Saving the Planet One Glass Water Bottle at a Time
Jan 9, 2014
Our family used to be a plastic water bottle family. We would buy big cases of water bottles from BJ’s Wholesale Club once a month and rip through them without a care in the world. On day trips, we’d drink a bottle and throw it away, and drink another and another. I’m not sure how many we consumed in a year, with a family of six, but our contribution to landfills was hefty.
We gradually started to realize that there must be a better way. We read reports about people getting cancer from the plastic leaching into water bottles left in hot cars. Whether that’s true or not, it sounded nasty. The world had become plastic, and had fulfilled Mr. McGuire’s recommendation to Dustin Hoffman’s character in the movie The Graduate. “Just one word... Plastics.”
We started looking for alternatives to plastic water bottles. My wife and daughter drank water out of glass mason jars. I didn’t like them. We tried metal bottles. I thought they tasted like metal. Yuck. We bought glass bottles filled with green tea and other things, but I became frustrated because I discovered that the lined, plastic bottle caps started to smell raunchy, even if I boiled them and washed them.
Perhaps my nose and palate were too delicate, but I abhorred the bacteria laden smell of old water bottles. The bottle caps seemed to be an insurmountable problem.
Then one day, I’m not sure how, I had an “Aha!” moment. Glass bottles cleaned up well, with hot water and soap. Plastic bottle caps did not (at least to me). So... why not buy a supply of bottle caps! Yes, I know, it’s probably obvious, but it’s little things like that that sometimes get in the way of establishing a practical, usable solution to a problem.
I put on my detective hat, and fired up Google and rather quickly found a vendor that sold plastic bottle caps. Then I realized that I knew nothing about the size of bottle caps.
Since first things should come first, I looked for the size of a glass water bottle that felt comfortable to me. At Whole Foods, I found the KeVita probiotic drinks. They were 16 ounces – less than the 20 or 24 ounce plastic bottles that I liked, but they weren’t too wide, and even fit in a jacket pocket quite well. I bought two; one green and one yellow. But I still didn’t now the size of the bottle cap, so I called KeVita (Earthsong Organics) and asked them. “Hey, what’s the size of these bottle caps?”
The lady who answered was very polite, and told me that they were the same size as the caps on salad dressing bottles. The measurement was “38/400.”
Armed with this wonderful new knowledge, I called SKS Bottle & Packaging, the company I had found on the web. Their offices are in Watervliet, NY. Their phone number is 518-880-6980, and their web address is http://www.sks-bottle.com.
They were very helpful, and helped me select the right caps. I ordered a bag of 140 caps, for around $7, which I thought was quite inexpensive, although the shipping was more than the bottle caps.
That was about three years ago.
I still have my two KeVita glass bottles. Their labels are worn and torn from many trips to the dishwasher. I’m on my second bag of bottle caps. I found that the first caps were too thin, and when I dropped the water bottle a few times, or knocked it off onto the floor, the bottle didn’t break, but the cap did. So, for my second purchase, I ordered “ribbed” caps, which seem to be stronger. The ones I bought were taller than the samples pictured here.
The product number and specs are: #2150-07, 38/400 white, ribbed, unlined, 144 bag, $7.20.
I feel a lot more green now. Instead of going through hundreds of plastic water bottles, I use the same two glass water bottles, year after year. We carry gallon jugs of water in a cooler, in our car, and refill the water bottles when needed.
It’s true that I use plastic bottle caps (perhaps two or three a month), but I think it’s a step in the right direction. My wife kindly pointed out to me that I should discard the bottle caps in the recycling box instead of the regular trash, so I’m even more educated now than I was previously.
So, if you want to help reduce the glut of plastic water bottles, and perhaps even reduce the size of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which is a vast area of ocean within the North Pacific Gyre where plastic things collect, then I recommend that you run out and buy a couple of glass water bottles. I bought two, so that a clean one would be ready to swap out when I was in a hurry.
Buying glass water bottles instead of plastic ones just makes sense. No matter what Mr. McGuire said.
"KeVita" is a Trademark of Earthsong Organics.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”
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