The National Park Service (NPS) recently announced it has rescinded a policy that allowed national parks to ban the sale of bottled water in an effort to curb litter. The National Park Service said in a statement it made the decision to “expand hydration options for recreationalists, hikers, and other visitors to national parks.”
The rules were first put in place in 2011 after it became clear discarded water bottles were becoming a big litter problem in national parks. While not an outright ban, 23 of the 417 National Park Service sites had implemented restrictions on bottled water sales. Those include some the nation’s largest and most iconic national parks including Grand Canyon, Zion, and Mount Rushmore.
Originally, the document gave permission to individual park superintendents to prohibit plastic water bottle sales on their park’s premises to help reduce litter in the parks and waste in landfills. The National Park Service said its decision to overturn the ban was part of its “commitment to providing a safe and world-class visitor experience.” According to the National Park Service’s website:
“The 2011 policy, which encouraged national parks to eliminate the sale of disposable water bottles, has been rescinded to expand hydration options for recreationalists, hikers, and other visitors to national parks. The ban removed the healthiest beverage choice at a variety of parks while still allowing sales of bottled sweetened drinks.”
The rollback of the policy is effective immediately. Parks will continue to promote recycling of plastic water bottles, and many have worked with partners to provide free water bottle-filling stations.
And while this policy decision has garnered significant attention, the rescission of the 2011 policy doesn’t need to alter the hydration habits for visitors and their families when visiting the agency’s parks across the United States. Whatever the status of bottled water sales in our parks may be, visitors to America’s national park system all have one thing in common: They need to make sure to drink plenty of water while they are walking and hiking on challenging terrain.
Our bottom line is simple: We believe that people can, and should demonstrate their commitment to conservation, and concern for the world we live and play in by packing a reusable hydration option. Towards those ends, our editors have compiled a list of favored reusable options for your National Park adventures. But, if for whatever reason you don’t or can’t bring a reusable option, then please exercise personal responsibility and if you pack it in, pack it out.
Liberty Bottle Works
Liberty Bottle Works combines an impressive blend of functionality, sustainability, and artisan inspired graphics. The wine-bottle-inspired tapered neck offers a splash-free pour, and the 1/4-turn cap is quick and leak-free. Crafted in the heart of Yakima Washington, Liberty Bottles are available in 24oz and 32 oz sizes. And if you’re wondering where they rank on the “green scale” know that the Liberty Bottle Works team spent over two years developing the processes and procedures to not only make a product from recycled and recyclable materials, but made in manner rooted in Environmental Stewardship.
For many outdoor enthusiasts, the bulky size of steel, aluminum or even plastic canister can trump your best intentions and end up getting left at home on the shelf. Enter Vapur, a California based company on a mission to make hydration incomparably portable and convenient. Simply fill it up, drink it down, then roll it up and tuck it away. Proudly manufactured in the United States, Vapur Anti-Bottles are durable, freezable, dishwasher safe and BPA-free.
Bonus Round: Vapur, in partnership with Elkay, created the Vapur Refill Station Program to promote and encourage the use of reusable bottles, as well as the importance of staying hydrated. The program was implemented four years ago, and today you can now find the Vapur Refill Program in various state and national parks, as well as travel and hospitality destinations throughout the United States. The refill stations aim to reduce waste created by disposable water bottles and refuel the nation. With the Vapur Refill Program, safe drinking water will be more portable and accessible than ever.
With a 100 year legacy of vacuum insulated technology, STANLEY is still crafting tough, innovative products that are guaranteed for life. These insulated wunderkinds keep drinks iced cold or steaming hot for hours on end. The STANLEY Classic Vacuum Insulated bottles offer all the benefits of food-grade stainless steel, plus an insulated 2-stage lid making it easy to fill, drink and clean. For those who prefer drinking from a non-stainless steel option, Stanley is extending their line of hydration options with the new GO Series of bottles. Featuring Ceramivac™ Technology, the GO series pairs the brands legendary vacuum insulation with smooth-fired ceramic finish.
Klean Kanteen introduced the first stainless steel, BPA-free, reusable water bottle in 2004 because they wanted a non-toxic solution to single-use plastic water bottles. The brand’s line of insulated bottles has earned a loyal following due to their high performance, Klean Design™, safe material construction & lifetime Strong-as-Steel Guarantee. Keeping drinks cold, up to 100 hours for their 64oz Insulated Classic, and hot, up to 14 hours for our 20oz Insulated Wide, the brand has a hydration solution for whatever adventure is at hand.
Liquid Hardware began with a simple idea: What if somebody made a clean, BPA free insulated water bottle with a magnetic lid that didn’t flop, drop or roll? And with that, the brand was born. Durable, BPA free bottle made from 18/8 stainless steel? Check. Low-profile, leak-proof design. Yup. But it’s the magnetic lid that sets Liquid Hardware apart from a sea of other options. The magnetic tether allows you to stick the lid to the side of the container while staying hydrated whether you’re in Yosemite or Shenandoah. Even better for those who live and play in the outdoors, the Sidewinder™ lid doubles as an emergency compass.
Hydro Flask‘s insulated, stainless steel bottles featuring TempShield technology are ready for adventures ranging from warm hikes in Zion to cold snowshoe tours in Lassen. From insulated caps, to the lightest weight bottles in the insulated category, the brand’s dedication to their products and culture remains the number one focus. Six short years after their start, Hydro Flask now offers over 100 products in five different categories: hydration, coffee, tumblers, food and beer, wine and spirits. And with their new adventure and sport bundles, the brand is making it even easier to prepare for your National Park excursions.
For the family adventurers, this February Hydro Flask will release the new Oasis collection. Designed to be shared amongst multiple people or small groups, the collection includes easy-to-carry 64 oz and 128 oz insulated bottles that will keep hot liquids hot for 12 hours and cold liquids cold for up to 48 hours. It’s everything you love about the brand, just in a bigger more shareable size!