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Bottled Water Bad. Reusable Bottle Good. Tap Water Gross. 321 Water Fixes That, Beautifully

| Friday January 15th, 2010 | 11 Comments

More articles on the controversy surrounding bottled water can be found here!


Is bottled water bad? You probably by now know that the plastics that go into bottled water are bad for the environment, and perhaps even not so good for you if it’s just nicely labeled tap water. Add to that the possibility the bottle contains BPA and they’re not such a healthy choice after all. And yet, they’re so convenient and obtainable anywhere. And drinking your local tap water? Not going to happen.

If you add into the equation that you’re not even close to hippie, and don’t want to look like one, your healthy, sustainable water choices get slim.

Australian startup Half a Teaspoon has designed a product to answer all these concerns, in a design-, environment- and people-friendly  product: 321 Water.Half a Teaspoon is taking a pragmatic, 2010 approach to launching it, starting production only once 10,000 bottles been ordered.

While being economically sensible, this has the additional benefit of the likely word of mouth marketing from those who’ve placed an order, since it’s in their interest to get others to order as well, so they can get their bottle.

What’s so special about it? The design combines practicality and unique looks, with a coffee press style plunger with a water filter at the bottom, the whole thing looking much like a vertical splash of  water caught mid stream.

The bottle is BPA-free and the filter is replaceable, lasting 100 uses. It’s clear Half a Teaspoon takes its commitment to making a fully sustainable product seriously, seeing as each component can be obtained individually for replacement, rather than one problem area rendering the whole bottle unusable.

All sounding good, but my thought is, will those less motivated to take an active hand in their water consumption choices be disinclined to replace the filter when needed, an activity they’ll need to do several times over the bottle’s lifetime?

Nonetheless, giving people the option to be able to refill their water bottles anywhere, and being able to quickly and easily clean it–in an attractive, environmentally sensitive package at a competitive price–is something that has a good chance of succeeding, particularly in Australia, where water is a precious resource.

Readers: What other creative water conservation products and initiatives are you seeing out there that are reaching out to the less “deep green” among us? What’s your take on the 321 Water bottle? Will it succeed? Does the model need tweaking?

Paul Smith is a sustainable business innovator, the founder of GreenSmith Consulting, and has an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco. He creates interest in, conversations around, and business for green (and greening) companies, via social media.


Is bottled water bad? Read more here.


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  • http://www.GreenSmart.biz/ Tom Larsen

    A company in Southern California, EcoUsable has had a stainless steel bottle with a water filter embedded in the screw on lid for a year or so. The filter is good for 100 gallons, is replaceable and the 25 oz. bottle has an attractive hourglass figure. At $39.95 it provides water quality security and unbreakable carrying convenience. I've used it and recommend it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jen.boynton Jen Boynton

    100 uses doesn't seem like very many to me. If this bottle is intended to be one you can carry everywhere with you, you're talking about multiple filter changes a year. How much do they cost? What do you do with them when you're done?

  • Sandy

    This bottled water obsession is really getting ridiculous. “Not going to happen”? The marketers have done a good job making people think tap water is 'uncool' and that you need to buy stupid things like this and carry them with you everywhere like a baby bottle. If something is wrong with your tap water (which there probably isn't) why don't you do something about it? Why not demand better water at work or in drinking fountains?

  • Paul Arthur Smith

    @Tom that's good to know there's a domestic option. That's a lot of water for the filter! @Jen Agreed, it's not many uses. The bottle, converted from Australian dollars, is about $29.50. Replacement filter is $11.50. A reasonable price for the bottle in relation to others in the market, but the minimal uses on the filter? Not so much. @Sandy, snark aside, I agree, if people aren't satisfied with the quality of their tap water (which in many cases they're justified in being so) taking action to improve it is a good move. And, in the current economic climate, doing overhauls of municipal/on site water processing is not likely to be a high priority. So something like this is helpful. Beyond being a trend, people are frequently dehydrated and don't realize it, causing issues with being able to focus, also inclining people to poor food choices (when dehydrated we often reach for sweets or in general snack more, the brain giving us a signal that's interpreted as “I'm hungry”) So having water nearby and being in the habit of drinking it is a proactive thing to do.

    • Sandy

      Real people drink tap water. (unless you're in Las Vegas or some other western hell hole). It's nonsense to think you need to carry water around all the time, a total gimmick that's been sold to us. And if you want to – there is a sink nearby, I guarantee, where you can fill a normal bottle up.

  • timothyjf

    At friendsofwater.com we sell a version of the stainless steel filtering water bottle produced by the folks who invented the breakthrough filtration used in the bottle. It is $39.95, shipping in the US is free. We agree that filtering water at home is the best thing to do, but you're not always at home and should be drinking water when you are not. http://shop.friendsofwater.com/Stainless-Steel-…. The issue of the waste of the replaceable filters is real, but so far this is the best solution available.

    There is lots of information showing that it is a good idea to filter your water. You can start at our main site, but the news has been filled with reports of drugs, legal and illegal being identified, and there are studies that show risks of fluoride and chlorine. The EPA recently stated that there are many contaminants in the water that they don't even monitor. Make up your own mind, but look at the information available first.

    Yes – demand better water supplies. In the meantime protect your health.

  • Aukman

    “Tap Water Gross” … gee, sounds like a Los Angeles teenager or something.

    • Paul Arthur Smith

      Precisely. Humor much?

  • http://www.absolutecomfortonsale.com/ memory foam

    The 321 Water product looks like a good product and will help the cause, but the tap water situation is not so hopeless. There are good sink filters one can use, and their use can be incorporated in the office as well as at home.

  • http://www.absolutecomfortonsale.com/ memory foam

    The 321 Water product looks like a good product and will help the cause, but the tap water situation is not so hopeless. There are good sink filters one can use, and their use can be incorporated in the office as well as at home.

  • Vanessa

    Where can’t buy in Malaysia Kuala Lumpur? How much is it in Malaysia money?