental impact on purchasing decisions and the availability of reasonably priced reusable bottles which can be filled at water fountains or bottle refill stations.”
Reusable bottles are becoming more and more popular as we see the environmental impact of disposable bottles. There are many to choose from but I like the Camelbak bottles the best. They have so many options for size, color and types of bottles there is a bottle for everyone. They are sturdy and well-made but light weight and easily portable. All bottles are BPA free and come in dishwasher safe plastic or stainless steel.
Want to have great tasting bottled water anytime, anywhere, out of any tap or water fountain? Choose from two Camelbak options. The first is the Groove bottle. The Groove has a built in, replaceable, sustainable, plant-based filter built right into the straw. One filter will clean up to 48 gallons (180 Liters) of water and is certified by the National Science Foundation to reduce chlorine taste and odor. I recently used one while traveling and the water tasted excellent! And, I was able to have bottled water in the airport terminal without paying their exorbitant prices. Just dump out your water before going through security and refill it at a drinking fountain or sink when you get to the terminal.
The second is the Camelbak All Clear bottle. This bottle microbiologically purifies your water in 60 seconds using UV technology in the lid to neutralize contaminants. The bottle is rechargeable and treats 16 gallons of water with each charge. This is a great choice for hikers and outdoor adventurers as water from streams and outdoor water sources is made safe with this purifier.
No matter which reusable bottle we choose, we can all make it our new obsession to use it every time and reduce our impact on the environment by refusing to buy our water in single use, disposable bottles.
Many Camelbak bottles including the two listed above can be found at Ready Golf & Gear in Mesquite, Nevada and will soon be available on our website at Ready Golf and Gear.