Reusable Water Bottles

Reusable water bottles are a growing trend that is getting a lot of attention. Everywhere, companies and organizations are promoting their reusable water bottles, and they are becoming cheaper and easier to find. And with the growing popularity, more and more unique designs are being introduced to make them more versatile.

Your average name brand case of 24 16.9oz water bottles runs at about 10 dollars, or about 5 dollars if you go with a store brand. You’re looking at spending 5-10 dollars per 3 gallons. It’s suggested that you drink 64oz of water a day, so that’s about 4 bottles of water in a day. At the rate of consumption, your case will last about a week. For a single person, that’s about 20-40 dollars a month. If you can stretch out the case so that you use about one bottle a day, that’s 5-10 dollars in a month.

What if you are a family of 2 or 4? The money starts to add up, and you’re spending a lot of money on water that you can get at home.

In 2018, I put my foot down and stopped buying cases of water. While I personally used a refillable bottle, I was buying water for guests and family. But I got tired of throwing away my money just to see half empty bottles of water lying around with no one remembering who they belonged to. I convinced my household to get refillable water bottles, and since 2018, I believe only one case of water has been purchased, and that was for an emergency.

You never realize how much plastic you’re using until you stop. No more half empty water bottles around the house. We take a lot less recycling to the road now, because there’s less plastic to recycle. And there’s more money in our pockets.

I understand not everyone is in the position to stop buying bottled water. There are places all over the world, even in the United States, that don’t have clean public drinking water, and that’s a problem. So if you can’t ditch the plastic for health reasons, I completely understand!

You can try getting a filter to put on your sink or a filter for a pitcher of water, but those cost money, especially in the up keep. However, there are some organizations that are trying to get their own filters to people who need them.

If you can’t stop buying cases of water, I understand, and please don’t feel guilty. These changes are slow and are hard for everyone to follow right away; it’s up to the rest of us to make it easier for those who can’t at first. If you’re aware of areas in your community that lack clean drinking water, bring it to the attention of your local government. Write letters, shout it from the roof tops, blast it on social media, be loud and obnoxious until you are heard and the problem is solved. Clean drinking water shouldn’t be a privilege; it’s a necessity for life.

For those of us who do have access to clean drinking water—ditch the plastic, please.

Reusable water bottles come in all shapes. My personal bottle has a straw attachment and a clip that allows me to attach it to my belt, pants, or a bag, and it’s perfect for me at work. Reusable bottles range in price; obviously, the ones with more functionality will be more expensive. But a simple, cheap water bottle will work just as well.

Even if you do recycle your bottles, plastic can only be recycled so many times before the material begins to break down and can’t be reshaped anymore and gets thrown away. Every time you refill your water bottle, that’s one less piece of plastic that ends up in the trash or in the stomach of a whale.

Mermaid’s Wineglass

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Chlorophyta
Class: Dasycladophyceae
Genus: Acetabularia
Species: Acetabularia acetabulum

Have you ever wondered what kind of glasses Atlanteans drank their wine from? I mean, they were Greek, so they had to love wine. Am I right, Dionysus? Would you say that they’d drink from a Mermaid’s Wineglass?

I know, I know that was a terrible lead in but for some reason I couldn’t resist!

No, Atlanteans would not have drunk wine out of Acetabularia acetabulum (Mermaid’s Wineglass) because the whole species is a little over an inch tall. Though if they could have, that would be the ultimate recyclable glassware—or would that be grassware?

Okay, seriously, I’ll stop.

Mermaid’s wineglass is not a grass, it’s a species of algae that can be found in the Mediterranean, Red Sea, in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Africa, and in the Indian Ocean. Their preferred habitat is around shallow subtidal rocks submerged in water that’s about 50−77°F, so you can spot them if you’re off diving in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Mermaid’s wineglass is aptly named because it’s shaped like a crude wine glass. The stem on the wineglass appears white, kept standing by the encrusting calcium carbonate on the outside, and a small cup like structure sits at the top. This single-celled alga reproduces by creating cysts in the cup. Once the individual dies and everything else decays, the cysts are released into the water to find a nice, dark place to sit for a bit. After napping for a time, they begin to germinate and grow more wineglasses.

I couldn’t find much more information on this species. I mistook it for a different alga that I came across while diving in Jamaica for one of my college courses. The alga I was thinking of is actually called Mermaid’s Tea Cup, which I’ll talk about in a future post.

There is more than one style of wineglass in the Mermaid line, and you can get it in white or green!

In the Atlantic around Florida and the Caribbean, there are two species of Mermaid Wineglasses. Honestly, they look very similar to me but are different for sure on the genetic level. There’s the White Mermaid’s Wineglass (Acetabularia crenulata) and the Green Mermaid’s Wineglass (Acetabularia caliculus) both of which have the same general shape as Acetabularia acetabulum but have different colors. A.caliculus is greener than A. acetabulum.

Sources:
Ocean: The Definitive Visual Guide made by the American Museum of Natural History
Reef Coral Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas 3rd edition by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach