Water is something we all need and use all day long. Probably, it's safe to say, it the most necessary and most consumed element throughout any human lifetime. In fact, I recently read that an astounding percentage of our blood, our bones, and even our brains are each made up of water! So, of course, it's important to make sure the water you are drinking is 1) good water and 2) you and your whole family are drinking enough of it. For years, I spent hours each day commuting to work, and during that time, which included my pregnancy and record-breaking heat waves, I got real thirsty and started carrying water bottles with me more often. Here's what I learned:
1) You will save a LOT of money by buying reusable bottles and refilling them at home instead of buying bottled water. You will also save A LOT of landfill, obviously, also, so it's a double win. And it's been in the news frequently lately that many bottled waters sold in stores are not that good for you, anyway.
2) You will do yourself and your family a lot of good by taking a simple water test if you are concerned about the quality of your drinking water at home. (The EPA has information here: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/faq/pdfs/fs_homewatertesting.pdf) You can then buy any number of filters, from pitcher filters to under-sink filters, home filters and even simple small bottle filters, to suit your needs.
3) When you are choosing reusable water bottles for your family, think about your various needs and the bottles' durability, quality and size. Most are metal, but some have BPA or aluminum coatings, which you want to avoid. After a lot of research while I was pregnant, my husband opted for the Klean Kanteen and we bought 4, which we still use daily, years later, and we love them. There is a great selection and an offer for 20% off here http://www.freshwatersystems.com/p-3977-klean-kanteen-classic-27-oz-stainless-steel-water-bottle.aspx?utm_source=Googlebase&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Product&utm_term=K27SS&gclid=CIyTjYT9sbkCFcqe4AodFQ0A0A
4) You want to find water bottles with the best dispenser for your needs. For instance, for our toddler, we got the small, 12 oz Klean Kanteen with the "sport top," here http://www.discountfilterstore.com/water-bottle-klean-kanteen-stainless-12oz-sport-top.html?fquery=k12pps
5) Many people I know also like the Camelbak brand, which is plastic but BPA free and is lighter than metal. Also, this one can also be carried on your back, so it's great for camping, hiking, skiing, or other activities that take a long time and can dehydrate you more.
6) When you are stocking up on emergency water at home (it is recommended to store at least 1 gallon per person per day, and to prepare for a minimum of 3-4 days in case of natural disaster), a great way to store your water is to purchase cheap glass water bottles like these from Ikea, http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/40227983/ and just fill them with clean water every so often. This way, you can pour out and refresh your emergency supply, and you can also just enjoy using the glass bottles at home to keep water cool in your fridge for instance. If you buy plastic gallons, they expire and they can taste bad and retain many toxins, especially when left in the sun or heat so beware! I've personally wasted a bunch of money on this over the years and I'm much happier with my glass bottle solution.
Do you buy water bottles or use your own? Do you use water filters at home?