Green Tip #21: Water Bottles: Steel vs Plastic

stainless steel water bottleI drink a lot of water. I drink water quite a bit around mealtimes but also sip it all day long. I know its good to stay hydrated and its good for your body. However I choose to carry a stainless steal water bottle around as opposed to a plastic one. I recently bought a new stainless steel water bottle and so far am really liking it as the wide mouth and screw top are great! I refill the water bottle at work whenever I need to. I really can’t stand store bought bottled water bottles  because of how much energy they take to produce, the fact that the water they contain is usually brought in from somewhere far way which requires transportation not to mention that its not recommended to reuse the water bottles after one use as the plastic begins to deteriorate and leaches into your water. So they get recycled which requires even  more energy to make them into something else.  Our landfills and oceans are chock full of plastic water bottles and I don’t feel a need to add to the pile.

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15 thoughts on “Green Tip #21: Water Bottles: Steel vs Plastic

  1. Er, that would be “chock full” not “chalk full!”

    I use steel bottles too when I travel, but for bicycling I find I still need a plastic bottle because you can’t squeeze a steel bottle and it’s awkward to use a metal bottle for drinking whle you ride. The best bike bottle I’ve found is the Clean Bottle (http://www.cleanbottle.com/ — you can order from this website and they ship to Canada; the buy three-get-one-free deal is great!). It’s BPA-free and the bottom unscrews so you can clean it out thoroughly, avoiding one of the most common issues with plastic squeeze bottles for biking and running.

  2. I drink a lot of water too. Our company is huge on sustainability (we have a big sustainability departament.) So it banned plastic bottles. Now we have to use drinking fountains. And you know… it feels good.

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  4. A lot of my fellow mountaineers recommend Nalgene since they also come with models that have loops to attach carabiners or have carabiners already included. No need for water bottle slots, you can easily just hang it anywhere. Better yet, get a hydration pack. You can wear it like a backpack and you just need to sip through the hose whenever you’re thirsty. Camelbak has some of these.
    Metal bottles tend to dent, and are slightly more expensive i think. And since bottles are mainly used for liquid storage and drinking, you can’t really use metal ones to heat your coffee over a campfire or something. Not unless you’re talking about metal cups. Oh, be careful what kind of metal and coatings are used as well as some studies indicate health risks. Generally, the lighter the metal used, the more expensive it is.

    1. Good points. I hope your Nalgenes are the newer non-BPA type. The old ones are hazardous to your health.
      My steel water bottles also have carabiners.
      I like steel also as it keeps water cooler longer than does plastic. I also find that plastic bottles will crack but metal, while dentable, are pretty indestructible.
      Why can’t I use a metal bottle to heat water? It is steel, just like a metal cup … I don’t follow. Care to elaborate?

  5. definitely steel! i watched a documentary about water and (at the risk of sounding cliche) it changed my life! that night i went out to buy a stainless steel water bottle and came back with FOUR. i loved all the shiny vibrant colors and couldn’t decide on just one. i use them EVERY day and will NEVER buy or drink from a plastic bottle again. i dream of the day that the united states does away with plastic water bottles.

    1. Thanks for visiting Aaron! We agree – steel is so much better than plastic. One must be careful the bottle isn’t a steel-plastic-steel composition however.

  6. Watch out for the Teflon coating in stainless steel bottles. The are recognizable by their matte finish inside. Another dead give away are steel bottles that aren’t “stainless steel” will be entirely enamel painted on the outside and sprayed Teflon on the inside to prevent rust. Before buying, unscrew the cap and look for a polished or mirror finish because even the stainless steel ones may have a Teflon coating… and it isn’t the good kind.

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