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This morning I found a bottled water cost calculator on the New American Dream website. It enables you to calculate how much money you waste buying bottled water in a year. It’s very simple to use. First, you input the number of 16oz bottles of water you drink in a year, then the price of your tap water per gallon, and finally your average bottled water cost.  If you don’t know your tap water cost, it’s safe to assume it’s around $0.002/gallon.

The results are startling!  If you drink one bottle of water per day and pay $1.50 for it each time, you are spending an extra $550 on water!  Even if you buy your bottled water very cheaply most of the time, you will still be wasting over $150 each year. The $10-15 investment in a high quality reusable bottle seems like a bargain by comparison! 

On top of the cost savings you will achieve by using a refillable bottle, there are obvious environmental benefits as well.  The calculator also estimates the impact of your bottled water habit on the planet.  For the one-bottle-a-day person, an extra 114 gallons of water, 37 megajoules of energy, and 9 gallons of oil will be wasted as well as 68 pounds of CO2 generated.

If you’d like to reduce your impact and fatten your wallet, check out Back2Tap for your best value in high quality refillable water bottles.

The holidays are quickly approaching. You have a list as long as Santa’s, but you want to buy a gift with meaning for your loved ones. This year, give a gift to the environment as well as to your family and friends. Back 2 Tap’s stainless steel bottles and reusable bags are high-quality solutions to your gift-giving dilemma.

Our bottles are available in three convenient sizes: 12 oz, 18 oz, and 27 oz. The 12 oz is perfect for children or for lunchboxes. The 18 oz will make the perfect everyday drink bottle. For those with a big thirst, the 27 oz sports bottle will satisfy. All bottles are dishwasher safe and compatible with standard cup holders. They are BPA free, do not require a lining and won’t leach into your beverage. Back 2 Tap’s Reusable stainless steel water bottles won’t retain flavors or smells from previous contents. The 1½” opening is easy to drink from and wide enough to add ice. Stainless steel is durable, making this stylish gift one that will last a long time.
Choose between the sports bottle top and the convenient loop top for attaching the bottle to your hiking pack or belt loop. What a perfect gift for the Boy Scout or Girl Scout in your life! This is also a great time to introduce Back 2 Tap’s green fundraising program to your child’s school or scout troop. Bottles can be customized with your group logo plus we now offer reusable sandwich wraps and snack pouches for a complete litter-less lunch program at your school.

But the best thing about our stainless steel bottles is the obvious benefits to the environment. Reusable bottles and bags are better than recycling and easier on your wallet. Save 50¢ per bottle when you order three or more or contact us for bulk pricing.

So have a very green Christmas and a happy holiday season from all of us at Back 2 Tap!

Reusable metal water bottles are popping up for sale all over the place these days. At the Go Green Festival in New York City last April, I spotted a stainless steel bottle for $27. At local grocery stores I’ve seen metal bottles for just $10. Custom logoed bottles can cost anywhere between $3.00 and $13.00. So what’s the difference? It turns out, plenty.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: you get what you pay for.  There are some serious quality issues with the cheap metal bottles – we know because we tested lots of them in the process of choosing a bottle for Back2Tap. We encountered leaking caps, paint that literally peeled off after a few weeks, logos that were printed poorly and faded quickly, thin walls that dented very easily, and poor polishing/finishing on the bottle.

Then there’s the question of what the bottles are made of – a cheap bottle may not be made of food grade materials. If you choose stainless steel rather than aluminum, you won’t have to worry about a cheap liner that may allow unwanted constituents to leach into your beverage. Back2Tap bottles are 0.5mm thick, printed with safe and resilient paints in the USA, and are tested to ensure that they comply with FDA and ASTM standards.

An acquaintance of mine sheepishly admitted to me recently that she had supplied her whole swim team with cheap stainless steel bottles last winter, and now regrets it. The bottles are so junky no one wants to use them anymore! At the Watchung Hills Green Day event in October, a customer who bought a blank bottle at our exhibit table admitted that she had just purchased a cheaper bottle at another table. She bought it solely to support the soccer team even though she knew she would never actually use such a poor quality product.

These two stories highlight the main reason Back2Tap doesn’t offer cheap bottles – and we have considered doing so, believe me! Plenty of suppliers have contacted us hawking their wares. Low quality bottles just don’t perform well and don’t last so they are not durable and useful, key requirements for sustainable products. Back2Tap doesn’t want to be fostering a throw away mentality by selling cheap bottles because that is exactly what we are trying to combat. We hope that schools selling Back2Tap bottles for a fundraiser do so with the understanding that they are promoting sustainability and environmental stewardship as well as raising funds.

In sum, there are numerous significant differences between cheap, low quality bottles and better more expensive bottles. If you buy an inferior bottle that doesn’t last or doesn’t get used, your effort to be “greener” or live more sustainably will have failed – so don’t even bother!  A good reusable bottle can save you hundreds of dollars over its lifetime so it is worth investing in a high quality bottle that you will enjoy using every day.

Last June, math teacher and director of sustainability Kevin Merges arranged for the seniors at Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset, New Jersey to get a surprise under their chairs at

RPS single bottle cropped

Sustainable Future bottles.

their graduation ceremony.  Seniors quenched their thirst from reusable bottles filled with tap water instead of bottled water during the ceremony.   Merges noticed in prior years that dozens of water bottles were only partially empty.  Mary Ganzenmuller, Vice President of the Board of Trustee worked with Merges to find this sustainable solution for the event.   Provided by Back2Tap, the stainless steel bottles were customized with the school logo and the words: Rutgers Preparatory School – A Sustainable Future.  According to Merges, the students were thrilled with their reusable bottles and plan to carry them proudly as they go forth toward their sustainable futures.

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Seniors with their reusable bottles.Sustainable Future bottles.

It always feels good when a Back2Tap campaign at a school goes right. I was so psyched to hear that the reusable bottles and bottle-less water coolers were well received by the K-12 students at Lincoln – Hubbard School in Summit, NJ. So well, in fact, the students are lining up in the hallway to fill up their custom reusable bottles from Back2Tap. The kids say that they love the tap water because it is so cold and refreshing.

students refilling their reusable water bottles

students refilling their reusable water bottles

Bottle-less coolers are tied directly into the water line and provide cold, filtered tap water without the waste, expense and exposure to plastics found with traditional water coolers with the 5 gallon jugs that have to be delivered. Although Back2Tap does not sell bottle-less water coolers, we can recommend a manufacturer. Lincoln – Hubbard was able to use the profits from their stainless steel bottle fundraiser toward the purchase of the coolers. Best of all, this is one green initiative that will save the school money and the parents money while benefitting students health and ability to learn.

What do reusable bottles have to do with the flu? These days, everything seems to be peripherally related to flu, but aside from that, a Baxter Bulletin article yesterday reports that one principal is attributing low absenteeism rates with the use of reusable bottles.

Principal Randi Connior of Yellville-Summit Elementary in Arkansas noted that only 4% of her students were absent on Tuesday. Many districts are reporting absentee rates of 14-20% and higher. Every student at her elementary school has a reusable water bottle so students don’t have to use the water fountains in the hallways. “If you’ve ever watched kids drink from a school fountain,” she said, “you’ll usually see them sucking on it.” Students have been issued a reusable water bottle every year since principal Connior noticed a drop in absenteeism during a boil-water advisory when the water fountains were not being used.

When I searched “school water fountain hygiene” on-line, I found out that there are plenty of schools who have zeroed in on water fountains as a likely culprit for spreading contagious disease. In Charlestown, West Virginia, some Kanawha elementary principals have called school health officials about banning water fountain use as a way to prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus according to a Charleston Gazette article.

In their guide to avoiding infections when returing to schools this fall, the National Jewish Health website explicitly warns: “Water fountains can be the enemy. Take a reusable water bottle to school, instead of using the school water fountain, which may become contaminated with germs, especially during cold and flu season.”

I’m heartened to find that the solution of choice is reusable bottles, a very eco-friendly response, rather bottled water with all its associated wastefulness. Custom reusable bottles are readily available for bulk purchase with a quick turnaround time from Back2Tap for any school or parent group who would like to take this step toward keeping children healthy as this perilous flu season gets underway.

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