The Most Sustainable Way to Filter Water

Discover sustainable ways to filter your drinking water with this guide on ceramic filters, reverse osmosis systems, Brita jugs and more.

The Most Sustainable Way to Filter Water

When it comes to finding the most sustainable way to filter water, there are a few options that stand out. Ceramic filters are one of the best filtration options for the environment because they can be washed and reused repeatedly. These filters do not contain a carbon core, so they can be cleaned and used until water no longer flows through them. This means that customers no longer have to send a new plastic cartridge at the end of each filter cycle, as the new filter delivery simply contains the contents of the medium for them to pour into the refillable cartridge.

The small kraft paper bags fit inside a thin cardboard box small enough to fit in the mailbox. Reverse osmosis is another effective way to purify water, as it uses a membrane to remove elements such as arsenic, asbestos, heavy metals and fluorine, followed by an activated carbon filter to remove chlorine. This type of filter is usually mounted under the sink with a holding tank. The TAPP 2 tap water filter uses activated carbon technology to absorb contaminants.

Alternatively, people can use a small, portable water filter instead. Brita is probably the best-known version of this type of filter. It comes in a jar that can be stored in the fridge or on the counter, and with a two-month filter lifecycle, it saves customers from buying one pack after another of plastic water bottles. However, it's not the greenest water filter system out there, as plastic water filters are not recyclable, reusable, refillable or biodegradable.

Berkey still sells ceramic filters for its large stainless steel urns (and it also sells cartridges that look more like previous ion exchange filters). The five types of filters are mechanical filters, absorption filters, sequestration filters, ion exchange filters and reverse osmosis filters. If people are only concerned about the taste of drinking water and want to filter out any additional chemicals they drink and can cook, their simplest and most economical option is a countertop or jug unit. There is also a detailed website that allows people to explore filters based on their needs and location, and provides them with lists of manufacturers that fit their needs.

The Frio filter cartridge inside Alter Ego personal and outdoor bottles works to remove 99.9% of all contaminants from the water, including harmful viruses, bacteria and parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Instead of shipping new plastic cartridges, customers will receive the materials to place in the filter (coconut shell carbon, ion exchange resin and electrolytes) delivered in Kraft paper bags inside a cardboard box small enough to fit in the mailbox. Both TAPP filters provide two-micron filtration, which will remove more than 80 substances such as chlorine, microplastics, lead and other impurities without filtering out minerals that make the water taste good or minerals that your body needs. There isn't a single water filter that can do everything, so it's important to find out the situation of your specific water source so you can choose what you really need. A few years ago I was interested in the filter from Soma (a certified B-Corporation), since they have a glass jar.

The ZeroWater filter removes chlorine, chromium, lead and several other heavy metals and pesticides with 99% efficiency. I wrote a review about Brita filters and mentioned that it is possible to recycle used cartridges in Preserve Gimme 5 containers at Whole Foods (information I discovered while writing the review). It has a three-stage filter (many similarly priced units only have two), but that means it will replace an additional filter.