Who would have thunk a water bottle could be trendy?
Sure, in the mid-'90s, it was way cooler to drink natural spring water from a recyclable bottle than from the communal faucet after a cardio workout at the gym. Water bottles were handy. They crumbled easily. They were recyclable. And they protected us from the horror stories that spread about water from the good ol' kitchen tap.
Then, the news came. We found out from the Department of Conservation, among others, that unrecycled water bottles were swallowing landfill space, increasing air pollution and destroying the ozone layer. We learned that even putting our mouths to the old bottles was bad for our health, and we ingesting the Bisphenol A (BPA), a compound in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics that studies have linked to the risk of uterine fibroids, breast cancer, decreased sperm count and prostate cancer.
In an effort to be smarter, healthier and a friend to the environment, we're now carrying around a new generation of water bottles that, instead of tossing out to the trash, we just refill over and over again.
Some are metal. Some are plastic, though most advertise in huge writing that they are BPA-free. Most are stylish or can't help but give that "I'm athletic" or "I'm environmental" look to the person who's carrying it. Cutesy slogans say things like, "Rise Above Plastic," "Green is the New Black" and "Make Love Not Landfill."
Lonni Saechao, a sales associate at Lodi Cooks says their metallic water bottles are very popular. They sell SIGG and EcoUsable bottles in all shapes and sizes to all ages, from moms who tote them all day long and to children who take their ladybug-inspired tin bottles in their lunches.
But Saechao doesn't just sell the bottles, he uses his own every day. For him, it's more about functionality than style.
"It does do the job," he said. "It keeps water colder than plastic and the (metal) flavor doesn't leech through."
While the metal ones could be defined as uber-cool by some, many also choose the plastic refillable containers, like those made by CamelBak and sold locally at Sierra Adventure Outfitters and R.E.I. Most have a wide mouth, a positive for those who want to use ice. The newest model also comes with a built-in insulator to keep water colder longer.
Debbie Sutter, who works at Sierra Adventure Outfitters, uses a GoLite plastic biking water bottle every day, especially when she rides her Trek bike from her home in Galt to work in Lodi. She's been using it for about a year and is saving money by not buying throw-away bottles.
At Lodi Parks and Recreation Department, many staff members try to be conscious of the environment and bring their own water.
Shawnie Cunningham stays hydrated with a 1-liter bright blue water bottle that sits besides her computer monitor. It saves her money, it's easier on the environment and it's convenient, she says.
"It's cheaper. It's easier to fill up throughout the day," Cunningham said.
Bottled water as we used to drink - from vending machines and bought in bulk 24-packs - seemed to be a good idea while it lasted. State-of-the-art refillable containers are killing yesterday's plastic bottles as more people strive to be that eco-friendly person who doesn't want to waste 10 bucks a week on harsher plastic.
What the heck is BPA?Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial chemical building block used to make polycarbonate plastic resins, epoxy or polycarbonate resins, and other products.
BPA helps make plastic stronger and helps prevent canned foods and beverages from spoiling. Polycarbonate is used in a wide variety of common products including digital media (e.g., CDs, DVDs), electrical and electronic equipment, automobiles, sports safety equipment, reusable food and drink containers and many other products.
BPA has raised concerns because it appears to mimic the effects of estrogen, interfering with hormone levels and cell signaling systems. Previous studies have shown that people exposed to high levels of BPA have a greater risk of developing uterine fibroids, breast cancer, decreased sperm counts, and prostate cancer.
Many consumers have started buying BPA-free water bottles to reduce contact with the chemical.
Source: http://www.bisphenol-a.org">www.bisphenol-a.org, US News & World Report
Catch the trend with one of these popular water bottles
Products: Wide range of metal bottles in various sizes and designs. Online bottles feature cute slogans like "Hope" and "Green is the New Black."
Accessories: SIGGskins for decoration, SIGG pouches to insulation and protection, tops and caps, bottle brushes.
Where to buy: Lodi Cooks, 5 N. School St., www.mysigg.com.
Products: 12-to-64 ounce metal bottles with wide and classic mouths in bright and earthy tones.
Accessories: Insulated totes, slings, bike cages, filter adapter.
Where to buy: http://www.kleankanteen.com">www.kleankanteen.com.
Products: BPA-free plastic and stainless steel bottles. Most bottles are clear, colored plastic.
Accessories: Running strap, hands-free adapter, insulated sleeve.
Where to buy: Sierra Adventure Outfitters, 120 N. School St., http://www.camelbak.com">www.camelbak.com.
Products: Metal bottles in all sizes and designs. Creator of the first stainless steel filtered water bottle.
Accessories: Water Wrapz with childrens' designs, sports tops.
Where to buy: Lodi Cooks, 5 N. School St., www.ecousable.com.