One of the first changes that everyone talks about when going zero-waste is to switch to a reusable water bottle and I whole heartily agree. When I did my first beach clean up a few years back, I was pretty surprised to see that one of the most common items on the beach was plastic bottle caps. Often, they are too small to go through recycling machines, if they are recycled at all. About 6 billion pounds of plastic bottles get thrown away every year, and only 30% get recycled. YIKES!
So, where to start when looking for a reusable water bottle?
1. Make sure it’s easy to clean. If you want it to last forever, you are going to want it to be convenient. I find that wide-mouthed bottles and no straws are the easiest to clean.
2. Make sure it fits into your lifestyle. If you are constantly on the go, you want to make sure it’s leak-proof! If you are carrying it everywhere, make sure it’s light weight. Be a thoughtful consumer so you don’t have to go back and purchase another bottle, which creates more waste.
3. After trying out a lot of water bottles, I personally found that stainless steel is the most reliable. I didn’t even realized I preferred stainless steel until sitting down to work on this post and seeing that in my three favorite water bottles.
Speaking of which, here is a breakdown of my three go-to bottles:
Water Bottles: Camelbak Chute
I’ve tried plastic, I’ve tried glass, I’ve tried with straws and without straws and the water bottle that has lasted the longest is this stainless steel Camelbak. I take it with me everywhere. It’s 20 oz and lightweight enough that I can keep it in my purse without it hurting my back. It’s never leaked on me which is so important when, again, it’s banging around in my bag. The chute is easy to open while I’m driving or in a spin class. For those that say they drink more water from a straw, I think the chute is a perfect compromise- it has the ease of drinking from a straw but it’s easier to clean than a straw. It’s also durable! As you can see from the multitude of dents, I’ve dropped it a few times and it’s survived. That’s more than I can say for the 3 glass Life Factory bottles that have met their demise. RIP glass water bottles. The added bonus with this Camelbak, and most stainless steel bottles, is that they will keep your water ice cold. Personally, I am not fussy about water temperature but I know that is important to some.
Obviously, mine is a branded water bottle from my spin studio but here is a very similar version and it’s on sale!
Reusable Coffee Mug: Contigo Snapseal Byron Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
If there are a lot of choices for reusable water bottles, you probably have just as many options, if not more, for reusable coffee mugs. I’ve broken 2 Starbucks mugs to date- one plastic one, and one ceramic one- but this one is still chugging along.
This has vacuum insulation so it will keep your hot coffee hot for hours or, if you’re like me and drink iced coffee year round, you can make your iced coffee the night before and the ice will still be in there in the morning. That is my absolute favorite feature. Anything that will save me time in the morning!
It also is relatively easy to clean for coffee. I would not recommend this for something like a smoothie, though.
Since I’m always on the go, it’s also leak-proof. This is important to me. Both the Starbucks mugs I had were adorable but neither were leak-proof. I need something I can throw in my bag and that can travel with me around the city. I don’t want to worry about holding it all the time.
You can find Contigo mugs everywhere, including Target. To order it online, you can get it here. It’s also under $20 so yes, please!
Smoothie Reusable Mug: 4ccean x Yeti Rambler
So, I LOVE smoothies. They are one of my go-to breakfasts, especially in the summer. I prefer them ice cold, though, which is a problem when I have limited time in the morning. I had actually purchased my Contigo Snap lid for smoothies thinking if it kept ice cold for hours, it would certainly keep my smoothie cold over night, right? Yes, but it was also really difficult to clean. The snap lid had way too many tiny crevices. For those who drink beverages with protein powder, you know the smell that comes from a container that hasn’t been cleaned well! It’s vile.
This Yeti had the two things I was looking for in a smoothie mug- the vacuum insulation so I can make a smoothie at night and it’s still cold for breakfast; and the very basic design so it’s easy to clean. This has the wide mouth and super simple lid so I can clean it without any fuss.
The bonus is that this bottle supports one of my favorite organizations- 4ocean. They are dedicated to cleaning up the ocean and all their products are part of a closed-loop program. From their website: “Our aim is to eliminate waste at the end of our product lifecycle by taking back 4ocean products that our customers no longer use so they can be properly recycled or transformed into new products.” I LOVE that.
Unfortunately, my exact tumbler isn’t listed on 4ocean’s site anymore, even though I just got it for Christmas. I reached out to them and they quickly got back to me saying it was sold out but they will be restocking. They added me to a list so I will update this page and my IG once they are available again. For now, the regular version is available on Yeti’s website.
What is your go-to reusable bottle brand? What were the things you wish you new when you purchased your first one?
**It should go without saying that none of these products are sponsored. I have two posts on my blog- clearly, these are my own opinions!! 🙂