Drinks to Go (Revisited)

How did my beverage ambitions hold up over the course of a year?

Last year, as part of the April Eco-Challenge 2016, I attempted to get as zero waste as I could in one month’s time. I was ignorant enough to believe that I could do it, too. 🙂

We already were outfitted with stainless steel water bottles, a re-usable coffee mug, and mason jar/glasses and lids. We were already using them regularly, so to step up the challenge level, I also committed to getting rid of plastic beverage containers. Seltzers, sodas, juices, that sort of thing.


I did just buy two large plastic soda bottles. I did so for the caffeine, but also to put the empties, filled with water, in our two toilet tanks to displace the need for some of the water. We’ve done this in previous homes and my husband is pretty sure that the plastic is gentler on the hardware than other materials.

Truth be told, though, we have back slid as a family and I had largely forgotten this resolution. Certainly we were buying less, but the blanket ban didn’t hold. We also switched to buying our plant milk in a recyclable plastic container because we hated having to toss the cartons which are not taken in our area.

We don’t really use our plant milk as a beverage, though. It tends to be an ingredient or poured over cereal only.

Container Tips

Anyone in the market for a new water bottle should consider the brushed steel over the painted look, especially if they make use of a dishwasher. The brushed steel looks better far longer and will prevent re-purchase for cosmetic reasons. My first water bottle, one that had been painted green and had had trees on it once upon a time, looks quite sad. I sometimes consider buying a new one, but remind myself of how wasteful that would be.

We really like the Kid Kanteen (a product of Klean Kanteen). These sippy cups work so well, we now use them exclusively. The kids love them too. I’m buying a sports top for my eldest as he will be entering kindergarten soon. It will fit the same bottle so the transition isn’t so wasteful.

The smallish, regular mouthed mason jars work wonderfully as kid’s glasses (and they’re pretty replaceable if you’ve ever been worried over keeping a full set of matching glasses). We have sometimes used Cuppow lids and rings to make them into sippy cups, but they are aging out of this. (Also, they’re made from plastic so many zero wasters would probably not like these.)

Going Forward

I’m still committed to transitioning to a zero waste lifestyle and we’ve already seen tremendous gains in our progress (especially since returning to cloth diapers).

Going forward, I see us buying our plant milk in recyclable plastic, but keeping the rest of our beverages in aluminum or glass. We tend to buy these infrequently and take them to our local bottle return. We tend to take wine bottles to the recycling center.

I really like Bea Johnson’s idea (Zero Waste Home) about bottling events, but I’ll have to wait at least 6 more months (and my baby being born) to feel motivated enough to see if there’s anything like that locally.

So how about you? How has your beveraging system evolved over time? Did learning about zero waste lead you to make the switch or were you persuaded before by general eco-awareness? Let me know in the comments below!

Until next time, keep that talk walking!



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