How to Find a Non-Toxic, Eco Water Bottle

Our Guide to Buying a Safe, BPA Free Water Bottle

We’ve all reached for a bottle of water when on a road trip, out of the office for the day, or looking for a quick, refreshing beverage after a long hike, and it shows - demand for bottled water increased 57% between 1999 and 2004 to 154 billion litres (41 billion gallons) with Americans leading the way.[1] WE love the convenience of individual packages of water that we can use up and throw away. Not surprisingly, this one-use water bottle habit is costing our planet and making us poorer to boot!

That’s because all of this disposable water bottle consumption is an incredible waste, as you’ll likely already know if you’ve read our take on the problems with plastic water bottles. But here’s a quick summary of why you shouldn’t be using plastic water bottles:

  • Wastes money compared to reusable bottles
  • More energy intensive than tap water
  • Requires more oil and fossil fuel use than tap water
  • Uses water inefficiently, contributing to growing worldwide water shortages
  • Results in enormous quantities of un-recycled waste


What to look for in an reusable eco water bottle

In today’s safe water bottle market, there are several choices from which you can choose depending on your use patterns, budget, and style considerations.

  • Stainless steel: This is a highly durable, convenient option for safe water bottles. They can be used for hot liquids, are most often dishwasher safe, won’t shatter if dropped (though they can dent), are lightweight, and come in a variety of fun shapes, sizes, and colors for every member of your family. These are also 100% recyclable!
  • Glass: Another inert material that won’t leach chemicals into your beverages, glass is a safe bet and great for use at the office or around the house. Glass water bottles can be somewhat heavy and prone to breakage, so aren’t as convenient for use on-the-go. That said, if you add a foam style carrier to your glass water bottle, you can avoid breakage and make carrying easier.
  • Aluminum: This is a very lightweight material used to make many types of water bottles. It is durable and shatter-resistant, although can’t always be washed in the dishwasher. Though there have been concerns about aluminum’s connection to disease like Alzheimer’s, studies have cast doubt on the notion. Nevertheless, if you’re concerned stainless steel makes a safer water bottle choice. Aluminum bottles are also recyclable.
  • Safe plastic water bottles: If plastic works best for your lifestyle, be sure to stay away from plastic #3 (polyvinyl chloride or PVC), plastic #6 (polystyrene or PS), and plastic #7 (polycarbonate) as these are known to leach chemicals. Plastic #5 (polypropylene or PP) is perhaps the best choice, though plastic #2 (high-density polyethylene plastic or HDPE) and plastic #4 (low-density polyethylene plastic or LDPE) are also okay.

But that’s not the end of the safe water bottle story. When shopping for nontoxic bottles for you and your family, look for these additional characteristics:

  • BPA-free: Bisphenol-A (BPA) has been used to line stainless steel water bottles as well as aluminum water bottles, and is also found in #7 polycarbonate plastic bottles. It’s an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is causing many human health problems for adults and children alike and should be avoided.
  • Mouth style: This is completely subjective depending on your preference. If you want to avoid spills, look for one with a push-pull or bite valve, otherwise go for one with a simple twist-off cap with either a narrow or wide mouth.
  • Bottle volume: Do you need enough water to last you the whole day or for just a short walk? Think about your needs and a bottle sized to suit your water requirements.
  • Carrying case: If you’re an active water bottle user, you may want to consider purchasing a  belt bottle holster or clip for your backpack so that you can carry your bottle around hands-free.
  • Insulator: Need to keep your water cool throughout the day? Look for a reusable water bottle insulation sleeve that will help regulate the temp of your beverage.


Find a great BPA-free, nontoxic water bottle

These companies currently make a wide range of water bottles with all of the characteristics we’ve been talking about. Look around to see which company has the right fit for you - you may even find one with a built-in filter!

For more information check out our article on plastic water bottles and their impact on the environment.



1  Bottled Water: Pouring Resources Down the Drain . (2006, February 2). Retrieved July 8, 2010, from Earth Policy Institute:

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