Thank you for taking on this action! We are here to give you the lowdown, plus some tips and hints to make sure your brand new habit sticks for good. Let’s do it!
Table of Contents
Why switch to a refillable bottle?
For the planet
With the average person in the UK purchasing 150 plastic water bottles a year (156 per person in the USA) there is a lot of plastic to be saved.
In fact, one million plastic bottles are sold around the world every single minute!
For your health
Disposable plastic bottles are reported to contain toxins, but it’s easy to find refillable bottles that are toxin-free. Also, if you’re carrying a bottle you’re actively encouraged to refill so in theory you’ll stay better hydrated.
For your pocket
With the average cost of bottled water being 65p in the UK and tap water costing less than 1p per litre, it’s a no-brainer that money will be saved! Although there’s an initial upfront cost for a refillable bottle it will cost less in the long run.
For your taste buds
You can fill it with whatever you like! Got some leftover smoothie? Put it in your bottle. Fancy squash or juice instead of water today? No problem – fill up your bottle. You get the idea – your bottle is versatile and you are in control of what goes into it (and into your body!)
Selecting your bottle
Now for the fun part – choosing the best bottle for you! Some pointers to consider are:
- Material: Plastic is light and durable. Glass is fully recyclable but heavy and breakable. Metal is heavy but durable. Where possible buy a bottle made from recycled content and toxin-free.
- Size: If you’re using it to fill up at the office water cooler or refilling frequently at water fountains then a small bottle should be sufficient. But if you aren’t likely to have access to a tap, we’d suggest a minimum of one litre to last until your next refill.
Something you may want to consider is if it’ll fit comfortably in your car’s cup holder or bikes bottle cage. Some bottle manufacturers sell specialist bottle cages to make sure your bottle is secure for your ride.
- Insulation: Many insulated bottles can keep drinks either hot or cold for over 12 hours! Because it keeps the bottle hot, it can be used for tea or coffee – 2 for the price of 1.
- Leakproof: Check that the bottle is fully leakproof. Be careful for “sports” style caps or bottles advertised as “spill-proof” or “spill-resistant” – this does not mean they are completely watertight.
- Filters: There are two types of water filter bottles. The first is the simple carbon filter, which turns tap water into great-tasting filtered water. The second option is a water filtration bottle. They are a little more impressive, but less likely to be necessary if you live somewhere with safe drinking water. These bottles include an integrated filter which removes up to 99.9% of contaminants. Decent filtration bottles make dirty water drinkable. If you’re an avid traveller and often find yourself in areas without drinkable water, this could be a huge saver for you.
- Fruit: Fruit infusing bottles include a little “cage” inside the bottle. Fill the cage with fruit and herbs and it infuses the water. Our favourites are lemon, mint, lime or cucumber.
Know where to refill
It’s now easier than ever to refill on the go. There have been many initiatives encouraging local venues to allow people (even non-customers) to refill for free so pop into any cafe, restaurant, shop, supermarket, community spaces, pub or library and ask them to refill your bottle. Many towns and cities are installing public water fountains to make it easier to ditch disposables.
There are a couple of useful websites/apps which help give you confidence in finding places happy to refill, check out Refill and Refill my bottle.
Caring for your bottle
Your bottle may come with specific cleaning or care instructions so check these out.
Even though your bottle might only carry water, it still needs to be cleaned regularly. Screw caps, straws and sports caps can all be a breeding ground for mould and bacteria so make sure your bottle gets a thorough daily clean and leave to air dry with the lid off.
If your bottle’s nooks and crannies need a deeper clean, it might be worth investing in a set of small bottle brushes – or try an old toothbrush. This is a particularly good idea if you fill your bottle with anything other than water, as sugary or sticky drinks encourage bacteria growth faster than water.
Check out the ‘How to clean my bottle’ hack category for tips on cleaning your bottle.
Remembering your bottle
Here are a few tips for making sure your bottle is always with you:
– Put a note somewhere you’ll see it, like on the fridge door or your steering wheel. It can also be helpful to move the note around in case you stop noticing it
– Set a reminder on your phone or schedule an email to send to yourself every morning.
– If brushing your teeth is your final job before heading out, put your bottle next to the sink. One member of the Ailuna team has been known to stuff their bottle into one of their shoes!
If you have no choice but to buy a disposable bottle, don’t worry! These things happen and you’ll be back on track tomorrow.
Check out the ‘Remembering my bottle’ hack category for tips on remembering your bottle.
We hope these tips and tricks help you to start a brand new, eco-friendly habit.
If you need extra help, motivation, want to chat or show off your new habit then come chat to us, and other people taking the Refill your bottle action in the community, we’ll be waiting for you!