How to quench your thirst without plastic

quench-filtered-waterAfter my spectacular fail last week with Small Footprint’s ‘Change the World Wednesday’ challenge (when we were asked to shop for food without purchasing plastic), I realised one area in which I have made massive eco changes:

My water drinking habits.

I’ve always been an ‘8 glasses a day’ gal for health reasons, but over the past couple of years I’ve switched from drinking bottled water to drinking filtered tap water.

But how do you continue your ‘eco credentials’ in the workplace?

Back in the days of my corporate life, I remember having a stack of non-recyclable disposable plastic cups on my desk that were thrown in the bin at the end of each day. In one company I worked at we had bottled water delivered to the offices. I’m all for providing staff with high quality water, but really? Delivering water to offices?

This week I came across the aptly named Quench, who provide bottleless water coolers to offices so workers can go green at work.

Quench allow you to skip plastic altogether by utilising purification technology to remove harmful impurities from your own water supply. Quench use technologies such as ultraviolet sanitization, 5-stage activated carbon water filtration and reverse osmosis to deliver safe, great tasting water to businesses.


Something I’d never thought of before is that with bottled water coolers you pay for your water 4 times!

You pay for:

Water to be bottled in bottling plants

The bottled water to be shipped to the distribution center

The water delivery trucks

Drivers and fuel to deliver the water to your water dispenser.



I have to admit, I’ve learned a lot from Quench about bottled water coolers and health too. Bottled water coolers are frequent landmarks at my local osteopath and health care centre, and I’ve discovered some of the reasons they might not be so healthy after all:

I’d always figured that bottled water was a healthier alternative to tap water that had been pumped full of chlorine and fluoride. However, the water in bottled water coolers is open to the air which means anything from germs to dirt can get in.


Apparently bottled water companies store your water before delivering it; often for months at a time. In that time bottled water can harbour and nurture microorganisms.


Water jugs are typically made from plastics that use bisphenol-A (BPA) as a hardening agent. The EPA has identified BPA as a potential carcinogen and because BPA may leach out of plastic and into water, if it’s in your water jug, you may be drinking it.

Bottled water is an emotive subject and Nova Scotia and Manitoba in Canada have gone so far as to ban water bottles from all of its offices to encourage drinking of tap water.


According to National Geographic, Americans buy around 29 billion bottles of water per year. In order to make all these bottles, manufacturers use 17 million barrels of crude oil which is enough oil to keep a million cars going for twelve months.

Quench remind me that with a bottleless water cooler, you can enjoy safe, healthy drinking water which is filtered and purified as required with none of the environmental or health hazards that come from bottled water.

What about you – does your company provide you with environmentally sound, healthy water to drink?


  1. Sarah Stone on July 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

    I always carry my own tap water around with me so that I know what I’m drinking.

    If I wanted to filter that water I’d buy one of these that I saw in a shop in The Lanes in Brighton the other day They look like a great idea to me 🙂

  2. April H on July 19, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    We use filtered water here – there are so many great filter options these days, there is no reason not to!

  3. Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking on July 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    This really is an awesome post! We have a water filter and carry our water also. Not only are we drinking better water, not using the plastic bottles but saving lots of money in the long run!!

  4. Mrs Green on August 14, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    @Sarah Stone: Hi Sarah, goo to see you, the waterbooble looks fantastic – thanks for sharing!

    @April H: Agreed April; there are lots of options now!

    @Alicia@ eco friendly homemaking: Yep, saving money and the environment at the same time can’t be beaten!