Bottled beverages are a tricky switch, because while it’s easy to say you should just bring your own bottle and fill it up, it’s not always easy to find what you’d prefer to drink in a refillable form.
I’ve never liked pop (aka soda to some of you), so the only bottled items I would buy were teas or water. I can easily fill up a bottle or a jar at home with water or tea, and yet buying the bottled version was still a hard habit to break. There were plenty of times in the beginning where I’d forget my bottle and have to choose between getting a drink and not using plastic. Now-a-days I am much more prepared and I rarely forget to bring my water bottle with me. It’s just a part of my everyday routine. Keys, wallet, cell phone, water bottle. Check. I’m good to go.
Simple Switch: Bringing Your Own Beverage instead of Buying Bottled Beverages
So the switch from bottled water is easy, just bring your own container (this could be anything, though I prefer to use a reusable bottle or a jar) and fill it with water instead of buying a bottle. Water fountains are a great option that are usually easy to find in places like schools, airports, or public parks. If a water fountain can’t be found (something that is common in countries other than the US) I usually pop into a bar or restaurant and ask the bartender to fill up my water bottle from the tap. Most restaurants are happy to help, though I usually make sure to buy something from them first. If I’m in a real pinch I will fill up my bottle in a bathroom sink.
But what if you don’t like water? This is where it gets tricky.
If you’re into flavored waters you can try making your own by adding fruit into your bottle of water. My mom really disliked drinking water until she started putting slices of lemon in it every morning. Citrus is always a good addition. Think oranges, lemons, and limes. Or try adding combinations like strawberry and mint, cucumber and lemon, or raspberry and lime.
If you’re a fan of iced or hot tea (like I am) or of juice (which I am not) you can try making your own at home and carrying it around with you. Tea can easily be made with hot water and tea leaves, while juice requires an electric juicer or some elbow grease. I attempted to make orange juice by hand once and was amazed at how long it took to get a glass full. Teas and coffees can also easily be bought using a reusable container. (Knowing how large your container is makes ordering coffee or refilling your bottle with it a breeze).
Worried that you’re beverage of choice won’t stay cold (or hot) throughout the day? You can buy an insulated water bottle that will keep your contents either hot or cold all day long.
That all sounds fine, but let’s get real….I’m gonna buy a Coke.
I know it’s easy to say just bring your own or make your own, but we all know if you’re craving pop, a tea probably isn’t going to cut it. If this is you make sure that whatever container you are buying, you recycle. This is important. Most plastic bottles could be recycled, but only around 25–27% are actually recycled and glass bottles and aluminum cans can be recycled over and over into new bottles and cans.
Because I don’t use plastic, and because many canned items are lined with some form of a coating (many of which contain BPA), I opt for glass containers if I find myself without my water bottle. If there are no glass options I sometimes go for a can since the aluminum can be recycled indefinitely. Whichever I choose, I always recycle or reuse the container after I’m done with my drink.