Sipping Sustainably: Water Filter Pitchers

In terms of being environmentally conscious, it’s not new news that plastic water bottles are not the way to go. Living in a dorm doesn’t make things easier either, with tap water usually being the only water source most readily available to students. So, what’s the best way to navigate this situation? As a student on the go managing a busy schedule who doesn’t always have the time or the desire to haul cases of plastic water bottles up to my dorm room, I found a much easier, much more sustainable, and much better tasting way to get good quality water: water filter pitchers.

Made by companies such as Brita and Pur and found at places like your local Target, these pitchers come in many different shapes and sizes. The up-front price can be a little scary to those of us, including myself, who are frugal with our money. However, these pitchers deliver a strong return on their investment. For example, one complete fill of an average sized pitcher yields enough water to fill my reusable canteen, which usually holds two full plastic water bottles, two to three times. Pitchers can be filled as many times as one’s thirsty heart desires, with the filters needing to be replaced every couple months. So, if I were to drink three canteens per day, that would be an average of six plastic water bottles consumed per day. At this rate I would blow through a 24 pack of plastic water bottles in just four days. This would cost about $42 at an average price of $6 per pack, a rate that isn’t very sustainable for college students, let alone the environment. After the cost of the pitcher and a year’s worth of filters, we stand to save roughly $330 in a year with the pitchers instead of buying bottled water. Of course cost is important to consider, but the thought of putting seven 24 packs worth of plastic bottles (168 individual bottles!) into the recycling per month? Definitely not a statistic to be proud of!

Finally, in our world where the environment is currently suffering and has been for a while, it may sometimes be difficult to realize how we as individuals play a part in it all. We may not be able to stop big issues such as plastic pollution with the snap of a finger, but we can take small steps, such as ditching plastic water bottles for a reusable water filter pitcher.  These small steps help us reach a bigger goal through our everyday, individual actions, where we are able to ultimately come together to make a positive difference.