One of the most important lessons you could learn about health is that the little things truly do count, and consistency and good habits form the backbone of any healthy human being.
Over the course of creating these new habits, it’s important to let go of old ones that are holding you back, no matter how odd you may appear to the “mainstream” crowd. Whether we admit it or not, we are currently living in the midst of a profoundly sick society in which half of all Americans now have at least one chronic disease, and these problems begin and end with the little things we do (or don’t do) each day.
Ultimately, it’s about making smarter decisions, especially for the sake of reducing the toxic chemical load on our bodies.
When it comes to avoiding one of the most ubiquitous toxins out there, plastic, you can never reduce your exposure enough — which is why making the simple switch to a glass drinking water bottle is one of the most underrated health decisions you could ever make.
The Health and Environmental Dangers of Plastic
In 2007 author Beth Terry was driving around New York when she heard a radio story about Colin Beavan, also known as the “No Impact Man,” and his quest to become the most environmentally friendly human being possible.
Intrigued by his tales of plastic-free living, Terry began to research and learned more about the giant “dead zones” that are now plaguing our oceans and killing off wildlife from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico and everywhere in between.
One particular photo of a dead albatross chick that had been fed plastic for most of its life instead of actual food (the birds can’t tell the difference) made a huge impact on Beth’s life, which led her to write the popular book Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too about her own experiences going plastic-free for almost a decade.
While going plastic-free may be the future of humanity, every change counts for both today’s environment and the future.
According to the Plastic Oceans Foundation, about 300 million tons of plastic is produced each year, and a shocking 8 million tons of the toxic building material is dumped into our oceans.
It’s not just bad for the environment, it’s terrible for our health as well.
Why You Should Always Drink Out of a Glass Bottle (If At All Possible)
It may sound a little “out there” in a world where everyone seems to carry a plastic bottle with them at all times, but switching to a glass bottle is one of the best things you could ever do for your health.
Sure, it’s a little heavier, but what you lose in convenience you make up for in many ways, including the following:
There’s a reason why high-end specialty beverages like beer and wine, liquor and even kombucha (a type of fizzy, fermented drink that is highly beneficial for gut health) are packaged in glass bottles: glass is tasteless, and doesn’t interfere with the good stuff you actually want to use your taste buds to enjoy.
Once you start drinking your water out of a glass bottle, you’ll also gain a sixth sense for water purity, which is important in this crazy, overly polluted world.
Unlike most plastics, glass bottles are made almost entirely from natural and recyclable materials such as sand and limestone.
If they do happen to contain any harmful chemicals, they won’t leach from the bottle like plastic ones, especially in the sun (leaving a plastic bottle in a hot car could be a serious health hazard).
Glass bottles are also fully recyclable with a much smaller impact on the environment.
In 2010 even the notoriously hesitant FDA issued a warning on the chemical BPA that parents should not use cups containing it when feeding their children.
This chemical mimics estrogen in the body and has been linked to increased risks of heart disease, obesity, asthma, thyroid problems, and even infertility in both men and women with prolonged use. Bisphenol A is omnipresent in our society and environment, and so-called “healthier” plastics may not be much better.
Even BPA-Free Is Far From Ideal-
With the cat out of the bag on BPA, many companies have begun touting BPA-free products. But these could present similar risks according to new research.
One study showed a host of pregnancy-related problems in mice exposed to the replacement chemical BHPF including low uterine weight, inflammation and thinning of the womb lining.
Another shared by CNN in 2016 (‘BPA-free plastic alternatives may not be safe as you think’) found that a common replacement, BPS, had a similar impact to BPA on zebrafish embryos, causing premature birth and accelerated embryonic development. Thyroid health problems may also result from exposure.
Still another 2013 study out of Texas found that as little as one part per trillion of BPS could interfere with the normal functioning of a cell, potentially even leading to cell death.
“It’s all pointing in the same direction: BPS is not harmless,” said senior author and reproductive endocrinologist Nancy Wayne, who worked on the zebrafish study.
“Consumers should be cautious about the assumption that ‘BPA-free’ means a product is safe.”
Where to Find Glass Bottles for Drinking Water
If you’re looking to make the switch from plastic to glass, there are plenty of options.
For traveling, I’m a big fan of Voss glass water bottles, which are sold everywhere from party stores to health food stores to Amazon.com, where they can be purchased in a six pack of 27-ounce bottles.
The water filter company Clearly Filtered also has an 18-ounce stainless steel glass bottle that I’ve been using a lot lately because it’s a little smaller and easier to carry than a Voss bottle (along with fluoride filtering water pitchers and under-the-sink filtration systems).
Whatever you choose, just know that you’re making a huge difference in your health (and the health of the environment) by picking glass over plastic as often as humanly possible, and make it a habit.
It’s one that will benefit not just us, but the future generations of both people and wildlife to come as well.