How Eco-Friendly is Your Hydro Flask?

As I sit in the library avoiding doing homework by spending way too much time on TikTok (no regrets!), I’ve noticed that it has become a trend to make fun of VSCO girls, as well as people that use Hydro Flasks in general. I turned to look at my trusty frost blue Hydro Flask, and I wondered if this product really saves the environment or if it’s just a hype.

The reasons I chose to buy a reusable water bottle are probably the same as any college student: to save money that I would spend buying plastic bottles all the time and save the environment. 

However, as I started learning more about fossil fuel production from product manufacturing and other environmental effects in one of my classes this semester, I couldn’t help but wonder if my $40 water bottle is truly good, or a root of all our problems.

It was recently discovered humans around the world purchase 1 million plastic bottles a minute. Out of these bottles, only 9% end up in a recycling center. 

This statistic is startling and makes me clutch to my water bottle more, but I think about how the manufacturing process may be bad for the environment and our health. The process of creating stainless steel for water bottles and basically anything else produces seven times more fossil fuel emissions than plastic bottles and releases 14 times more greenhouse gas emissions. 

The release of these gases is not only bad for the environment, but it is also bad for human health. It’s common knowledge that people who live near power plants or factories experience respiratory illnesses at a higher rate than those who do not. 

While the short term effects may make it seem like we should all switch to plastic bottles and drive on with the mission, we cannot forget about what the long term effects of having plastic bottles all over the place will do to future generations and animals. 

Plastic literally takes hundreds of years to break apart and can cause serious health problems due to chemicals in it like bisphenol, commonly referred to as BPA. BPA can cause problems like cancer and infertility issues in women (more info on this scary chemical can be found here). 

There was also a report that the amount of plastic in the oceans will outweigh every single fish by the year 2050 if we do not change our consumption of this product.

While you are probably thinking “okay sis but steel bottles don’t break down”, jokes on you! Because I found information on how steel bottles are better than plastic on that issue. 

The short term effects of steel bottles are bad, but we also must think about how each use of them reduces their carbon impact and makes up for the amount of plastic bottles that are just literally floating out there. 

Using a metal water bottle at least 50 times reduces the amount of fossil fuel and greenhouse gas emissions in the air because the amount of fuel it takes to make one steel bottle is the same amount it takes to make 50 plastic bottles. And if you can use your Hydro Flask, S’well, or another type of metal bottle 500 times, then you can equate this to the whole 100+ plus year life cycle of waiting for a plastic bottle to disintegrate without ever one. 

Most states allow you to recycle steel bottles when you feel need a change, and this process can drastically improve the Earth because the steel is already made and can simply be made into something else.

This is just a small dive into the world of environmental science and the impact of various bottles (I am not a scientist, unless you count a political science minor as some kind of science), but it shows how complex an issue on what is best to transport your drink can be. 

I will still continue to represent my Hydro Flask hard, and so should you! One day these bottles will truly help us make a positive impact on the environment and we all won’t be ashamed to be associated with the VSCO girl movement. 

Regardless of how you consume water, remember how important it is to get in EIGHT glasses a day! You will thank me later for this pro tip.