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Stop Buying Water

water-bottleBy Snack Box

When it comes to being environmentally conscious, people tend to prioritise some practices over others. Unless you decide to radically change your living habits by moving into a cave, only eating fruit that’s fallen from the tree and trying not to breathe too much, then it is a question of compromise.

I recycle, have a compost bin and turn off things that aren’t being used. I am guilty, however, of buying a lot of bottled water and takeaway coffee. While the drinks industry are as much to blame for the huge level of waste created by empty bottles and cardboard cups, I felt that if I could do anything to reduce the amount I bought of each, I should.

Coffee is yet to be tackled but I have recently purchased a plastic container for water and haven’t bought water from a shop now for over a month. Buying the container was more complicated than first thought. I decided I wanted to buy the kind of bottle you’d see Bear Grylls drinking from on the side of a mountain in space, so went to a mountain equipment shop. Little did I know that there are water bottles for every activity.

‘Can I help you?’, the hip shop attendant asked me. ‘Yes I want a bottle for to put liquids into,’ I replied. ‘OK what will you be using it for?’ This question perplexed me and the expression on my face was enough for the hairy shop attendant to qualify the last question with: ‘Well, will you be cycling, mountain climbing, surfing, hiking?’ Apparently, if you’re an idiot, it makes a difference. The only difference I found was in the price. Bottles of all shapes and sizes ranging from 5 euro to 25 euro were on display and some were ‘designed specifically for the needs of the mountain biker.’ Fuck off, it’s a bottle. Take off those ‘go fast’ stripes on the sides and it’s the same bottle as the one beside it that’s designed ‘specifically for the needs of the professional kayaker. I bought the cheapest one and left the shop feeling rugged and adventurous with my new bottle.

Making this change has been very easy and has saved me lots of money. However, I don’t see how I can get around the coffee issue. Obviously making my own and bringing it in a flask would be the obvious answer. Carrying around a water bottle all day is one thing but a flask full of coffee is a different kettle of java altogether. Can anyone come up with any suggestions?


  1. I’ve been using the same plastic bottle for the past few weeks and need to change it – been thinking about buying a proper reusable one – handy for the gym as well. As for the coffee cup – this is a fantatic idea I saw this on sale in the home kitchen part of denenhams also.

  2. A lot of coffee shops are more than happy to put your latte/drip coffee into your own cup. If you just got a travelling cup, you could still grab coffee when it suited, and not have to worry about lugging half a liter around with you all day. I think some of the bigger chains even give a discount if you use your own cup.

  3. I’m all for using your own cup!your coffee stays warmer for longer too!:)haven’t heard of discounts if you use your own cup!

  4. Our canteen at work brews Starbucks but offers a discount if you use your own mug – great idea.

  5. I have a little cafetierre in my office, I buy pre-ground coffee and it’s delicious and lovely caffine keeps me going. I haven’t bought coffee in a shop in ages! You can even get hand-held milk frothers if you really want.