Get an in-home water filtration system and never buy another plastic water bottle
You probably aren’t drinking enough water, but these filters can help.
If chlorine or fluoride makes your tap water taste funky, please opt for a water filter rather than bottle after bottle of spring H2O. Water filtration systems help you actually drink enough water—80 percent of Americans are not!—without any single-use plastic.
Here are a few options filtration systems worth checking out:
Faucet filters take up virtually no extra space and installing them is straight-forward. This chrome version looks good and purifies without sacrificing water pressure, which can be an issue with other faucet-mounted systems. The Engdenton filters also last for up to 320 gallons, which is more than three times the lifespan of some of its competitors. One drawback is that it only fits on standard faucets, so if yours doesn’t fit the bill you’ll either have to replace your entire faucet or choose a different filter. It also doesn’t filter out protozoa, bacteria, or viruses so this type of purifier is best for making funky-tasting water a bit more fresh—it filters out chlorine and at least some fluoride.
Systems that mount under the sink require a bit more installation and take up more space than faucet filters. They store filtered water in a tank, but can provide more heavy-duty filtration. The ROES-75 removes more than 1,000 different contaminants including 99 percent of lead, heavy metals, bacteria and viruses, along with chlorine and fluoride. Plus, it softens hard water without taking up a lot of space (its dimensions are 16 x 5.2 x 17.5 inches). Being a reverse osmosis (RO) system, this filter does produce wastewater—around 3 gallons per every gallon of purified water, which is on the lower end but can also vary—so don’t be surprised when your household water consumption spikes a bit. On the other hand, while some models tell you to run the faucet for 24 hours after installation (and then repeat every time you change the filter) to clear the filter of any loose filtration compounds.
The Berkey gravity-fed water filter doesn’t require electricity and the black filter system can process 6,000 gallons of water before needing to be replaced. The largest model can hold 6 gallons of water but the system also comes in a 1.5-gallon travel size. (Just remember that a gallon of water weighs around 8 pounds, so it may not be as mobile as the name suggests.) The filters remove 99.99 percent of viruses and pathogenic bacteria, and significantly reduce your risk of drinking protozoa like giardia that can lurk in river or lake water. The body had been known to rust, however, so make sure you inspect it regularly.
Brita devices don’t create wastewater, don’t require any installation, and are relatively portable and affordable. This 18-cup vessel can hang out on the countertop or in the fridge and doesn’t have to be refilled as often as the brand’s pitchers. The plastic may not look as elegant as stainless steel versions, but it is BPA-free. Plus, it won’t rust. The filter needs to be changed every 40 gallons, which is pretty standard for this type of system, but definitely more often than other filters on the list.