#5. Buy a water filter and stainless steel or glass beverage containers, make your own beverages
We as individuals and also as a society have become so accustomed to beverages in plastic bottles that we often don’t even think there might be a better way – easier, cheaper, less energy consumptive. With the growing concerns about the chemicals from plastic leaching into your beverage or food, there is a double benefit in finding a better way.
Think back over the last few days and record what you drank. Did any of it come in paper, Styrofoam or plastic? There are many strategies for reducing or even eliminating the use of disposable containers for liquids.
Water: Bottled water does not have to be commercial. If you have a high quality filter or reverse osmosis system in your home, you can fill reusable stainless steel or glass beverage container to take with you for use during the day. This eliminates entirely the use of fossil fuels to manufacture the plastic bottle, transport it to the bottling plant, fill it and then transport it to your store. You can add any flavors that you enjoy (grade A essential oils are a great choice, just one drop per bottle).
Iced Tea: You can cold brew iced tea by putting two tea bags in a quart jar, filling it with filtered water, and placing it in the refrigerator overnight. Then add whatever you like (sweetener, lemon or lime, etc.) and pour into your reusable glass or stainless container and off you go.
Coffee: Many Dunkin Donuts and Stewards (and perhaps other coffee shops) sell refillable cups. Often you get a break on the price if you provide your own cup. Of course, coffee brewed at home is more economical and convenient once you get in the habit.
Soda: This almost impossible to avoid the plastic, travel costs and waste of the product when it goes flat. Soda has been shown to promote tooth decay, mess with your insulin levels and create an acid environment that de-mineralizes your bones. When you add these health costs to their energy cost, finding alternatives is a great solution. Many wonderful mints can be easily grown, brewed and bottled at home. There are a great variety of commercial teas, herbal teas and grain based coffee substitutes available. Experiment until you find ones that you absolutely love. You will not miss soda if you are drinking a flavorful (and many times health-giving) beverage.
Milk: For milk, too, is hard to avoid the disposable container, but several local dairies still bottle milk in glass. The quality of the milk is very high and the flavor excellent. Check out Farmers’ Markets and health food stores for milk in glass. Google
“Milk in glass bottles Albany NY” to find other local sources.
Water is more important than food and with modern filtering devices, water can be pure and health giving. Whatever your present sources of water, personally treating it to remove chemicals, off-flavors and even mineral salts, will yield great tasting water at a fraction of the cost of commercially bottled water. You will be doing your part in preserving those aquifers where they harvest water to ship all over the U.S.