Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Nalgene Upcycle Challenge

Today was the day. I have known for some time that Nalgene bottles can leach toxins into our drinking water. Yet, I thought that it would be fine if I just took precautions, like not letting water sit in them for more than the day and not putting them in the dishwasher (not really sure if either of these help). I have been meaning to get around to buying new water bottles for all of us, but due to expense, and feeling like our Nalgene bottles were still in great shape (which makes me feel bad about buying new ones), I had not. Then, my husband came home and mentioned how they are recalling Nalgene bottles and it got me in gear. Andre tends to think everything will be fine and poo poo health warnings he is not sure of, so if he is concerned, I better be!

The thing that disappoints me about Nalgene is the deception. They sell them at MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) a health enthusiast's favorite store. Something about that makes it seem like they are being not only recommended but endorsed by a company that values health and active lifestyles.

The truth is that most Nalgene bottles contain #7 plastics, which are dangerous in drinking containers, due to Bisphenol A.

As Reuters reports:

Bisphenol A is added to hard, clear polycarbonate plastics like those used in reusable water bottles and baby bottles, as well as the resins lining food cans and in some dental amalgams and sealants, said Aaron Freeman, policy and campaign director at Environmental Defence, an environmental advocacy group.

Research on lab animals has linked the chemical to changes to the genital tract, prostate enlargement, declined testosterone levels, pre-cancerous breast cells, prostate cancer, early puberty in females and hyperactivity.

Nalgene does make recyclable 12 oz bottle that is made from non-leaching plastic (see photo above)

Today, I went to Silver Spoon, a children's new and consignment shop in Canmore, to buy Klean Kanteen water bottles.

"Klean Kanteens are made from #304 stainless steel, the material of choice in the food processing, dairy, and brewery industries. Stainless steel is easy to clean, durable, inert, sanitary, toxin-free, and non-leaching."

Stainless steel bottles outlast plastic ones. And they don't take on odors. The only thing about these bottles is that you can't put hot beverages in them. But we have a couple stainless steel coffee mugs. I am happy to have made this change. We are ready for our upcoming road trip with our 12 oz sippy cup, and 18 & 27 oz bottles.

So now, I throw down the guantlet, and I hope you will rise to the challenge. First, dump your Nalgene bottle for a Klean Kanteen. Second, come up with a way to recycle your old Nalgene bottles. I thought about donating mine to the local thrift store, but then felt awful. I don't want to put other people at risk. So, I need to come up with a way to reuse and upcycle my bottles, three in all. There are obvious uses, such storing items in them. But, I am hoping to get more creative. And I am hoping to hear from others. Please leave a comment here if you have ideas. And send images to me at tiffany@oldesage.com.

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