Last Updated on February 20, 2024
Switching to a reusable water bottle was one of the first sustainable swaps I ever made. But most water bottles don’t come with a built in filter feature unless they’re plastic.
Also, unless you have access to a built-in filter to your refrigerator, it’s common to buy a Brita pitcher to help filter at-home drinking water.
Almost all the mainstream water filter systems have plastic in the equation. But what if I told you there are ways to filter water without plastic?
Here are my top four favorite methods for filtering water using non plastic water filters!
Table of Contents
activated charcoal filters
Brita pitchers, fridge filters, and most all water filters use activated charcoal to filter water. That’s because activated charcoal absorbs impurities by binding them chemically to the surface of the charcoal filter.
Instead of using plastic charcoal filters, like Brita pitchers, I just use an entire activated charcoal stick. It works the same as every other filter, just in a different form.
how does it work?
Place the activated charcoal stick in a glass carafe full of tap water and let it sit for several hours. Don’t use a plastic jug; it really needs to be glass or stainless. I use an upcycled glass milk bottle.
Activated charcoal naturally bonds with toxins. The sticks remove mercury, chlorine, copper, and even lead. It does not remove fluoride. So, don’t worry! I am getting plenty of fluoride without having it in my toothpaste.
how long does it last?
They last around 4 months. They do take a little bit of maintenance. Every 3-4 weeks the surface will fill up with toxins. You need to release the toxins so it will keep working. It’s very simple. Just boil the stick for 10-15 minutes, discard the water, and it’s ready to use!
what happens after four months?
Compost it or use it as a deodorizer. I keep one under Nala’s kennel. You could keep one in the fridge, by your shoes, or any other place you need to help control odor.
There is nothing wrong with Brita pitchers. It is still wayyyyyy less waste in the long run than buying bottled water. But, once your Brita pitcher is no longer in working condition, consider switching to this eco-friendly option. Plus, it will save you a lot of money! Brita refills aren’t cheap.
I’ve tried the Berkey water filter and it is definitely a good option if you drink a lot of water and have optimal counter space.
The Berkey water filter is made from stainless steel and sits on your countertop. You use it kind of similar to a water dispenser.
They offer several different size options from travel berkey (their most compact option, can fit 1.50 gallons) to their crown berkey (can hold up to 6.00 gallons)!
Each Berkey, no matter the size, comes with two black water filters that’s recommended for replacement every 3,000 gallons of use. After your initial purchase, you will only have to purchase refills.
I personally enjoy using the Berkey because I drink a lot of water. Plus, it’s great for when guests come over! I never have to worry about refilling it because it holds so much water.
While it’s not the most affordable option upfront, this sustainable water filter is sure to save you money in the long run.
Berkey vs. Brita: This is definitely a more expensive option and a bit more complicated to assemble. But in my opinion, it does a much better job of filtering water than Brita. Plus, I don’t have to worry about my water sitting in plastic, as Berkey is made from stainless steel. It’s also wonderful for parties and large get-togethers!
I’ve also tried the Soma water filter and LOVE that Soma filters are made from 60% plant-based and renewable materials.
Through the power of activated coconut shell carbon and charcoal, the Soma filter protects your water from Chlorine, Mercury, Zinc, Cadmium, Copper, and other unwanted tastes or odors.
You can buy a pitcher, or the carafe. The pitcher is designed using BPA-free plastic and an eco-friendly bamboo handle. The carafe is made from shatter-resistant, borosilicate glass and holds 6-cups (48 oz.) of filtered water.
Each pitcher and carafe comes with a complimentary filter to get you started. You just have to replace your Soma filter every two months.
Plus, every time you buy a Soma product, they donate to charity: water projects. These contributions go directly to sustainable, community-owned water projects in developing countries.
Soma vs. Brita: This is a great option for those who prefer water filters that can be stored in the fridge and are plastic-free. I love the fact their carafe is glass. Their pitcher option is very similar to Brita’s so there’s little to no learning curve – though their filters are superior in my opinion.
Last but not least, I did try out LARQ’s water filter too, but I ended up giving it to one of my friends who needed a water filter. Now she doesn’t drink from water bottles anymore, so that’s a win!
I specifically tried the LARQ Pitcher PureVis, which is an advanced water pitcher with 2-step filtration and purification that takes seconds to sanitize drinking water.
LARQ uses innovative plant-based carbon-derived filters to improve the health and taste of water quickly and easily. These filters are effective at removing pollutants like lead, chlorine, PFAS, pharmaceuticals, VOCs, pesticides, cadmium, and more.
PureVis in particular eradicates bio-contaminants like bacteria too. It purifies water automatically, both on refill and every 6 hours to prevent bacterial and bio-contaminant growth inside the pitcher.
LARQ vs. Brita: LARQ certainly has a superior filtering ability, and takes into consideration bacteria. It’s self cleaning and can filter out more contaminants than Brita can. It’s got a seamless, easy-to-use design similar to Brita’s so there’s little to no learning curve.
conclusion: my top picks
While all of these water filters are great, if I had to choose, I’d say Berkey is the best for on the counter storage and LARQ is best for in the fridge/limited space.
Berkey takes up a lot of room, so it’s not ideal if you don’t have a lot of countertop space. Still, it’s the option I wound up going with and I use it to this day to filter my water.
LARQ is a great option though for those with limited space, or those who prefer smaller pitchers.
So, what do you think of these zero waste water filter options? Let me know in the comments!
This post may contain affiliate linking you can read more on my disclosure page.