Saturday, May 01, 2010

Water Bobble Review

Its a review!

My girlfriend is not what you would call a recyclist (apparently, thats not a word, well it should be) and also likes to drink water from bottles. She is from a small town in the U.S. where they don't have a recycling program. I'm from Montreal and since I was born, I was instilled with the socialist blue box recycling program. Every municipality should have a recycling program of some sort. Paper, plastic, glass, and aluminium gets thrown into the bin.

The only problem is that my girlfriend drinks bottled water and has no concept of recycling. Bottled water is terrible for the environment in general and on top, how many people really recycle those bottles. Its not like they sell 100% recycled plastic bottles anyways so reducing the demand is better than recycling.

I don't mind drinking tap water since Montreal's water is very clean. Plus it tastes better than bottled water for me. My parents buy the Nestles bottled water because you can get about 40-60 bottles for under 4$. That stuff tastes terrible. I don't know if its because its source is crap or the plastic leeches into the water. When I can, I drink from tap since I don't mind it. Plus, the majority of bottled water come from water treatment plants so they're basically the equivalent to tap water.

My girlfriend on the other hand drinks only certain brands of bottled water for its taste. Its annoying plus expensive in Montreal. The state's bottled water is cheaper but still, the amount of waste created is enormous.

I wanted to find a solution for her that tastes good and is better for the environment so everyone wins! Tap water isn't great for her because she doesn't like the taste of it that much. When its cold, she doesn't mind but still doesn't like it. There are Brita (activated charcoal) filtered water  but the problem is that it takes time for the filter to do its job. So while it can clean the water, it doesn't meet the needs for this generation people with 30 second attention spans.

I don't remember how I found out about Water Bobble but am glad I did. It is a reusable water bottle that has an activated charcoal filter in the spout. This solves my problem of providing the idea of clean and good tasting water without needing to wait for the filter to clean the water.

Price

So I had to buy it to see if it will get my girlfriend off her addiction with bottled water. The problem is that its a startup company and they don't sell them everywhere. I live in Canada and my girlfriend is from a small town so we had to ship ours in. I got my friends to purchase some as well and made an order of 12 ( luckily, I got a 2 for 1 discount for Earth Day).

Each bottle is about 10$ and the shipping was 20$ for 12 bottles (I bought directly from them). With my discount, my friends and I only paid 8$ a bottle in total.

The filters themselves are 7$ each and you only need to buy them every 2 months or so. I much rather spend 7$ every 2 months for a filter than spend 7$ a week on bottled water.

Also note, I don't like how we use currently use plastics for disposable goods since plastics can last forever. The point of plastic was to create low cost, long life products so throwing them away is hurting the environment since its never going to go away in a life time. I'm looking forward to the new bio plastics that have shorter life spans but really, we should move away from plastics for disposable usage.

Design

The bottles come in six bright colours: blue, red, magenta (pink-violet), yellow, black,  green. I just realized, I didn't buy the green version! The filter and spout are one piece so if you want to change the colour of the Bobble, you can just purchase a different colour filter.

The bottle itself is made of clear recycled plastic thats been FDA approved for human consumption. It doesn't have that new scary BPA chemical too. The bottle holds just above half a liter of water.

Its a nice curvaceous design that will look pretty sitting on a table. It fits in the standard automotive cup holder so its car friendly. I took it out with me driving and saw no problem with it.

It does come with a clear spout protector but theres a good chance I will lose it soon. Its useful for transporting in your bag and keeping the spout clean. Hopefully I won't lose it  but then, I have a habit of doing that with little trinkets.

I also noticed that the spout won't fit on other bottles but thats mostly because it needs to accommodate the filter. Would be useful if you have a water bottle that you like already and want to use the filter on it. I think most water bottles have bigger spouts to begin with so maybe the filter will fit on some.

Update: Most people who received the bobbles say that the plastic doesn't feel high end. I don't think this is a big issue since thinner plastic means less is used. Plus, its only 10$ and I'm assuming the plastic they used isn't cheap since its been FDA approved. The plastic is also a bit fragile. Since you need to squeeze to get the water out, some of my friends are squeezing too hard and are permanently deforming the bottles. I think its a habit from bottled water since you don't care about the bottle itself. So you squeeze it until the sides meet. It breaks on those too but no one cares since you just throw it out.

Taste Test

The moment of truth. Does it work? Yes, it does. Taste testing with the water here, I can taste a difference. It seems less harsh and more smooth than the tap water here. I have to try it when I get back to Montreal since I'm currently in Vermont.

My girlfriend is the ultimate test and she doesn't mind it at all. The point was to see if she would move to this instead of bottled water. It worked so it passed the ultimate test for me.

Conclusion

The water Bobble is low cost solution to making sure the water you drink is clean and potable. There is nothing wrong with tap water but for those with anxiety or just don't like the taste of tap water, this is a good solution.

Pictures