Join My Water Bottle Challenge

Lemon Stripes Water Bottle Challenge

Lately I’ve been seeing all kinds of memes and quotes about the fact that this decade is ending in less than three months. It’s really had me thinking about what I could do in that short amount of time to end the decade with a bang. Last week I was heading back from an event in the city when I saw a plastic water bottle in the car. A lightbulb went off and I decided then and there to make a commitment:

I will not buy one more plastic water bottle in this decade. Not for myself, not for my daughter, not for my husband.

I felt so good about that decision that I shared it on my Instagram stories. I asked my followers, with an Instagram poll, if they would join me in this commitment. 6,207 people voted that they would, in fact, join in this challenge. 6,000 people! I was so jazzed up that I literally started shaking.

Let’s figure that 50% of those 6,207 people were aimlessly tapping things with their thumb and 50% of those have already forgotten about it. Even with that, we have 1550 people committed to the cause. Let’s estimate that those people buy/use an average of 3 plastic water bottles per week. That factors in those who buy them daily and those who rarely do at all.

There are 10 weeks left in the decade, so multiply that by the 3 water bottle average and you have 30 water bottles per person on average from now until Jan 1. Multiply that by 1550 and you have 46,500 water bottles.

That’s 46,500 water bottles that we, collectively, could save from landfills and oceans and wherever else they end up.

And I think this is a really conservative estimate. I think that more than 1,550 of you will join me in this commitment and we can get that number up to 100,000.

Over 1 million plastic bottles are purchased every minute and nearly 80% of these end up in our landfills and oceans. At this rate, the amount of single-use plastic ending up in our oceans will outweigh fish by 2050, unless we make a change. (source)

That fact feels overwhelming and incredibly disturbing. It feels like as a single person, we can’t make a difference. But guess what? There is power in numbers. If we each make this small personal commitment, the ripple effect could be big.

There are amazing environmentalists out there who are living zero-waste lives and doing wonderful things. But I’m a busy mom who already has anxiety and can’t change and upturn my entire life overnight. Over the last few months, I’ve been making clean swaps here and there when they make sense for me and my family.

If you want to start making a change but don’t know where to start, this water bottle challenge is a great place to start and a great jumping-off point. And hopefully it will inspire all of us to do more.

The commitment:
All I’m asking of you is that you don’t buy a single plastic water bottle between now and December 31st, 2019. That’s it!

How to commit:
1. Just commit! Make the promise and keep it.
2. Invite your friends, family, and coworkers to commit as well by sharing this post or just telling them what you’re up to.
3. Share how you’re enjoying water without plastic bottles on social media with #LSWaterBottleChallenge

Some tips on going plastic-water-bottle free:
– Bring a reusable bottle wherever you go. I use this one in 22 oz (fits in my car’s cupholder) with a straw top.
– Always plan ahead. If you’re leaving the house for a long period of time, bring enough water or plan to stop somewhere where you can refill. Even airports have water fountains everywhere these days so it’s actually pretty to do. Even bring a reusable bottle to the movies.
Nicolette told me about Findtap, an app that helps you find refill stations wherever you are. If you don’t know where to refill, this is a great resource.
– Don’t forget your kids! We use this bottle for Amalia and bring it everywhere we go. I like it because it doesnt’ spill, water stays cold, and it’s easy to clean.
– This might not be true for everyone but historically, I’ve bought a bottle of water because it feels like a treat. It sounds silly now, but I think there’s something to that. Fill your glass or bottle up with lemon slices, frozen berries, or cucumber if you want to make it feel more special.
– I don’t personally have this, but my friends Grace and Jess rave about the Larq self-cleaning bottle. It filters your water for you so you can literally fill up anywhere without worrying about what’s in the water.

So are you in?

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  1. Cate Green said:

    This is brilliant! I’m in. My family is already pretty good about using/carrying our bottles, but your post made me think. I can look ahead to a few trips we have planned that we need to bring them along.

    10.20.19 · Reply
  2. Katie said:

    I remember this post! I felt HORRIBLE I accidentally said no, but it’s already something I try to do! SO IN!!!

    10.20.19 · Reply
  3. Jenny Ourand said:

    I’m in! My family already uses reusable water bottles daily but thought of this today when we went to the zoo and could’ve purchased plastic water bottles for the adults (we forgot ours)… but we found water fountains instead!!

    10.20.19 · Reply
  4. Bri said:

    I’ll be joining the challenge !

    10.20.19 · Reply
  5. Libby said:

    I am 10000% in! This is amazing, Julia, and something I think is such an easy change for people to make that this can make a HUGE difference! I honestly cannot remember that last time I bought a bottle of water, so here’s to making a pact the I will not do it for the rest of the decade! 🙂

    xx Libby

    10.20.19 · Reply
  6. Tory Patrick said:

    Yes! I love this! I bring my 32 ounce Nalgene with me everywhere I go. I carrying it around at school (I teach 8th grade), I bring it to Target, I bring it to my parent’s or friend’s houses, I bring it (empty!) to the airport, I even bring it to the movie theater (filled up and no one ever says anything to me). Not only am I not contributing that plastic waste, but I’m also saving an enormous amount of money! I have also found that I drink A LOT more water because I always have a water bottle with me. On a weekday, I’ll drink between 80-100 ounces of water. It’s right there in front of me so I just drink it out of habit. I’m only one person, so I can’t change the world, but I can commit to not buying plastic water bottles. I can commit to that for the rest of this year, and hopefully, for the foreseeable future. Thank you for putting this together and encouraging others to join!

    10.20.19 · Reply
  7. Britta said:

    Great pledge! My family has been plastic water bottle free since 2016 bc it was a new year resolution. Since then I added no plastic silverware in 2017, cloth napkins in 2018, and paper straws in 2019. Not sure about 2020 yet bc I truly try to make them realistic for me and my family. It really is the little things that hopefully will add up!
    The yeti bottles are expensive but legit keep beverages cold all day.

    10.20.19 · Reply
  8. Jules said:

    I live for my Yetis! I have a giant bottle for the gym and a tumbler that is basically attached to me so it’s really easy when I have access to water (a tap, the cooler at work, even Starbucks will refill it when I’m on the go) and I’m in for the challenge.

    I will share one thing though is that I just got home from Disneyland and so many people had brought in their own water bottles (promising!) but there are very few places to fill them up and the water tastes really bad. So to not dehydrate, you really have to buy bottles in the park. Fortunately they do make recycling easy, but it’s disappointing when so many places have filtered refill stations.

    10.20.19 · Reply
    • Joan said:

      I got a brita bottle so I can always filter. It is amazing !

      10.21.19 · Reply
    • Grace said:

      Hey Jules! If you go to Disneyland or Disney World, you can go up to the counter of any quick service dining location and get a paper cup of ice water. Then just pour that into your bottle! You get to skip the line and it certainly tastes a lot better than their weird water fountains. My mom and I used this trick when we were there in May and it was super easy to stay hydrated and save bottles.

      10.22.19 · Reply
  9. EM said:

    Unfortunately airports everywhere don’t have water fountains. I live in Vienna, AT which supposedly has the #1 quality of life in the world. The tap water here is extremely good as it is brought in from the Alps– better even than many mineral waters. Yet in the airport there are no water fountains (in general the only place I have ever seen a water fountain here is at the American consulate– water fountains are more of a North American thing) and the taps in the restrooms are so warm that the water there is not drinkable. (And believe me, after close to 2 decades in central Europe I am very used to not getting my drinks ice cold!) In the old days I used to bring my own water for flights but the liquid restrictions put a stop to that.

    Also here many restaurants will not give you tap water to drink, not even when you are ordering other foods and drinks.

    I find it bizarre, as in Europe people are often so aware of environmental issues, but not when it comes to drinking water.

    Also when traveling back home in the US I notice that a lot of the water really doesn’t taste good. If I am in my parents’ house where they have water filters it’s fine but often when traveling I end up getting the bottles so that the water is drinkable.

    However in my home we recently got one of the soda machines so that we can turn the good tap water into the bubbly water, instead of buying it in plastic bottles from the store, so we are using fewer plastic bottles at home.

    10.21.19 · Reply
  10. Caroline said:

    Great idea! Thanks for making this commitment!

    Other changes that have been painless for me:

    no plastic straws or lids, no plastic or styrofoam egg cartons, no plastic tampon applicators, no keurig cups.

    10.21.19 · Reply
  11. Elizabeth said:

    I started this as soon as I saw you story and have been doing it for days with no issues. This is such as simple way to make a huge impact!

    10.21.19 · Reply
  12. Erin said:

    I’m in!!

    10.21.19 · Reply
  13. Barbara Geiger said:

    In, in, in! My daughter is studying sustainability in college….her generation is so much more aware of the effects of their actions on the planet….

    10.21.19 · Reply
  14. DBD said:

    I’m in! I am great about drinking lots of water but guilty being a single bottle user.

    10.21.19 · Reply
  15. Jen said:

    Great idea! I am really going to try to do this too. I’m wondering if you happen to know anything about GLASS bottles and the impact they have on the environment. Clearly not the same impact and damage as plastic, but just curious..

    10.21.19 · Reply
  16. Cassie F said:

    My husband and I started this initiative as one of our NY Resolutions! So on board! We use Yeti’s at work, at home, on the go, etc. as our drink holder of choice. Also, my building doesn’t recycle, but we found out our neighboring building will allow us to put our recycles in their bin! So excited!

    10.21.19 · Reply
  17. Stephanie said:

    Great idea! I’m in, although I hardly ever buy bottled water as it is. I like the Soma glass water bottles – they fit in the stroller cup holder unlike the BKR glass bottles.

    10.21.19 · Reply
  18. Beth said:

    I very rarely buy plastic water bottles so this isn’t a huge swap for me. I did recently switch to a milk delivery service in glass bottles so no more plastic there either.

    10.21.19 · Reply
  19. Kristina said:

    I’m already been doing this:) Don’t remember the last time I paid money for any beverage in plastic. So, I am in!

    10.22.19 · Reply
  20. Maggie said:

    I’m in! I love this idea! I live in Houston so most of the year it’s insanely hot here which requires a lot of water drinking. I bring a yeti filled with ice just about anywhere and because it’s a yeti the ice keeps and I can usually fill up the cup wherever I go. I’ve even asked at places where I’m buying food if it’s okay I will pay for the drink but want to use my own cup and they usually let me!

    10.22.19 · Reply