By Rebecca Firkser. Photo by: Alex Lau.
I have a strong aversion to most things that are tiny just for the sake of being tiny. Stubby knives, mini vases, "dorm-sized" cutting boards— even my travel toothbrush annoys me. But there’s one item I own that I firmly believe is better because it’s small: my water bottle.
I’m not talking about the squat bottled water—you know, the kind offered at the sign-in table at conferences or sold for three bucks at bake sales. (Don’t even get me started on the ones that are supposed to resemble an egg or a rocket ship.) I’m talking about my mini S’well.
I didn’t buy it on purpose. The nine-ounce S’well came into my life as a free gift when I bought the normal-sized version. Staunch in my disdain for the small-scale, I left the little bottle in its package for weeks. I carried the regular S’well—always filled to the brim—in my bag all day, every day. Then, one Friday, I forgot the bottle at the office. It was go miniature or go thirsty. That was two months ago: I haven’t used the big bottle since.
The revelation of the mini water bottle is this: 90 percent of my life is spent within minutes of a water source, so there’s absolutely no need to give myself shoulder problems for the sake of hydration. A 2004 study published by the Institute of Medicine recommended a minimum amount of water be consumed each day, but ultimately noted that healthy people will remain properly hydrated as long as they, you know, drink when they’re thirsty. For most us, that means there’s no reason to haul water like a cargo ship on a trans-Atlantic voyage. Are we worried that if we’re not literally burdened by our water, we won’t drink enough?
My big water bottle was a security blanket, I realize now. If I left home without it, my inner monologue would run rampant: I could get stuck in traffic for hours during my 27-minute commute. Maybe the bar will be crowded and I won’t be able to get a cup of water the whole night. What if Godzilla finally returns to Manhattan and we have to hide underground and there’s no clean water source?
The mini S’well weighs barely a pound at its fullest—I don’t even notice when I slip it into my work bag, yet I can always take a sip. It holds just enough liquid to soothe my conditioned need for water; plus I’ve stopped resembling someone trying to cross the Sahara. The best part is, as the owner of a wee bottle, I’ve stopped feeling nervous about asking for a fill-up. No more side-eye from busy baristas when I put a 32-ounce bucket on the counter—this bottle takes six seconds to fill (I’ve counted).
I’m sure there are plenty of mini reusable bottles out there, but I’m partial to the S’well because there’s no thick straw or confusing bite-and-sip function, and the bottle isn’t emblazoned with a tacky logo. It’s not a landfill-clogger. Durable and sleek, it holds enough water to quench thirst in moments when I’m briefly without a refill supply: sitting on the subway or mounted on a stationary bike, for instance. When I figured out it was almost exactly the weight and size of a light dumbbell, I started taking it running, too.
As I’ve heard mothers joke, the only small thing I like is my own. I've had no desire to accumulate more miniature items beyond my little S’well. I love my commercial-grade blender and, yes, I'll need to check a bag, because I don't buy my toiletries in four ounces or less. Though those one-shot aperitif glasses are kind of cute.
This story originally appeared on Bon Appetit.
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