Blinging your Reusable Water Bottle! If you love it, you’ll use it.
December 10, 2019
The above stainless steel water bottles were personalized by Dr. JP who teaches multiple levels of advanced physics at a local high school. When I saw these pictures on his Facebook Feed, I immediately asked him if I could use them for this blog and he was kind enough to readily agree. He wrote, “I think in 20 years, we will all look back on how much plastic and styrofoam we used and think, ‘What in the hell were we thinking?!? A disposable bottle every time we got thirsty?’ ” Indeed Dr. JP, you are so wise.
That same week at our large clinic meeting, one of our well-meaning staff held up her hand and asked if we can just ban single-use water bottles outright. Why not install water filling stations throughout our large medical office buildings? She also made a flyer and posted it in the lunchroom, asking folks to sign a pledge to avoid plastic water bottles. I think about 10 people have signed her petition. It is still attached to our office fridge as a reminder. Officially it takes a large organization a long time to enact change, and as a middle manager I cannot make unilateral decisions about the facilities. I can’t just approve thousands of dollars right now to redo the plumbing of a building and install water filling stations. I had bought a water cooler for our office with my own money about 3 years ago. It’s in our back nurse’s station and at least there we have refillable water for our staff to avoid single-use plastics. And I can’t ban employees from using a product, this is America and we have freedoms and the freedom to chose single-use plastics versus reusable water bottle versus dehydration. But I understand her frustrations and I will move it up the chain of command with my full support.
Until then, what can the drplasticpickers and like-minded folks do? We can notice and compliment people on their reusable water bottles! We should know our water bottle’s story. I think if you love it, you’ll bring it and you’ll use it! I have stopped buying plastic water bottles for the office and asked everyone to bring their reusable bottles. So let me text some of my friends now and ask them about their water bottles. This will be a subsequent post. I will first ask my family members. “Do you use a reusable water bottle?” I am sitting in my kitchen.
Mr. Plastic Picker (he is still at work and I text him): “No. I use a mug.” I texted back probingly, “What does it look like?” His reply text, “It’s your Curious George mug.” Then be proceeds to ask me about when my friend is coming as she is dropping off cookies for our family. She is a great baker and they are in cookie tins this year! Sublte influence? Not sure but the tin is BEAUTIFUL and no plastic. The cookies are DELICIOUS. Trying to eat just one a day.
Tall High School Son (he wanders into the kitchen from his room, tossing his favorite cyclindrical green pillow, a habit since early childhood): “I don’t really use a reusable water bottle. I use the drinking fountain.” Hmm, I’ve purchased him multiple ones I thought he was using them. He goes back to his room to study for his quiz.
Middle School Daughter (upstairs, so I stand at the base of the stairs and shout my question): She wanders down mid stair level and answers in a normal voice, “Not really. I don’t really carry a water bottle because I keep on forgetting it and they spill. I drink out of the water fountain at school. At home I use a mug. In the lunchroom at school, I use the glasses they have.” She goes back to her homework. She is a good daughter and patient with her mother, who is texting random questions to people.
Millenial Younger Brother (he is probably at the gym when I text him, and our exchange is rapid fire text): “I do. My Nalgene bottle.” I probed further whether it had any special meaning to him. “It does! I got it on my first climbing trip in the US. Been using it for years. It’s been on top of many summits over the years.” He is a climber of large peaks throughout the world.
I use several reusable water bottles. I often forget them but when I do I will wait until I get to a nearby water fountain or use the ceramic mugs at work. The one I love is the one that spills the most but I persist in using it. It’s a plastic red one with a black top. The mouth spout cover is actually pretty flimsy and if I try to bring it on a hike it will spill. I use it mostly for the car and in my office. It has Girl Scouts in white lettering and small white flowers overlying the red plastic. My Middle-School daughter received it the first summer she did Girl Scout day camp when she was in 2nd grade. She gave that water bottle to me, so I cherish it and use it.
Below is a reusable water bottle I found on the beach during my plastic picking trips. In total I have probably salvaged 8 of them. They are not my top category of salvagable items accordinly to my frequency table https://drplasticpicker.com/plastic-picking-round-up/. But these items are very powerful as they have the ability to reduce single-use plastics and hydrate humans if used properly. So I think Dr. JP is onto something when he personalized his water bottle. If he Blings the Bottle, he makes it special and it gives it meaning. I don’t get many comments, but I would love to hear about how you blinged your water bottle, or the story behind yours.