We hear a lot about ethical and sustainable eating, but drinking often takes a back seat. Not today. Let’s focus on how to hydrate sustainably.
FOR EVERYDAY HYDRATION, CHOOSE WATER.
Water is the easiest, most environmentally-friendly, and healthiest choice for hydration. With a little extra filtration, we can drink it right out of our sinks, making it the least expensive choice also. Make sure each family member has a glass or stainless steel water bottle for travel.
Listen, I know water isn’t very exciting as hydration goes. Here are a few ways to jazz it up: add a slice of fruit or vegetable, make sun tea, or add a mint leaf from the garden. Or see my hydration hacks below for special occasion hydration.
DITCH THE CANS AND BOTTLES.
Individually-sized seltzer water, sodas, juices, smoothies, energy drinks… they are all just water, flavored and put into a package. You’ll be amazed at how much money, calories, and fridge space you’ll save if you quit the habit.
There are definitely times when our family wants something other than water or tea to drink. Here are some of the ways we keep our waste to a minimum for those special occasions.
- Frozen Juice: When someone in the family is sick or when we’re planning a special breakfast, we like to have juice on hand. To keep things low waste, we keep a few containers of frozen juice on hand. Mix it with water in a pitcher and you have instant juice. The packaging is recyclable and you get much more juice.
- Party Drinks for Kids: When our kids have parties, we mix one of the frozen juice containers with a big bottle of seltzer. This fizzy drink is always a crowd pleaser and it’s a lot less wasteful than individual drinks. We save the bottle for crafts or bottle rockets.
- Party Drinks for Adults: Many breweries allow you to fill growlers, which are large, reusable glass bottles. Not only is this less wasteful than buying tons of beer bottles or cans, but it is also more fun because you get to sample all the seasonal brews.
- Milk: Many local dairies have returnable glass bottles. You can purchase them at a store and return the bottles for a deposit. Or you can make your own oat milk using just water and oatmeal.
- Make your own juice: Using a juicer or a strainer, you can make fun, fancy drinks out of local fruits and veggies. We just made apple grape juice out of Concord grapes and orchard drops. The kids loved making and drinking it. I planned to freeze some, but it all disappeared.
I hope you are inspired to quench your thirst more sustainably. Remember, all our decisions add up. If you and your partner drink a can of seltzer or soda each day, that’s 730 cans a year. It really adds up!