Last Updated on September 16, 2021 by Sarah
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Looking for eco friendly water filter options?
Water filters are a great way to reduce contaminants commonly found in tap water – from everyday odours to chlorine and heavy metals such as chromium or lead.
The problem is, many water filters – from simple filter jugs to powerful countertop systems contain a lot of plastic parts.
And whilst it’s effective at purifying, a filtering process such as reverse osmosis produces a lot of ‘waste’ water (on average around 4 gallons per gallon of purified water). This can ramp up your bills if you’re on a water metre.
Add to that an estimated 100 million single-use plastic water filter cartridges going into landfill each year & the carbon footprint starts to add up.
Eco Friendly Water Filter Benefits
So, if you’re consciously minded about the materials, processes and parts used in water filters and their impact on the environment, choosing a filter that’s designed to have less impact on the environment is a greener choice to make.
Whether you want opt for a glass water filter, filter your water without the use of plastic cartridges or switch to plant based filtration, choosing a water filter that’s been designed with sustainability in mind is a great way to:
- stay hydrated
- benefit your health
- lower your carbon footprint
- reduce single use plastic filter cartridge waste
- help the environment.
Here are 5 of the best eco friendly water filters across a range of budgets – from affordable glass water filter pitchers to plant based filtration and powerful stainless steel filters that should last you a lifetime.
1 – pH Replenish
Made From: Glass
Eco Credentials: Plastic free/uses filter pouches
Capacity:1 litre or 1.8 litres
Filters Out: Reduces chlorine & heavy metals like arsenic, mercury, copper & lead
Best For: Plastic free water filter jugs
If you’re on the look out for an eco friendly water filter jug, the pH Replenish is one of the few filters with no plastic parts. Made from sturdy borosilicate glass & stainless steel, the filter also increases the pH of your water, making it more alkaline. The handy replaceable filter pouch means there’s no plastic filter cartridge waste to add to the 100 million filter cartridges that go into landfill each year, plus the filter pouch lasts an average of 106 days for 2 people; longer than many other similar filters. Depending on how much water you drink, you’ve also got the choice of a 1 or 1.8 litre capacity jug.
Summary: A stylish, affordable eco friendly water filter jug that also alkalise your water & adds in extra minerals.
2 – Phox V2
Made From: Glass/BPA free plastic
Eco Credentials: Refillable cartridge
Capacity: 2.2 litres (1.75 filtered)
Filters Out: Reduces chlorine & heavy metals
Best For: Eco friendly filter refills
With an eye on sustainability, Phox claim to have invented the first refillable cartridge, making the 2.2 litre Phox 2 a contender for one of the most eco filters on the market. A filter pack lasts you an average of 45 days, then you simply dispose of your used filter granules and pour in new ones. The refillable filter on the Phox 2 is a great way to reduce plastic waste, plus the filter pack will alkalises your water, increasing its pH. Each refill pack contains 2 x 45 day filter packs & according to Phox the filter ’emits 75% less C02 than competing brands’. Keep in mind; if you’re looking to avoid plastic, the Phox 2 does contain BPA free plastic parts, but the main jug that stores the filtered water is made from glass.
Summary: Eco friendly water filter jug with a refillable cartridge that solves the problem of cartridge waste.
3 – Soma Glass Carafe
Made From: Glass
Eco Credentials: 60% plant-based and renewable materials
Capacity: 6 glasses (48 oz)
Filters Out: Chlorine & some heavy metals such as mercury
Best For: Small spaces/no plastic
As a registered Certified B Corporation, Soma are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers & community, as well as the environment. A conscious brand with sustainability at their core, Soma donate to a water charity for every purchase made. They also offset their carbon emissions. The Soma glass water carafe is made from shatter-resistant, borosilicate glass and holds 6 cups of water. The filter utilises the power of activated coconut shell carbon & charcoal & lasts around 2 months (it’s not yet biodegradable though). A stylish carafe designed with sustainability in mind.
Summary: Stylish glass water filter carafe from an ethically based company.
4 – Big Berkey
Made From: Stainless steel
Eco Credentials: Stainless steel/made to last
Capacity: 2.25 gallons
Filters Out: Addresses 200+ contaminants
Best For: Powerful filtering
The Big Berkey water filter system packs a powerful filtering punch & claims to address over 200 different contaminants. A standalone, gravity fed filter (gravity fed filters filter slower than other filters, which is considered more effective), it doesn’t come cheap, but if you’ve got the budget, this is arguably the Rolls Royce of water filters. Made from quality stainless steel, the filter is easy to assemble, use & clean. Internal filters are also long lasting, plus you’ve got the option to add separate fluoride filters if you want. The spigot tap is plastic, but you can replace with a metal one quite cheaply.
Summary: Powerful stainless steel water filter that should last you a lifetime.
5 – Binchotan Charcoal
Made From: Carbonised wood
Eco Credentials: Natural & sustainable
Capacity: Depends on use
Filters Out: Chlorine & odours /remineralises water
Best For: Biodegradable/recyclable filters
Binchotan charcoal has been used as a water purifier in Japan since the 17th century. Made by slow-burning oak wood until it carbonizes, Binchotan sticks contain endless tiny cavities that absorb impurities such as chlorine. Natural & biodegradable, Binchotan sticks are easy to use. Simply drop a stick into a container of tap water & leave for 8 hours to purify, then ‘recharge’ the stick every 2-3 weeks by boiling it for 10 minutes. Inexpensive to buy Binchotan charcoal can be used in a container you already have or added to a Black + Blum Eau Carafe, for a sustainable water bottle option. A Binchotan charcoal stick also adds minerals to your water & improves it’s pH. 1 stick lasts around 6 months.
Summary: Simple but effective way to purify tap water yourself, using an ancient Japanese technique.
Eco Friendly Water Filters: Conclusion
With an estimated 100 million single -use plastic water filter cartridges ending up in landfill every year, the carbon footprint on water filters is a real one. So if you currently use a water filter jug with replaceable cartridges & want to make steps towards living more sustainably, it’s worth finding out if you can recycle them locally. BRITA, for example, offer a recycling programme that ensures all parts of a used BRITA filter are properly recycled or re-used.
Alternatively, seeking out an eco-friendly water filter such as the PH Replenish or Phox 2 ditches the issue of single-use water filter cartridges completely, as both filters utilise simple to use, refillable filter pouches or granules.
Soma are another ethical brand that produce a stylish glass carafe using 60% plant based or renewable materials. You’ve also got the inexpensive option of biodegradable Binchotan charcoal sticks for a greener way to purify water yourself at home.
Alternatively, it’s hard to beat the stainless steel Big Berkey for the sheer number of pollutants it tackles. It’s built to last a lifetime, but does still use filters, which at the time of writing are not recommended for recycling.