Sunday, June 21, 2009

Going BPA free

Well, i've finally done it, I have started the road to replacing my BPA laden Nalgene bottles. Yes I know i'm about a year behind the rest of the world, but to be honest i've been resisting. I've ben resisting for 2 main reasons really, these are alongside the scientific 'discussions' going on to whether BPA is as harmful to adults as it is to children, and the fact that i've been using Nalgene bottles on a daily basis for much of my adult life, is one more year really going to make a difference? 

My 2 reasons - 1) The waste involved in getting rid of the many (many) Nalgene bottles I own; and 2) I use so many of them all the time, replacing them is going to be costly. 

So to put this in context, I own probably ~8 1L bottles, and 2 500ml bottles. Not sure exactly until I round them all up. When you go to the Antarctic you were (are no longer) given a 1L Nalgene bottle to use on the cruise/fieldwork - a good plan to keep people healthy and hydrated - but you obviously don't return these as part of the other kit you borrow, so over the years I have built up quite a collection of Nalgene bottles, many with stickers and sentiments on them that remind me of specific cruises or excursions. At the moment, if you were to open my fridge, you would see 4 full 1L Nalgene bottles and a full 500ml Nalgene bottle, as well as the Sigg bottle (a bday present to myself), also full. If you were to open my freezer you would see 2 further bottles with water frozen in them. 

Living in Hawaii, hydration is so important, and something I really space on. Having 1L bottles full of things like gatorade and juice on hand in the fridge, and to take to work, helps keep me on track. I always keep 2 bottles in the freezer too - when going to the beach or on a hike, throw one in the back of the car and it's still cold when you get back for some refreshment. Running has meant this has gone into overload, as well as using them to contain milk (from powder) and nutrition shakes (easily digestible calories pre-run), I always have a couple on hand with gatorade to grab after a run. I always take a nalgene backpacking too - not only is it easier to fill from a stream than a platypus (which I also take), but I also have a coffee maker for it and use it as a hot water bottle in my sleeping bag at night. So many uses that an aluminum bottle (as much as I love my Sigg for other uses) just won't fill. 

So today I bought a 1L and a 500ml bottle. Obviously I will still be using my other bottles, but I'll start using the BPA free ones the most and just occasionally use the others. Eventually I guess I will buy more and they will get phased out, i've never had one break (even after dropping off a cliff onto sharp lava!), so i'm not suspecting any will anytime soon.....

We don't recycle #7 plastic here - so what can I do with my old bottles? I don't want to (in fact won't) throw them away. I don't want to give them away as that just keeps people drinking out of BPA plastics. 

I found this website with some ideas - I like the waterproof first aid kit idea for kayak trips, maybe one will become my button box and I like the idea of a kid and car friendly crayon holder and love the solar cap. Any other ideas out there? 

If anyone needs any Nalgenes for art projects by the way, I know where you might be able to get some.....


nicola said...

ditto on the reasonings for me. we have replaced any of the bottles/cups the kids were using that weren't BPA/pthalate-free (very few, thank goodness) and added stainless steel to their mix. (we went with klean kanteens, because at that price, i didn't like that sigg won't say what their bottles are coated with!)

but i haven't replaced all our old nalgenes. (we have the same cruise pile you do, c/o stian!) i have added a klean kanteen for myself, since i decant into the kids' cups, but i stopped there.

REI supposedly properly disposes of the BPA plastic bottles, so if you can't recycle them there and want to mail them to me, i will recycle them for you!

RGW said...

The tests for Sigg bottles have come out with the same levels of BPA as glass (ie, none), so I trust them and they're pretty rugged (I still own one from my teenage years that although severely battered has no holes!). For me it's the taste of "metal taint" in the water I don't like so haven't gone for the KKs, but I think it is great there are pure metal ones on the market.

Great to know about REI, and thanks for the recycle offer, I might take you up on that!

PleaseRecycle said...

I like the idea of using for waterproof storage. It would make a great car first aid kit too.

I also like to keep a few containers full of ice in the freezer to throw in the cooler instead of ice cubes (we don't have an ice maker).