A brief history of our love affair with water bottles
Human beings, being made mostly of water ourselves, need to constantly rehydrate to stay alive. Our bodies use water to cushion organs, carry blood and oxygen, carry away toxins and lots more. We also lose water constantly through sweat, defecation and other biological processes.
The need for a certain amount of water in our lives daily has made us, since the dawn of time, rather preoccupied with finding and transporting fresh clean water. More recently in history, we’ve started making water bottles that can be carried with us – and very recently there has been a surge in popularity for the humble water bottle.
If you’ve always wondered how the water bottle became such a popular accessory, this brief history guide could be helpful. It’s interesting that in a few short decades, we have gone from reusable containers to disposable-crazed, and back again.
The importance of water to healthy humans
According to the Mayo Clinic, your body is made up of 60% water and is vital for regulating body temperature, lubricating joints, protecting organs, getting rid of waste and more. If you don’t get enough water you’ll suffer from a potentially life-threatening condition called dehydration. A person can live only a few days without water.
Health experts vary wildly when it comes to putting a formula to how much water people need per day. The well-known statistic of an average adult needing eight glasses of water a day is actually pretty arbitrary as a realistic estimate would need to take into account things like your size and body weight.
Most people probably need more water than this per day especially if you exercise a lot or you are breastfeeding. What is certain is that drinking from a handy water bottle is popular.
How the water bottle evolved
While we’ve always had containers for storing water, individual water bottles officially became a thing around 70 years ago and were made of glass or steel usually. Post-World War II saw the invention of plastic but it would be a few more decades before disposable plastic water bottles would take over the market in a huge way.
History Note: The invention of plastics also led to another water storage and usage product, the hot water bottle. You can use it to ease your aches and pains. Here is a guide from GiftWits on how to choose the best hot water bottle.
Some water bottles are simply a way to store water, while others are designed to keep the water a specific temperature (hot or cold) for longer periods of time. Stainless steel insulated water bottles like this modern beauty from Kool8, are great to keep by your side if you like your water super cold or you want to carry some hot tea with you.
The move away from single-use plastic water bottles
Single-use plastic water bottles exploded in popularity in the late 1980s when supermodels were spotted with Evian water on the catwalks. Marketing departments went into hyperdrive bombarding the public with the idea that they absolutely needed water within arms-reach at all times.
The idea stuck and by 2016 water bottle sales actually out-paced soft drink sales for the first time, according to National Geographic.
The tides sharply turned however with recent attention to the growing waste crisis and the environmental damage of discarded plastics around the world. It’s estimated that a million disposable water bottles are purchased worldwide per minute. Per-minute! A
All of a sudden, being seen with single-use plastic water bottles became a social faux pas, especially among celebrities and influencers. Reusable water bottles are now seen as somewhat of a fashion accessory and status symbols.
Specific water bottles are extremely popular with teens and young adults such as Hydro Flasks, while adults prefer insulated cups like the Yeti.
A guide to some of the best reusable water bottles
If you’re looking for the perfect reusable water bottle then we have a few suggestions. Water bottles are easy to take with you to the gym, work, school and for outdoor sports and hobbies. They make great gifts as well.
Kool8 – The fully insulated and incredible eco-friendly stainless steel cup of your dreams comes from Kool8. It has a modern sleek design and comes with a tea infuser for hot drinks.
It can keep water fresh-tasting and cool for up to 12 hours. This socially-conscious company even donates a percentage of each sale to help provide clean water to those in need all over the world. You can save the world one water bottle at a time.
HydroFlask – Sksksk, totally popular with “VISCO Girls” on Instagram, the HydroFlask is a status symbol just now. The HydroFlask comes in a lot of different shapes, sizes and colours. It’s very durable making it great for outdoor activities and very popular with surfers and hikers.
YETI – If it’s outdoor fun you’re looking for, YETI is the gold standard of rough and tumble water bottles. They keep drinks incredibly cold for a long time and they come in lots of fun colours that are released as collections.
You can find even more great water bottle brands to try out with the NY Times list of best water bottles on Amazon if you’re looking for the perfect gift for an eco-friendly friend who wants to stay hydrated.