Thursday, October 6, 2011

Of Kleen Canteens and Water Bottles

It's important to consider your reusables before you switch to them. This is a fact and a simple one. Everything is going to cause some form of environmental harm unless you grow and make it yourself, which isn't possible on a macro scale. So, often the Average Janes and Joes among us have to make choices about getting reusables, and those choices often ignore a key part of the switch: will you like it enough to use it all the time?

For example, I'm picky about water bottles. They have to have a certain feel. I've inherited a Kleen Canteen and given it a good workout, so I'd like to list the pros and cons of my three favorite water bottles over the last year to help you find the water bottle that's best for you.

Image copyright Kleen Canteen
 pictured is the 8oz size. 
The Kleen Canteen
I have to admit, the durability and size of this guy is a definite plus. It's solid, doesn't squish, won't break if I drop it, and holds the most of all my bottles - 18oz.

The downsides? It's metal. Which is great for cool drinks, or room-temperature drinks. But hot drinks will scald, cold drinks can get the metal too cold,  and if it's a hot day your water will get warm very fast. The lack of flow control also means that I spill more on myself if I'm drinking quickly. I use this one when I'm biking and want maximum water for minimum space, but it's not my favorite.

The Plastic Sports Bottle
The pros of this is that it was free at a school event. It was the first bottle I carried regularly. The plastic nozzle and squeezable sides make it easy to drink quickly without mess. It's also fairly light.

The downsides is that it's plastic, and I'm not sure how recyclable. It also doesn't keep water cold very long, though slightly longer than the Kleen Canteen. It will wear out faster, and it can absorb tastes from the water.

The Insulated Thermos
This is my absolute favorite. Mine is made by Contigo and is quite solid. It has the nice controlled nozzle, doesn't pour unless the button is pressed, and keeps my tea warm for about three hours and my lemonade cold for even longer. It stores 14oz.

Downsides? It's big and a bit heavy because of the insulation. It also has plastic parts, which aren't ideal but a necessary evil. The nozzle is a bit small. I'm not sure if it's possible to get them in recycled materials.

The conclusion: 

Water bottles are a personal choice based on your personal needs. I hope this makes it easier for you to use one; using a bottle is a great way to help reduce your impact. Remember, using a metal bottle at least 25 times makes it more ecologically friendly than the same number of plastic bottles.

Oh, and a random tip - any of the metal bottles can be used as an impromptu rolling pin - which has some other fun applications.

No comments:

Post a Comment