About 12 years ago, I bought a water bottle with no water in it. I guess it was kind of a thing in the outdoors world, a bottle that you could take with you so you didn’t have to buy several bottles of Dasani or whatever every time you wanted to go on a hike. It worked out pretty well on the trail, so I just started taking it everywhere with me. I started to drink water often, because I heard that the human body works better if it has water in it. Seems to be working OK so far.
Since that first water bottle, I’ve gone through a few different water bottles, some plastic, some stainless steel. The current one I have is blue, and silver in spots where the blue has chipped off over the past year and a half. It works pretty well for the one thing I ask of it: to hold water and not leak said water all over my other stuff. High-five, water bottle.
So let’s break it down. What are some of the good things about this “reusable water bottle” concept?
#1: It saves money. That’s right. I drink probably three liters of water a day. If I drank all that water in the form of bottled water, I’d spend $5 a day. Even if I halved my water consumption, I’d spend $2.50 a day, or $912.50 a year. Or if I bought my bottled water in bulk at KMart, I’d spend $1.25 a day, or $456 a year. I mean, what kind of fucking aristocrat do you have to be to afford to drink bottled water? What’s next, paying for bottled air to breathe? So I just fill up my water bottle using faucets and water spigots.
Yeah, I paid $29 for this bottle when I bought it, but at my highly-addicted rate of drinking water, I figure it’s saved me $600 to $1,300 in the past year and a half. And I suppose I spent that money I saved on espresso or burritos, two things that take some actual skill to produce, unlike water, which flows over the surface of the earth, and is apparently filtered and tested multiple times daily in U.S. municipalities (big asterisk here for the jerks who are responsible for the current debacle in Flint, Michigan). And then a soda company bottles the water and sells it to you in a plastic bottle, or you stick it to the man and get your own reusable water bottle and fill it yourself while imaginary cash registers cha-ching in your head.
#2: I don’t have to dispose of it every time I empty it. It’s saved me from having to lug 1,000+ plastic bottles to a recycling bin somewhere over the span of a year, or otherwise deal with them. I mean, if you threw one plastic bottle into the corner of your living room every day, you’d have a mega-pile of them by the end of the year. Not to mention this visual reminder of your exorbitance. Or perhaps you’re into that, and you’d use it to show off, like “Look what a rich son of a bitch I am—I just drink out of these containers once and toss them in the corner. That’s right, I PAY for super-special bottled water. Every day.” Anyway, I have a pretty small apartment, so it’s not really an option.
#3: Convenience. Most reusable water bottles are sturdy, and way harder to spill than, say, a glass of water from your kitchen cupboard at home. You can put the cap on, twist it until it’s tight, and then turn the bottle sideways, upside-down, whatever. Then it can roll around on the floor of your car, or hang out in a backpack with your laptop computer and you don’t have to worry about the water leaking out everywhere. Not to talk shit about glasses, but really, their usage is pretty limited when it comes to travel. When’s the last time you saw someone hauling ass through the airport to catch a flight with a glass of water in their hand? Yeah, that’s what I mean. Yet with my water bottle, I recently did just that—and was able to stop and fill it up from a “water fountain,” a source of free water that flows out of airport walls at the mere push of a button.
Overall, as far as water storage and delivery receptacles go, I give reusable water bottles a thumbs-up. From the bottom of the Grand Canyon to the top of the Grand Teton to every airport I’ve been through, and all the other places I don’t want to lug a 26-pound 24-pack of bottled water, reusable water bottles have been there for me.
Five out of five stars. Would fill up with water and drink from again.
More stories like this in my new book, Bears Don’t Care About Your Problems, out now.