Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Readers tell us: Do you buy plastic water bottles in bulk?

By Emily Woodbury

Well, folks, I could rant…a lot…but for the sake of our friendship and your time, I won’t. In last Friday’s RV Daily Tips Newsletter we asked: Do you buy plastic water bottles in bulk?

Let’s jump to the results. Almost 40 percent of you told us that you buy plastic water bottles in bulk all the time. Additionally, nearly another 40 percent of you buy them sometimes. A small 5 percent of you said that don’t buy them in bulk, but you do buy them individually. A larger, but not large enough, 18 percent of you never buy plastic bottles. Thank you.

Instead of a rant, I’ll just give you a few statistics here about plastic bottles. That should say enough.

Globally, humans buy one million plastic water bottles every minute.

By 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish. If you eat seafood now, you probably eat 11,000 pieces of plastic each year.

Here are more scary plastic facts. And If you haven’t read Chuck’s recent article titled “What I found on the Oregon beach sickened me,” read it. There are over 180 comments on that post, so heat up a cup of coffee and get to readin’.

Have you ever considered buying a water filter for your RV? Here are a ton of options. Once you have a water filter installed, you can buy a reusable water bottle.

Here’s what reader Will B. wrote: “I see some comments already about buying bulk quantities of water bottles. I would think that most RVers are a little more concerned about the environment and not adding all that plastic. Now, I completely get wanting that filtered water. May I suggest a refillable bottle or even 1 or 2.5 gallon instead of all those little plastic bottles? Maybe even a good Brita filter pitcher? I know it’s hard to reduce plastic waste, I find it difficult, too. But every little thing helps. You don’t have to be an eco-warrior to make a difference.” Thanks, Will. I agree.

P. S. I just had a thought. Do you think RVers use more plastic water bottles than people who don’t RV? Comment below, please.

Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 365+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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Carson Axtell (@guest_67551)
3 years ago

I think it is a mistake to assume RVers are any more interested in preserving the environment than is the general public, or so many of them wouldn’t be driving gas-guzzling truck tow vehicles and Class A and B+ RVs to do their traveling. Comfort and convenience trump any real environmental concerns.

Karen (@guest_66927)
3 years ago

We have a filter on the water line outside & we use a Brita Water Filter container in the kitchen for ALL our drinking & cooking water

Dan (@guest_66890)
3 years ago

I went to Walmart yesterday. Horrors! The young couple in front of me had a grocery cart full of 5 cases of bottled water. No, I don’t know if they were Rv’ers or not, I’m in Florida.
We went there to replace another piece of plastic junk, a Ryobi hand vacuum. This time we bought a Shark. They’re probably all made in the same parent factory in China though.
We didn’t buy water in bottles though, we filter our water and it’s good. We’re fulltimers.

Abe Loughin (@guest_66849)
3 years ago

In my observations, non-rvers use as many or more plastic water bottles as rvers do. I’m currently working as a gate guard on an oil field, as I am checking in vehicles I notice most have at least one bottle of water. Here in Texas and in Florida (possibly other places) there are kiosks where one can buy reverse osmosis, filtered water for between a dollar and a dollar and a half for 5 gallons. We bought a 3 and half gallon water cooler bottle and a pump for it. When we go grocery shopping we fill 1 gallon jugs (saved from the iced tea I like) then pour them into the larger bottle as needed.

Skyler (@guest_66846)
3 years ago

Let me start out by saying that I sincerely appreciate everything Chuck has to say about this topic. There simply aren’t any excuses for buying plastic water bottles in bulk, as much as people try to rationalize them. I’ve NEVER purchased water in bulk and wouldn’t think of it. I consider myself informed and aware, “woke” is the term used today.

I lived in New Mexico for 17 years with a well on the property. The well water wasn’t suitable for drinking and would have caused health problems for me and my dogs (Dalmatians). So I purchased gallon jugs and refilled weekly at Whole Foods in Santa Fe. It was a pain and no plastic ended up in the dump or sea, in fact, I still use the gallon jugs – in Oregon where I live today.

I will purchase a Berkey water filter for my RV and use 20 gallon water bladders and continue to use the gallon jugs for extra water. Maybe it’s a good idea to understand how each of us, individually, can impact the enormous problem facing OUR planet today and act accordingly.

Thank you, Chuck, and Oregon does, too!

WEB (@guest_67254)
3 years ago
Reply to  Skyler

Chuck was not the writer, but I am sure has the same concerns.

Cheryl Bacon (@guest_66836)
3 years ago

Being upset and wanting to rant is only looking at one side, mindless a waste of good energy and mental well being. I wonder if the rant would change if it concerns people needing bottled water during a natural disaster event or by the carelessness of not having major water pipes inspected correctly and repaired when advised to. Or proper maintenance to a water treatment facility? This causes boil water orders. Yes people can filter their drinking water, or even spend thousands to filter their whole house system and use refillable bottles. Those bottles get empty and have to refilled in multiple places where who knows where that water has been. Of course you can have a portable filtration device or even a Life Straw. Those bottles and filtering devices also need to be cleaned, with more water used. Then of course you are adding to the trash with all the filters and by-products filtration causes. Not to mention the pollution caused by making these products, and the removal of the discarded byproducts. My point is there is no perfect solution to any of it and all the small steps are just bandaids to the bigger problems. Unless we go back to a totally primitive lifestyle, which will never happen because the World population is too large. There is so much more that can be done, but raging or shaming people is not a solution.

Bob (@guest_66845)
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bacon

It’s people like you who are to lazy and just make excuses. I travel full-time in my RV to see this wonderful world we live in. We need to do everything possible to save this planet for our children and grandchildren. This means we as humans need to do everything possible to stop all pollution.

mdstudey (@guest_66869)
3 years ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bacon

It is really very simple, drink from the tap. I am 62 years old and not dead yet. I fully understand the need in the event of a natural disaster that individual bottles of water may be needed or situation such as Detroit where the lead pipes are a problem. Unless your water is not potable you should try it. Then you can save money on your pricey filter that will further create more plastic in landfills.

You mention a primitive lifestyle and how we are beyond that stage, take a trip across the border into Mexico. Don’t want to leave the country? Maybe take a trip to one of the Indian Reservations. People still do live that way.

We are guardians of this earth, we need to take care of it.

And yes, if I don’t have my steel cup with me, I will on occasion buy a bottle.

Bob Hulett (@guest_66810)
3 years ago

We reuse the water bottles as much as we can and always recycle them.

James LaGasse (@guest_66809)
3 years ago

My wife and I occasionally buy the 1 gallon bottles and continually refill them until they are leaking.
We fill the bottles through a filter which doesn’t rid all the chlorine but if you leave them in the sun with a loose cap for a day it will rid the water of the chlor taste and some other off putting tastes. If you’re ever stuck somewhere and not sure of the water source a day in the sun will also kill bacteria and make the water safe to drink. Learned that from a missionary who worked in the Peace Corps.

Sink Jaxon (@guest_67386)
3 years ago
Reply to  James LaGasse

NO WAY !! Unless it’s BPA free! Bisphenol A is toxic and activated by heat which in turn leaches into the water. Research suggests that BPA could alter hormone levels, cause heart problems, and even increase the risk of cancer. Ingesting antimony can cause stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach ulcers, and some studies have linked it to spontaneous abortion and retinal bleeding.

John Wilkins (@guest_66801)
3 years ago

Why don’t more campgrounds support recycling at their trash disposal area? Most campgrounds I’ve visited do not have recycling containers.

Becca Ray (@guest_67688)
3 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkins

We ask at every campground we go where is the recycling. When we ask why there isn’t any or there is limited recycling we are most often told ‘because people do not sort items correctly (ie-plastic, glass, metal, cardboard…), or they mix regular refuse waste with recyclables and then the recycled items are refused by the garbage people picking up the trash or the campground is charged extra money or fined if someone (staff/volunteer) does not sort things correctly before pick up’.

Dave Miner (@guest_66800)
3 years ago

Nice article on water bottles with some not very surprising statistics but not very helpful. I was hoping for a comparison of the different water filters available on today’s market.

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