It is well known that water is a vital component to life. We are recommended to drink over 60oz. per day because water is necessary for every system in the body to function correctly. Accounting for about 60% of our body weight, it is obvious that a convenient source of this imperative liquid is necessary to have close by throughout each day. An easy answer to this, and the go-to solution for more than 75% of Americans, is bottled water.

As an industry that was able to evoke Americans to spend $10.6 billion in 2009, bottled water must have something very special to offer. Water dripped from a glacier, fresh poured from a natural spring, or bottled up in an all-natural and totally uninhabited island, right? Not exactly. In 2009, more than 40% of bottled water was collected from already treated municipal tap water supplies—meaning our cities own water—and was then sold back to Americans at 1000 times the price they would have paid to drink it from the tap.

Not only is bottled water more expensive than tap, it is unlikely to be any purer or safer. Bottling facilities are required to check for harmful microbiological content and chemical water contaminants about 4 times less often than your own municipal water systems. And then there is the phthalate, a family of chemical used in making plastic, which leaches from the plastic into the water it holds. Adding these factors together results in the conclusion that bottled water may be worse for the body than tap.

Plus, what about the environmental effects? Most plastic water bottles are made of polyethylene terephthalate or PET. This form of recyclable plastic can be thrown in the recycling bin and reused to make another bottle or many other plastic goods. Unfortunately though, only about 23% of our used bottles make it into the recycling bin. The rest end up in land fills, as road litter and ironically, as contaminates in our water supplies, oceans, and lakes where they are unlikely to ever fully decompose and do not biodegrade.

While all of the facts and numbers sound dismal, and it seems the negative impacts of the water bottle industry are, well, very negative. We have good news. For all of these reasons and more, we at VivaTerra carry stainless steel water bottles from S’well. Designed with the earth in mind, S’well bottles originated from a dream to eliminate the estimated 50 billion plastic bottles per year that are dumped into U.S. landfills. And with the high-grade stainless steel bottle’s impressive list of credentials, we believe it can, and we hope you will too. For starters, they are available in great patterns like multiple wood grains, colorful ikat, or sleek black, all with a cool matte finish. Plus, created with soy-based & earth friendly paints, the environmental kindness is an obvious benefit. They are double walled for insulation, so they won’t condensate! Say goodbye to coasters, water stained furniture rings, and the little puddle in the bottom of your cup holder—none of whom will be missed. Even better, the insulated structure promises to keep your drinks cold for 24hrs or keep them hot for 12. It’s BPA & totally toxin free, and sized to fit into your life; 17oz. bottles fit into a standard cup holder and all bottles feature an opening wide enough to add ice cubes. Have you ever tried to put ice cubes into a plastic bottle?

So yes, at this point we are thinking the same thing: hasta la vista plastic bottles, please clear out of our landfills and out of our lives, because we want sustainable resources and we want ice.