It’s fairly known and understood that single use plastic water bottles are bad, especially when they aren’t recycled and then end up in landfills and oceans. Yet, they still get used and used a LOT because of their perceived convenience. We wrote about this several years ago, yet newer statistics have been difficult to come by. Generally speaking though, single use plastic bottles are harmful because they take a lot of energy and a lot of water to produce (check fact #5). Also, paying for bottled water when your tap water is just as good (or could be) is a waste of money.
In case you haven’t yet adopted a reusable water bottle solution, I thought I’d highlight some companies that are working not only to reduce waste, but also doing some pretty cool stuff with their profits. All of these companies have been in business for at least 5 years, and most are West Coast based. They also want to fight the bottled water market by providing unique and interesting alternatives, so I encourage you to check out these people a bit more (two are SPU alumni!).
Klean Kanteen –Est. 2005 in Chico California
Joined 1% for the Planet in 2008, donating more than 1% of annual sales to nonprofits working to protect and promote the health of the planet. With a simple statement: “our bottom line is simple: to provide affordable, safe, healthy, high quality products and accessories and to promote and encourage health, sustainability and environmental awareness.”
Miir –Est. 2009 in Seattle Washington
Miir works to provide clean water to people with the help of everyone who purchases a bottle from them. They have helped with 36 water projects and are working through other projects to provide bicycles and education to those in need. Miir not only partners with consumers, but has partnered with Seattle based One Day’s Wages, World Bicycle Relief, Well Done Organization, and Charity: Water. So not only are you getting a pretty cool water bottle, but you can help support many projects going on around the world!
Hydroflask –Est. 2009 in Bend Oregon
Hydroflask is all about the insulation in their water bottles, and they have recently expanded this summer to the European market. They put the opportunity to donate in the hands of the consumers through their 5% Back program. It allows anyone who purchases a product to type in the serial number on the product and choose a cause to donate to. They list 12 non-profits or charities on their website that they partner with that you can choose from, including Leave No Trace, Habitat for Humanity, and the American Red Cross.
Liberty Bottleworks –Est. 2010 in Yakima Washington
Liberty Bottleworks focuses on their local environmental stewardship and promote people. They employ veterans in their almost zero waste factory and strive to make high quality long lasting bottles. They also love giving back and pledge 1% of sales and 1% of working hours to help support 10 different organizations. They chose to include the National Parks Conservation Association, Cannedwater4kids, and Reverb as part of those organizations.
S’well –Est. 2010 in New York City, New York
S’well is a company that grew quickly and now sells their bottles in 35 countries! Although they might not be as popular here in the Northwest (at least I didn’t know much about them), they sure are popular around the world. S’well has also been about giving back since the start and supports the U.S. Fund for UNICEF that helps to provide clean water to children and work to improve sanitation. They also support American Forests and Drink Up, to help support better care of the forests and encourage Americans to drink more water.
Besides having some awesome alumni create these kinds of alternatives, SPU has also embraced the reusable bottles here on campus, from the Alumni Association (photo below) to the School of Theology to Latreia (pictured lower right below).
Our Facilities Department is also supporting this transition by installing water bottle filling stations around campus. We currently have 7 filling stations in addition to traditional water fountains on campus, with more installations planned for the future. These stations make it easy to fill your reusable water bottle before class, or after a workout (there’s one in Lower Royal Brougham Pavilion near the aerobics room).
It’s also common to fill up water bottles with ice and water from soda machines in Falcon’s Landing and the Corner Place Market (aka the C-Store), so you don’t have to purchase a disposable bottle. The filling stations are located in Lower Weter, Alexander, Otto Miller, Royal Brougham, Gwinn, Arnett, and the newly renovated Nickerson Studios. So if you have a bottle, now you can fill it with ease, and if you don’t have one, get one! It’s an investment in your health and the health of the planet!