Whether it’s soccer & baseball in the spring, day camps, sleep-away camps, & local outdoor festivals throughout summer, soccer & baseball again in the fall, basketball in the winter, or travel soccer & travel baseball year-round, our family is always on the go.
And what’s one of the most important things we need to do — given the summer heat, the intense activities, and the running around?
We have to stay hydrated! We’d rather not drink from public water supplies, mostly because of the dangers of fluoride, which is pervasive. So we bring our own water.
You may have heard by now that allowing plastic to come in contact with your food is no bueno. The main concern is the chemical bisphenol A (aka BPA) which is found in many plastic containers. Unfortunately, this includes the bottles used to bottle water.
Why should we avoid BPA? Here are some of its effects on our bodies:
- can disrupt normal hormone levels and development in fetuses, babies, and children
- possible link between BPA and an increased risk of cancer
- adults with the highest levels of BPA in their bodies seem to have a higher incidence of heart problems
- may be linked to obesity, diabetes, and ADHD
Unfortunately, even though the FDA acknowledges the issues with BPA, companies are still allowed to use it. That leaves it to us as consumers to make sure we limit our exposure.
So almost six years ago, we stopped buying water in plastic bottles (which we had also been reusing a few times — ugh! — before sending them on to be recycled). Instead, we made a complete switch to reusable stainless steel water bottles. By the way, we also avoid aluminum water bottles because aluminum is known to leach into foods. If you’re unsure, check the label or the bottom of your bottle.
For eight of us, though, that’s a lot of bottles. Hubby and I are pretty limited, but some of our kiddos have one bottle they keep at their bedside, another bottle they take when we head outside to play, and yet another one they use when they’re headed to practice or a game. (And our older kiddos need more than two bottles when they’re on the field!) Plus, when one bottle is waiting to be washed, they need backup. So yeah — that’s a lot of bottles.
I’d tried using a milk crate to keep them organized. But that took up floor space. I’d also tried storing them in a cabinet in the kitchen. But if someone tried to reach behind others’ to grab theirs, all of the bottles would almost always fall over like dominoes.
Then I saw a friend’s Facebook post suggesting using an over-the-door shoe pocket organizer specifically for this purpose! And I realized it was a clever solution! I chose one that has 24 pockets (read: holds 24 bottles) and is made of cloth. Perfect! You can see in the pic that some of our bottles show their age. 😉 Each of us has specific spots (although I do still want to go in and label the pockets). And everyone has their favorite kind of bottle — a Camelback bpa-free bottle that never leaks, plain old SubZero bottles in various colors, a couple of ginormous 32oz bottles that help quench our older kiddos’ thirst during their intense sports activities, and my personal favorites in cute designs from Kleen Kanteen. I use a bottle brush to wash ours, but I also toss them in the dishwasher at least once a week. You can see that we’ve added carabiner clips attached with key rings to some — a must-have in our house so that we can clip our bottles to our purses, bags, computer cases, lunch totes, sports gear, etc.
My bottle is the white one at the bottom with the whimsical pink and blue design. Honestly, though, I’ve been eyeing these glass water bottles for a while and am thinking to pick one up for myself. I am known to be clumsy with glass, but I recently saw a demonstration where the vendor was banging on it pretty hard and it didn’t even crack!
A parting thought just in case you didn’t know … BPA is also used as a protective lining on the inside of metal food/drink cans and canning lids. If you enjoy canning, make sure to use these bpa-free dishwasher-safe canning lids. And if you buy canned goods, look for labels that specifically say bpa-free like this company. And finally, if you or your kiddos are getting dental sealants put in, make sure to ask your dentist for the patient insert that comes with the product. Read the ingredients to double-check that it’s BPA-free.
Are there other less-known exposures to BPA that you’ve started to avoid?Sources: How Environmental Exposure May Affect Your Child Bisphenol A (BPA): Use in Food Contact Application