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Old 06-25-07, 04:06 PM   #1
sdime
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Alternative to Plastic Water Bottle

I just learned how damaging to the environment water bottles are. It's so bad that so governments are banning 'em. Has anyone found an alternative for the bottle cage? Something like aluminum or stainless steel, maybe.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007...rancisco_m.php

Those plastic bags from grocery stores are pretty bad too. I'll have to ask for paper from now on.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:11 PM   #2
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so do you throw your bottles away after 1 or 2 uses? I get a few years of use out a my bottles.

I suppose you could use a camel-back or something along those lines.

That article talks about single serving bottles. Most people use the more durable reusable bottles.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:25 PM   #3
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sdime - you seem to have missed the point of that article entirely.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:30 PM   #4
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Ascent Aluminum Water Bottle- $6.99 @ Performance

Zefal Aluminum Water Bottle- $5.99 @ Nashbar

I'm sure there are many others out there...just found these within a few minutes of looking around.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:34 PM   #5
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And yeah...the article was talking about single serving plastic water bottles that most people throw away after 1 use, not the reuseable plastic bottles commonly used by cyclists.
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Old 06-25-07, 04:35 PM   #6
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Aluminium bottles suck for cycling. I had a sigg bottle once, hot water in the winter burned my hand. Cold water in the summer had it sweating like crazy.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdime
I just learned how damaging to the environment water bottles are. It's so bad that so governments are banning 'em. Has anyone found an alternative for the bottle cage? Something like aluminum or stainless steel, maybe.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007...rancisco_m.php

Those plastic bags from grocery stores are pretty bad too. I'll have to ask for paper from now on.
It's scary how ill-informed you are. Bicycle water bottles are not single use applications. I get several years out of my bottles and when they're too messed up for use on the bike I reuse them in other applications on a per bottle basis.

As for Paper bags vs Plastic
Compared to paper grocery bags, plastic grocery bags consume 40 percent less energy, generate 80 percent less solid waste, produce 70 percent fewer atmospheric emissions, and release up to 94 percent fewer waterborne wastes.

If you REALLY want to make an impact you can do what we do in my household.

We do a larger portion of our shopping at Save-A-Lot they actually CHARGE for bags there, but many of the item displays are done in their shipping boxes which makes them available to the consumer for free as well the stockers actually bring the boxes up to the front of the building near the check out lines where the consumer is also allowed to rummage to find an appropriate size box. The boxes that we've used have all been recycled.

In addition, we also bring our own cloth bags to the stores and/ or tell the cashier not to bag our items. The few plastic bags that we DO get are reused as garbage can liners and as receptacles for used cat litter.

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Old 06-25-07, 05:21 PM   #8
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My wife (an RN) and I sat around and did an evening's worth of research on the subject of water bottles and here's what we came up with:

- single-use: Bad environmentally. Don't re-use, or they might be bad health-wise.
- Polyethylene multi-use: Fine.
- Polycarbonate (Nalgene & imitations): Could be bad for you.
- Aluminum: Most aluminum bottles are-- guess what? Coated with epoxy on the inside, so they're technically plastic. Couldn't get the health implications of the epoxy involved, though.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:25 PM   #9
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Sure cloth bags are better for the enviroment and at some stores you can save a few nickles or dimes if you use them. But I like them most as they are durable, never break and can carry far more far more easily than any plastic or paper bag. I can fit 3x the items in one cloth bag vs. paper or plastic - and the wide cloth handle is more comfortable than the 'cutting' handle of three plastic bags. Otherwise I use a backpack or mess bag for shopping, when on bike.

Right now there are two plastic shopping bags hanging very high up in tall trees in full view from my back porch. They have been there for over 4mo. Maybe they are not as bad for the environment in manufacture, but when they get loose (from garbage bins, trucks, etc.) they persist in uglyness. Never seen a paper bag so ugly.

Only problem is since we don't get any plastic (or paper) bags anymore, we no longer have under sink garbage bags.

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Old 06-25-07, 05:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbenaugust
- Aluminum: Most aluminum bottles are-- guess what? Coated with epoxy on the inside, so they're technically plastic. Couldn't get the health implications of the epoxy involved, though.
Real men use uncoated fuel bottles with raw aluminium. I'm sorry, what were we talking about?
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Old 06-25-07, 05:29 PM   #11
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Let's assume an average cyclist use one plastic bottle per year and an average cyclist cycle for 40 years. That's forty bottles per cyclist. Take that and times by total number of cyclists in the world. I'll guess that's a huge number. Besides, these bottles take hundreds of years to decompose. I prefer to use zero plastic bottle.

Regarding the grocery bags, I have thought about bringing my own cloth bags. I might try that soon. We've also stopped using plastic can liners, but it's been quite nasty. Garbage men probably don't like that idea either. I don't know how much longer that'll last.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:31 PM   #12
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I use the grocery bags as liners for the smaller trash cans around the house and they all get stuffed into 1 big bag at the end of the week.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:33 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
I use the grocery bags as liners for the smaller trash cans around the house and they all get stuffed into 1 big bag at the end of the week.
That is what I used to do, but instead of stuffing them in one big bag, took the garbage out every day or two or three (its a short walk to the alley)

But now I don't have any more plastic grocery bags and I refuse to buy garbage bags. I guess I need to remember to 'forget' my cloth bags once in a while.

Al
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Old 06-25-07, 05:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
Real men use uncoated fuel bottles with raw aluminium. I'm sorry, what were we talking about?
The thought had crossed my mind!
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Old 06-25-07, 05:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisebeam
That is what I used to do, but instead of stuffing them in one big bag, took the garbage out every day or two or three (its a short walk to the alley)

But now I don't have any more plastic grocery bags and I refuse to buy garbage bags. I guess I need to remember to 'forget' my cloth bags once in a while.

Al
But when you took those tiny grocery bags out, where'd you put them? Our garbage dudes HATE like, humongous piles of tiny tiny bags.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slvoid
But when you took those tiny grocery bags out, where'd you put them? Our garbage dudes HATE like, humongous piles of tiny tiny bags.
There is a giant (5' tall, 5' diameter) plastic garbage bin with lid on it in the alley - one bin serves perhaps 2-3 homes - collection comes by 1/wk and dumps contents into truck. The joys of suburban life.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdime
Let's assume an average cyclist use one plastic bottle per year and an average cyclist cycle for 40 years. That's forty bottles per cyclist. Take that and times by total number of cyclists in the world. I'll guess that's a huge number. Besides, these bottles take hundreds of years to decompose. I prefer to use zero plastic bottle.
The average cyclist uses 2 bottles which last about 10 years each. I certainly don't throw out my bottles after only one year!!


And .... are you willing to give me and all my coworkers a job, when you rid the world of plastics?
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Old 06-25-07, 05:44 PM   #18
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The average cyclist uses 2 bottles which last about 10 years each. I certainly don't throw out my bottles after only one year!!
I only ever aquired two water bottles in the past 3yrs. of heavy cycling, they both still work as good as new and will continue to for at least several more years. Loss is possible, but I'm pretty careful when and where I drink.

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Old 06-25-07, 05:46 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdime
Let's assume an average cyclist use one plastic bottle per year and an average cyclist cycle for 40 years. That's forty bottles per cyclist. Take that and times by total number of cyclists in the world. I'll guess that's a huge number. Besides, these bottles take hundreds of years to decompose. I prefer to use zero plastic bottle.
Again Bottles last WAY longer than a year. Most of mine are over 5 years old at this point, and the ones I've retired have been used for everything from shims to seedling pots.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:53 PM   #20
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Again Bottles last WAY longer than a year. Most of mine are over 5 years old at this point, and the ones I've retired have been used for everything from shims to seedling pots.
When I make my own powdered drink mixes I keep them in some of my older bottles, in the powdered state, not liquid.

And many plastic bottles can be taken down to your local recycling company rather than just tossing them out.
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Old 06-25-07, 05:56 PM   #21
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Bottom line is that whether you use one water bottle per year or for 5 or 10 years, thats not the problem. Its the yahoos who buy 1-3 per day and toss them that is the problem. 500+ per year!

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Old 06-25-07, 05:58 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by sdime
Let's assume an average cyclist use one plastic bottle per year and an average cyclist cycle for 40 years. That's forty bottles per cyclist.
Except some of us are so cheap our bottles last years.
This issue is unrelated to teh single use bottles that fill the trash cans.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:01 PM   #23
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.
This issue is unrelated to teh single use bottles that fill the trash cans.
On the issue of single use bottles ... don't most people recycle them? There are recycling bins for them EVERYWHERE! Unless I simply cannot locate a recycling bin (very rare), I toss all my recyclable bottles, cans, paper, etc. into those big blue bins.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:18 PM   #24
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On the issue of single use bottles ... don't most people recycle them? There are recycling bins for them EVERYWHERE! Unless I simply cannot locate a recycling bin (very rare), I toss all my recyclable bottles, cans, paper, etc. into those big blue bins.
I know I recycle them. Either the "official" way or I use them for other things around the house. I once fixed my old Mini systems five disc changer using half a plastic soda bottle cap.
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Old 06-25-07, 06:21 PM   #25
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There is a lot of hysterics about plastic water bottles copied around the web. Much of it is published by web sellers of competing products. As far as calling Nalgene bottles unsafe (those labeled with #7 on the molded bottom) due to the theoretical leaching properties of polycarbonate (phthalates), I suspect the risk is extremely low, probably nil (now no b**ch t*t jokes, please!). There certainly seems to be no sound evidence of leaching in typical use with consumable beverages. Most bottles get flushed, cleaned and stored dry (or at least drying), the leaching between filling to drinking is minimal. LDPE, (polyethylene, #4) seems to escape criticism. That is the material most cheap shop promo water bottles are molded from anyway.

As far as alternatives go, the Sigg and Sigg-copies are aluminum alloy with some kind of resin liner that is supposedly food safe. (Strangely, they are no longer considered fuel safe due to temperature-induced expansion of hydrocarbon stove fuels when filled and subsequent ruptures and leakage). I guess I am betraying my age, but I remember Sigg was the fuel bottle for backpacking, about the time the Svea 123 was the stove to use. Oh well. They look cool, anyway.

My only gripe about the Sigg is that they are thin-walled and dent easily and that bubble-topped twist-open spout is low-flow compared to squeezing a drink from a LDPE bottle. The steel bottles, like the Kleen Canteen have a retro cool look, but like other single-wall metal bottles, they don't insulate as well as the cheap plastic bottles, you can't squeeze them and they are heavier, if weight shaving is an issue. One nice thing is that they are wide-mouthed, so you can drink easily from them, like with a glass.

I have bought them all and I have come to the conclusion the plastic bottles, while not the best looking, are still the most practical. It doesn't hurt that they are a lot cheaper, either.
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