I love water. Ask yourself the following question: “If I could only have one beverage for the rest of my life, what would it be?” My answer would be hands-down, “WATER!” I probably drink 2 sodas a year. I rarely drink juice and occasionally drink Kool-Aid. However, I add a drink mix to my water every morning for breakfast. My usual breakfast consists of a Jimmy Dean D-Lites breakfast sandwich and a bottle of Crystal Light Energy drink.
This website is a repository of information that I either want to share or be able to review later for myself. This is a sharing article.Whenever I need to do research or learn something, I like to share that information, since other people are undoubtedly looking for the same answers.
I use a water cooler at home. I get those huge 5-gallon bottles delivered to my house every month. This was particularly useful when my daughter played soccer and needed large quantities of water for games, practices, and conditioning. However, this week I received a letter from my water delivery company telling me that my cost would be going up $0.50 a bottle. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but that amounts to $12 a year in my household. This triggered me to evaluate my entire drinking system.
Evaluation of my current system
In some cities, the tap water is delicious. Not where I live. It is heavily chlorinated and often smells like the river that it comes from. I will cook pasta or other things that get drained in the tap water, but I used bottled water for cooking rice or making Jell-o. These items retain their water after cooking. I NEVER drink the tap water. I dislike it that much. I do drink it at restaurants (usually with a little lemon to kill the taste), but most restaurants filter their water.
Refrigerator Water Dispenser
When I bought my refrigerator, I made sure and get one with an ice and water dispenser because of the begging that my daughter did. It came with a new filter and I ran the appropriate amount of water through the filter to clear it. It tasted horrible. I ran it every day for a while then put a new filter in. It tasted like the old plastic. Neither she nor I have ever been able to drink that water.
I’ve had a water cooler in my home for around a decade. I love being able to get cold, fresh water on demand to drink or refill bottles. I love the hot water tap for making hot tea or hot cocoa.
I use the bottled water for drinking and cooking. I generally go through about 10 gallons of water a month.
I also find it very convenient to have the bottles picked up and delivered to my front door. However, this service costs me $15 – $20 a month.
I buy bottled water at the grocery store regularly. I get 24 16.9-oz bottles for around $3. We use these bottles for traveling and for drink mixes. When we travel, we throw several bottles in the cooler and just recycle the empties when we get home.
I drink about 12 ounces of Crystal Light Energy Drink every morning with my breakfast. So I’m a regular user. I use the disposable bottles and reuse them about 5 times before tossing them. Here’s how my system works:
- Grab a new, cold bottle of water from the refrigerator. Take a small drink and add the Crystal Light packet. (It needs to mix with 16 oz of water, not 16.9)
- Eat breakfast and drink about 12 ounces. Place the remaining drink back in the refrigerator.
- The next day, get another new bottle and mix the Crystal Light. After drinking 12 ounces, pour the remaining drink into the other bottle making it about half full.
- Add water to the bottle from the water cooler and mix another Crystal Light packet into the water. Mark the lid to indicate that this is the second use of this bottle.
- The next day, grab the full bottle and drink 12 ounces. Pour the remaining drink into the other bottle, making it 3/4 full. Mix and mark the the used bottle as the 3rd use.
- The next day, do the same. Once finished, you will now have 2 full bottles of Crystal Light in the refrigerator. One is on it’s first use, the other is on its 4th.
- The next day, drink out the marked bottle, leaving 1/4 of the drink.
- The next day, drink out of the full first-use bottle and pour remaining drink into the 4th-use bottle.
- When it’s time to drink out of the 4th-use bottle, recycle it.
All of that may seem a little complicated, but here’s why I do it:
After 4 uses (3 refills) you can see a film in the bottom of the bottle. See the markings on my lid? Because I only drank 12 ounces and it was difficult to wash cups properly at work, I went with this system. It works for me, but it seems kind of wasteful. I’d like to reduce the number of bottles I use.
As I decide on a new system, there are some things to take into consideration.
Does reusing bottles cause cancer?
We’ve all seen the crazy emails telling us not to reuse bottles because we’ll get cancer. As with any urban legend, it was time to check that at Snopes.com. Basically, there ARE no dioxins, and nothing gets released from the plastic by freezing or reusing bottles. However, if they get heated, a chemical does get released. It doesn’t cause cancer, but it is harmful so you’ll want to avoid that.
Being a responsible citizen
I like to think I’m an average citizen. I’m not eco-crazy and won’t really do much out of my way for the environment. I recycle because my city makes it easy. I just keep a separate trash can for recyclables and throw them in the “Rosie” – the blue bin for my trash pick up. I drive everywhere. I don’t drive a gas guzzler, but I’m not paying extra for a hybrid. I use CFLs. I clean with paper towels and use paper napkins daily.
Even though I recycle my water bottles, I still feel a little guilty using them. I would feel better if I were to go entirely to reusable drinking bottles.
Is it dishwasher safe?
Let’s be realistic. I have to be able to toss my water bottle and all of its parts into the dishwasher.
I need to be able to use tap water for cooking and making Kool-Aid. I have to have a way to filter this. That means I either need a whole-house water softener and filtration system – nice but too expensive. Or I need a tap filter. This seemed like a better solution.
After doing some research on Amazon (I love reading reviews), I decided to buy this one:
After using it for a while, I’ll come back and review it.
Refrigerator Water Dispenser
I decided to buy one more filter and give this a try. I’ll come back and let you know how it worked.
I’m implementing all of these other systems first, and once I’m happy with the solutions, I’ll be ending this service.
My goal is to eliminate my store-bought bottled water use. To that end, I need to have cold water available at all times in my refrigerator. I could buy a filtered water pitcher, but it won’t be necessary since I’m already filtering my tap water. So I decided to get a decent water pitcher. I wanted to make sure it was airtight so no flavors from the fridge air leak into the water. Yuck.
If this works out well, I come back and post it.
Drink Mixes and Travel Bottles
I need to be able to add my Crystal Light and shake it up. I need to be able to throw my bottles in the dishwasher. They need to fit in my car cupholder for travel. They need to be smaller so I can buy multiples and swap for cold ones in the cooler while driving long distances. They need to be BPA-free and have a great seal. After reading a lot of reviews on Amazon, I chose a Nalgene bottle.
Again, after I’ve used this for a while I’ll come back and let you know.
Once I get rid of my water cooler, I’m really going to miss my hot water spout. I decided that rather than microwave my water, I’d prefer a hot water dispenser of some sort for my home. I decided to get this one: