There are myriad reasons to ditch plastic water bottles. The first—and perhaps the most immediately motivating—is the money you’ll save. By switching to a countertop water cooler, you’ll have filtered water on demand for one low one-time cost plus the occasional filter replacement. Longer term, though, are the significant effects that single-use plastic water bottles have on the environment. As climate change talks heat up and the world swivels its attention toward comprehensive solutions to address our warming planet, we can all take small steps to contribute. Here are our top 7 reasons you should ditch plastic water bottles—forever.
1. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade.
It’s 2019, and this isn’t a secret. We’ve all seen photos of animals choking on plastics floating around the ocean, and if you haven’t yet been acquainted with the Great Pacific Gyre, we dare you to take a look and continue to purchase single-use water bottles. According to Ocean Crusaders, more than 100,000 marine animals are found dead every year from plastic entanglement—as well as 1 million sea birds.
2. Plastic requires oil to create.
Plastic isn’t only nasty at the end of its life-cycle: It’s born that way. Plastic water bottles are essentially made from crude oil, meaning that not only does your water bottle contribute to environmental problems when you’re finished with it, but before you buy it as well. The Pacific Institute reports that, “it took approximately 17 million barrels of oil equivalent to produce plastic for bottled water consumed by Americans in 2006—enough energy to fuel more than 1 million American cars and light trucks for a year.”
3. Bottled water companies drain public resources.
One plastic water bottle giant has been sued multiple times—over the course of a decade—for their misrepresentation of tap water as water from a “natural spring.” That’s right: Oftentimes, water bottles are filled with the same nectar that comes from your tap… Meaning that you’re paying for the privilege of the plastic, not the water. But some towns are fighting back: In 2018, Osceola Township, Michigan, was embroiled in a legal battle with this company for draining a river in the town, and thus changing the makeup of the environment.
4. Chemicals can leach from the plastic.
Maybe it’s not shocking, given that they’re made from crude oil, but there are some pretty non-drinkable chemicals in the lining of your drinkable water bottle. Though many plastic manufacturers stopped using BPA in their products, studies show that most plastics leach hormone-like chemicals that act like estrogen. The EPA has a committee mandated to research just what effects these leached plastics may have, though it hasn’t yet turned over many results.
5. Reduce the space in your recycling bin.
This is of particular importance if you pay for recycling in your town, but no one—whether you pay for it or not—enjoys overflowing refuse bins cluttering the front lawn or driveway. By not using single-use water bottles, you’ll not only have to take the recycling out less, but have more space in your bin for other recyclables. Did someone say party?
6. Sleek water coolers look nicer.
Kitchen appliances can absolutely be objects of envy—if they’re stunning. Just as a luxe coffeemaker can be a conversation-starter, so too can a water cooler. (If it’s as sleek as Avalon!) Consider it an aesthetic upgrade for your counter.
7. Conversations happen around the water cooler.
Every host knows that the kitchen is where people tend to gather to swap stories or conspire over gossip, but there’s nothing inspiring about grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge or the cabinet. There’s a reason that office-talk has been shorthanded “water cooler conversation.” When people have a shared reason for being in a specific place—to fill their glass, perhaps—conversation flows as naturally as the water itself.