You have no shortage of options when it comes to choosing what you’re going to give this holiday season. We know the temptations of shiny jewelry, high-tech gadgets, upscale clothes, and goofy stocking stuffers. Heck, we’ve given these gifts ourselves over the years.
But what if this year, you gave someone on your list a gift that lasted more than one fashion season — a gift that they’d use every day, and a gift that would ultimately save them hundreds of dollars over time?
Our solution, of course, is a reusable travel mug or a reusable water bottle. Plus, you’re helping your gift recipient make the most of their money, positively affect the environment, and form healthy habits. Here’s how either gift makes those happen.
Reusable Water Bottle
Saves the recipient anywhere from $30-$280 per year
We did the math for you (because we’re nice like that). And also because we’re nice like that, all our math is in a footnote at the bottom of this post, so if you’re math-averse, you don’t have to see all the intimidating numbers.1 Plus, remember that the savings only increase over time; after the first year, you don’t have to buy a new water bottle, so all those savings are going straight to your wallet.
The average American drinks about 36.5 gallons of bottled water per year, which is 278 single-use plastic water bottles. Of those, only 23% would have been recycled. So, your holiday gift of a reusable water bottle saves around 214 single-use water bottles from languishing in landfills for hundreds of years.
Creates healthy habits
Water is called the essence of life for a reason. Up to 60% of your body is water, and your muscles are about 75% water. Drinking water before and during a workout helps your cells keep a balance of fluids and electrolytes, which in turn keeps your muscles working at their maximum level. So, when you’re well-hydrated, it’s a lot easier to crush that workout.
Your brain cells are also mostly made of water, so when you’re hydrated, your brain cells function way better. Translation? Drinking water makes you more alert and less likely to misspell anything in that big presentation.
Finally, pretty much every model you read about cites “drinking tons of water” as their top skincare tip. That’s because your skin is an organ — and the largest organ in your body, at that. When you drink a lot of water, it fills the spaces between your skin cells and improves your skin’s resiliency, which makes your skin less susceptible to wrinkles over time.
Reusable Travel Mugs
Save $25-$262 per year
Probably nothing you didn’t already know, but buying coffee every day gets expensive reallll quick.
Check out our calculations at the footnote below2 (no really, we worked really hard on these. Please read them).
50 billion cups in the United States end up in landfills every year. If your friend or family member goes to get coffee anywhere from once a week to five times a week (because work is hard without coffee), that could be anywhere from 50-250 paper cups thrown away per year.
Enjoy a Better Brew
Chances are, your loved one doesn’t make their own flavored syrups to add to their coffee, and they’re a lot less likely to make a calorie-laden latte or frap at home than they are to buy it in the store. Plus, these days, it’s really easy to upgrade your home coffee brew with just a few simple steps, like using a French press or making a pourover coffee. These at-home methods make your coffee taste way better without sugary add-ins.
So, we humbly suggest that instead of giving someone on your list something they may not use more than a couple of times before throwing it away, consider giving a reusable product. You can even take your gift up a notch by pairing a reusable travel mug with a gift card to your recipient’s favorite coffee shop, or a reusable water bottle with a gift card to their favorite gym or athletic apparel store. Ready to give green?
1Assume that you purchase a 32 oz. BPA-free reusable water bottle for $14.99 (like our AUTOSEAL® Cortland or AUTOSPOUT® Ashland). Using the 2016 average sales tax rate of 6.47%, your water bottle costs $15.96. You refill it twice a day and consume around 64 oz. of water (psst… change this number depending on how much water you should drink every day).
On the bottled water side, the average American consumes 36.5 gallons of bottled water in 2015. That’s 278 single-use plastic water bottles. You’re a savvy shopper, so you buy in bulk: a case of 35 Nestle Pure Life Purified Water bottles costs $3.78 at Sam’s Club. That’s around 8 cases per year plus sales tax, for a total of $32.20. Not buying in bulk? Your average 16.9oz bottle of water costs around $1, bringing your total cost per year up to $278 if you only buy one bottle at a time.
2This one’s a little trickier because of the materials involved, but bear with us. Let’s assume that your coffee habit is limited to one 16 oz. cup before you get to work in the morning (what Starbucks would call a grande).
Let’s assume that a 16 oz. cup of coffee costs you around $2.10 (if you know for a fact that your java habit costs more or less, go ahead and substitute that in). Grabbing that coffee five days a week for 50 weeks (we took out two weeks for vacation) runs you around $525 (and that’s assuming you don’t treat yourself to the occasional latte).
At home, one ounce of coffee should yield one 16 oz. cup of coffee, so a pound of coffee will get your 16 16oz. cups. Consumers can spend between $10-$15 for a decent pound of coffee. Assuming you get 16 cups of coffee out of pound of coffee, that’s between $0.62-$0.93 per cup. This means making coffee at home would cost between $3.10-$4.65/week or up to $232.50/year (for five days a week, taking out the same two weeks for vacation). 250 paper filters cost around $7, and a reusable stainless steel travel mug (like the AUTOSEAL West Loop) costs around $20.99 plus tax, making your grand at-home total cost around $262 per year.
Here’s another perspective: what if you’re addicted to your specialty brew, but want to use your own travel mug? Many coffee shops offer a discount if you bring in your own cup; Starbucks, for example, takes ten cents off your purchase if you bring in a personal mug. Over the course of a year (as defined above as 250 work days), that saves $25. Sure, that’s not an eye-popping sum, but again, over time, the savings keep adding up.