I hate plastic. I really, really hate plastic. Before having kids, most of my plastic use involved garbage bags, water bottles and lunch containers. Despite my better sense, though, I’ve managed to consume several lifetime supplies of petroleum-based products.
Take the thousands of miles I’ve spent on a bike drinking from old, soft plastic water bottles. When I lived in Arizona, the water would heat up and taste really yummy, like burnt marshmallows. I’m sure the water was totally clean of dangerous chemicals.
And during most of my adult life, I’ve been a brown bagger, or would that be plastic-container bagger? I now only use the plastic to transport the food, but for most of my career, I hesitantly microwaved each meal in delicious Polypropylene.
Until a few months ago, there wasn’t much evidence that scratched plastic is even worse than shiny new plastic. Gee, I think ALL of our plastic is scratched.
Nothing in my adult life, though prepared me for the onslaught of plastic after having kids: water bottles, cups, plates and silverware are coming out of every drawer. We find them under tables, desks and even in the heaters. (Lael drops all kinds of things through the little grates.)
Give my kids a metal fork or knife though, and deep stab marks instantly appear in the wood table I stained and lacquered 20 years ago.
Give my kids ceramic glasses and relearn Isaac Newton’s theories on gravity with objects a lot more breakable than apples. In some cases, we tolerate the plastic as best we can.
But I’ve finally reached the breaking point with water bottles. They’re just, for lack of a better word, so yucky. I would keep coconut shells in the house, but they tip too easily.
So for weeks, I’ve been eyeing the Sigg Water Bottles at Whole Foods. You know the ones. They’re metal. They’re Swiss-made. They’re horribly EXPENSIVE. In Chicago, they generally run about $17 each.
Since Anne and I already share two metal bottles I picked up free over the years, I bought one for each kid. Lael chose the pink Hello Kitty bottle and Seth went for a handsome silver one.
Do I think these bottles are 100 percent safe? Hah! Even the Sigg customer guide warns against leaving water in them for too long. Maybe they’re worried about the aluminum leaching in to the water? Or bacteria? But the Swiss Company’s website claims 0 chemicals migrate into water or even juice. So I guess they’re safe enough.
Still, even metal feels strange on the tongue and lips. If only they could make water bottles with something truly strong and inert. I wonder how much diamond liners would cost?