Food

Do I have to toss my reusable plastic water bottle?

No, but…

Everyone has their favorite water bottle - a Camelbak with the chewy straw, or a new shiny S'well bottle, or the Hydroflask that keeps your drink icy for days. And, we know that reusable plastic water bottles have some perks- lightweight, see through, indestructible- but they also have one big drawback, the plastic. Plastics, even ones that are BPA free, are often made of chemicals that can seep into water and affect your health. So, that's where this big question comes into play. Do I have to (or should I) ditch my beloved Nalgene with all my stickers from travels throughout the years?

Our answer is - you don't have to pitch it, but it probably shouldn't be your primary bottle either. You can stop reading here and check our our roundup of a dozen glass and stainless steel reusable water bottles if that's enough info for you, or you can keep reading and well give you some tips and nuggets of info on why those tips will make a difference.


  1. Use that plastic bottle to just fill up and drink out of at home or at your desk. If the water doesn't sit in the bottle for a long period of time, it's way less likely that it will absorb the chemicals in the plastic (like bisphenols, because BPA isn't the only one out there). So feel free to use it throughout the day if you are drinking from it and refilling it regularly.
  2. Along those lines, don't let water sit in it for long periods of time. If you normally only use the water bottle when you go on hikes over the weekend, or when you head to the gym, don't leave water sitting in it all week and assume that next time you grab it a few days later the water inside will still be fine. The longer the water hangs out in the bottle, the more time it has to start soaking up the chemicals from the plastic walls. So, if you use it for your gym workouts, start with fresh water at the beginning of your routine, then drink it all. Or, after your workout, use any leftover water to water a plant or tree or something. Don't just let it sit for days - which I may or may not be guilty of.
  3. Don't leave it sitting in the sun either. Plastics like BPA or BPA replacements are more likely to seep into water when they are exposed to UV light - like the sun. So, on a day you are going to hang out at the beach or picnic in the park, grab a glass or stainless steel bottle and leave the plastic one at home.
  4. BPA also is super sensitive to acidic liquids. That means that if you are packing lemonade or coffee or even a sports drink, go for glass or stainless steel. They don't react to acid so won't leach any chemicals into your drink. Also, they are easier to clean and won't smell like coffee or lemonade for days after you've washed them like your plastic bottle might. Same is true for things that are fatty, so no chocolate milk or protein drinks either.
  5. Leave your (empty!) plastic water bottle in your car as a backup bottle. If you are running errands and get thirsty, filling up the reusable plastic bottle is still way better than buying a bottled water at a corner store - this article explains why.
Roundups

12 Essentials for Packing a Plastic Free Lunch

our favorite reusable items for packing lunch for the kids (and yourself!)

As all the kids are going back to school, it's time to get ready to start getting creative when it comes to packing lunches. While plastic sandwich bags may be convenient, they aren't the healthiest and are only adding to the plastic problem in our oceans. Instead, stock up on some of these lunchbox essentials. They are reusable, washable, and healthier than a bag full of plastic containers. We also have a roundup of general food storage containers you might want to check out.

Keep Reading Show Less
Want more news like this?
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update!
By submitting above, you agree to our privacy policy.
/ SOCIAL
Roundups

A Dozen Reusable Water Bottles

Our top picks for glass and stainless steel water bottles

If you've made it here, you probably already know that bottled water isn't great. Plastic in general can also be tough because of the ever popular BPA and it's sister chemicals. So, we collected 12 of our favorite plastic-free, reusable water bottles so you don't have to go hunting. Many of these brands make many types of bottle and cups. Feel free to poke around to find a size or shape that might work better for you, but keep in mind always go for glass or stainless steel. That assures that even if the plastic bottles are BPA free, you won't have to worry about BPA replacements. It's often tough to find bottles without plastic lids, but if the water isn't constantly touching the lid, a plastic lid usually isn't something to get too worried about.

If you have some old plastic reusable water bottles kicking around (who doesn't!) then check out our advice about how to use them safely.

Keep Reading Show Less
Science

Having Trouble Keeping a Healthy Weight?

Here's why chemicals might be keeping you from shedding those last few pounds

If you're eating healthy, getting lots of sleep, but just can't seem to hit a healthy weight, it might be something you've never thought about. Obesogens, a term coined in 2006 to refer to chemicals that cause us to gain and hold on to weight, and can influence weight loss. Now, we know that maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle is influenced by what seems like a bajillion factors, and is a complicated issue with no easy solution. But, it looks like obesogens are a piece of the puzzle and definitely something you want to be aware about. Data shows that obesity is an increasing problem. Over one-third of both adults and children in the U.S. are obese or overweight (1, 5). Even for people who regularly work out or have superhuman strength to say no to desserts, obesogens are having an impact. Unfortunately, as obesogen research is in its early stages, we still don't know everything about these chemicals and how they affect weight gain, but as of now, here's what we do know.

Keep Reading Show Less

Cleaning is important, you should definitely do it. While it can be a not very fun chore, unless you relate to Monica on a spiritual level, it really is something that should be done regularly. Besides germs, cleaning removes all the yucky (and potentially chemically laden) dust and dirt that can collect in your home over time. While it might seem like you should also disinfect your surfaces when you clean to kill any crazy germs that might be hanging out, it's not as necessary as you might think. And, using a strong, commercial disinfectant is definitely not needed or advised. Do you really want to use something all over your home that comes with a huge caution or warning sign on it?

Keep Reading Show Less
Life

Gifts! Gifts! Gifts!

Plastic-free, zero waste, and full of heart

As the holidays start to sneak up on us, we have been pulling together some of our favorite homemade gifts. All of which happen to be plastic-free, zero waste, edible (because food!). Bonus, they are all delicious and help cut down on both the plastic you and your loved ones are exposed to, plus how much ends up in the environment. Not to mention they look really awesome and a homemade gift is a unique way to show you really care. One more benefit, you can pull them together super last minute, get pretty much everything you need at the grocery store (most of it in bulk even) and avoid the heinous parking scene at the mall.

Keep Reading Show Less
Family

Non-Toxic Bassinets and Cosleepers

All well-reviewed and safe for your newborn to sleep in all night (or day) long

*whispers* The baby's asleep! *silent celebrating* And, while the baby is snoozing away, you can actually eat some food and shower. While getting the baby to sleep can be a bit of a headache, figuring out where you will be gently laying them down in the first few months once they are asleep shouldn't be. So, we did all of the hair pulling research to narrow it down to a selection of 8 non-toxic bassinets and cosleepers that parents and experts agree are great options. Without further ado, here are the top picks.

Keep Reading Show Less
Food

Two More Grocery Staples You Might Want to Buy Organic

For all those nights when wine and cereal count as a meal

What's the one thing we all learned from Shondaland Thursdays? Wine is a meal. No questions asked. And what about those nights when working a corkscrew and washing a glass is just too much work? Then cereal straight from the box totally counts.

To make those nights a little bit healthier (haha), we have a buying tip for you. Go organic. With interest in organic options growing, it's pretty easy to find your favorites in an organic option.

Keep Reading Show Less
Want more news like this?
Sign up to receive our email newsletter and never miss an update!
By submitting above, you agree to our privacy policy.
/ SOCIAL