Bottled water might seem like a very innocuous, ecologically-friendly beverage, but it does have its dark side – it has been estimated that 1.5 million barrels of oil are used annually for the production of one-use water bottles. About 38 million of those get tossed out each year. True, many of them go to recycling facilities, but those facilities aren’t exactly carbon footprint-free themselves. Then of course, there’s also the whole matter of wondering if you’re a sucker for paying to drink what is likely just filtered tap water. That’s where the bobble water bottle comes in. You just fill it from the faucet, and it filters the water as you drink.

The bobble has a simple activated carbon filter built into the bottom of its drinking spout. As water passes through the carbon, chlorine and various organic contaminants are removed. The filter is good for at least 300 bottlefuls, which should work out to about two months. After that, the filter can be returned to the company for recycling – how many people would actually bother doing so is anyone’s guess. The bottle and filter are made from recycled PET plastic, and are free of BPA, phthalates and PVC. The bottle is 100% recyclable.

If you’re thinking of buying a bobble and taking it backcountry trekking in India… well, don’t. It is not recommended for use in areas where the water is not microbiologically safe. For under $US10, though, you shouldn’t expect it to be. If you want to shell out for a truly hardcore filtering water bottle, you might want to check out the Lifesaver.

Bobbles are available in various snazzy colors, via the company website.