The Water Bottle Conundrum

Green Lifestyles - Why can’t anyone make a reusable, non-polluting water bottle that is the same size and shape as the bottled water it is meant to replace?I’ve been searching for the perfect reusable water bottle and two points thwart me in my search, leaving me with 2 burning questions:

Why can’t anyone make a reusable, non-polluting water bottle that is the same size and shape as the bottled water it is meant to replace?

If you really want a consumer to give up one product and use your product, the one thing you shouldn’t do is make that change inconvenient. It seems so simple. So why is this basic idea such a foreign concept to the manufacturers of these bottles? They make bottles that are as little like standard plastic water bottles as other water bottles can be. Sure, there are a few of the 1 liter bottles which are “sports bottle” shaped, but most of the people I know drink the 500mL water, not the liters. Yet that size is largely ignored by the designers of reusable bottles, leaving the 16oz/500mL bottles generally either just straight up and down or top heavy for no reason. Don’t even get me started on the lids.

Why is it so ridiculously expensive to ship a reusable water bottle?

Shipping is not great for the environment, so when it is necessary to have something shipped, I always try to buy in bulk. If and when I finally find a water bottle that is (gasp!) actually water bottle-shaped, therefore, I would like to buy several at once. However, when the shipping is nearly as expensive as the bottles themselves, how can I possibly? Yes, the bottles are stainless steel, but they also weigh about 4 oz each. A person can ship an 8 oz package via the US Postal Service for less than $2.50, so to charge anywhere from $8.50-10 to ship one bottle is off-the-wall ridiculous. I realize they have to pay for packaging, but $6 is a lot for packaging. It isn’t like they are offering these bottles at rock bottom prices and need to make it up on the shipping. New Enviro seems to be the one exception to this outrageous shipping rule.

[Update: After many hours of searching, I have finally found one website that seems to answer both my questions to my satisfaction. First, apparently someone can make a water-bottle-shaped reusable water bottle. Second, they ship from Canada which means international shipping instead of USPS (yet they are still cheaper on shipping). I will post a review (and provide the link) once I’ve had a chance to try them out.]

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338 Responses to “The Water Bottle Conundrum”

  1. Why not just buy a water bottle from the supermarket and then re-use it? They last for ages.

  2. Because the plastic degrades over time and therefore chemicals leach out of the plastic. That is why, after a few uses, the water from a reused regular plastic bottle starts to taste & smell bad and why the plastic begins to dent more often: it is starting to break down into its components, most of which are bad for you to ingest. I’ve always reused them a couple of times, and I recycle them after that, but it is better on my budget, my health, and the environment, if I stop buying them altogether.

  3. You and I are looking for the exact same thing in a water bottle. What happened with the Canadian company? I’d love to know about it. Thanks!

  4. Carolyn, here is my review of the Canadian company, FOF bottles. http://www.got2begreen.com/green-lifestyles/water-bottle-solution/ It has a link to their site, too.

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