Water alternatives from a zero-waste standpoint during a pandemic or when tap water isn't an option.

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

If you have already read this from a previous blog post, feel free to skip down past the featured picture to read the new blog post :)

Public Service Announcement: No matter how hard you try, you are going to be producing more waste than normal and that is OKAY. Unfortunately, we have not come up with a solution as a society that isn't single-use in regards to sanitation. Hopefully, that comes soon, but for now, we have to work within the system we have. The purpose of the upcoming blogs is to walk you through the steps you can take to reduce waste where you have the ability to do so.

Good - Better - Best: Throughout the upcoming blogs, I will be using my 'Good - Better - Best' model. I will display an adaptable sustainable timeline to accommodate all stages of your low-waste journey. Truthfully, even I don't hit the 'Best' suggestion in all of the different waste categories. It's a timeline, so enjoy the process :)

  • The 'Good' suggestion is not the 'most' environmentally sound option but don't let that discourage you, it's still environmentally friendly. These are typically the suggestions where you have to buy new products or produce a little more waste than normal.

  • The 'Better' suggestion is somewhere in the middle between 'Good' and 'Best'. Typically you are using the resources around you, but may not have the most sustainable alternatives accessible to you.

  • The 'Best' suggestion is the most environmentally sound option - for now - since it is ever-changing. This doesn't mean that it is the most expensive choice either. These are typically when you are reusing what is around you, buying secondhand, making your own products, and producing little to no waste.

During uncertain times, we generally tend to stalk up on necessary items like water, even when we can drink from the tap. However, some of us may not have the luxury to drink from the tap water on a daily basis. Regardless if you find yourself needing to stalk up on water at any point, I have outlined alternatives in order from good to best to help you navigate the best low-waste option available for you at any given time.


  • Buy in bulk sizes (gallon jugs) to avoid single-use packaging and refill your reusable water bottle or cup.

  • Be sure to check if the type of plastic is recyclable in your area: #1's are most ideal.

  • If the plastic isn't recyclable in your area, try to reuse the jug before you toss it into the trash.

  • Examples: arts and crafts, plant holders, organizing toolbox, etc.

  • A simple Google search on how to upcycle your plastic jugs will give you numerous options.


  • Buy in highly recyclable packaging like aluminum cans and bottles, like Proud Source Water.

  • Aluminum is accepted at most recycling facilities across the country compared to plastic.

  • You can buy large quantities online and have them shipped directly to you to avoid having to go into the store.

  • Aluminum cans and bottles are now becoming a staple at many grocery stores too - so keep your eyes out!


  • Refill at your local grocery store or Walmart with your own container or one of theirs that gets sanitized & reused.

  • Some grocery stores offer free water refills to their members - be sure to ask about it.

  • If you aren't a member, it usually only costs a dollar or two to fill up multiple gallons - what a deal!

  • If you don't have your own container or water cooler, you can purchase a Dolphin Water Pump to make your own water cooler without the high cost.

Below is a graphic to help you visualize the options. Feel free to share the image and blog with your friends.

To sustainability and beyond!

- Marina M. McCoy

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