The alternatives to a plastic water bottle

Green queen Outfit the family with a set of stainless steel water bottles that can be refilled.

Moored at Sydney's Darling Harbour until Wednesday, Plastiki is no ordinary sailing boat. Composed of 12,500 plastic bottles and other recycled materials, it began its voyage from San Francisco in March to make a valuable point about waste and the world's continuing obsession with plastic - a product that takes forever to disappear, clogs our landfills, floats in bunches on vast stretches of the ocean and, in several incarnations, leaches unhealthy chemicals into whatever it is holding.

It only takes a little awareness, a new attitude and a purchase or two to start changing our ways. For starters, in the supermarket shun bulky plastic packaging when choosing products. In your kitchen, as plastic containers wear out, replace them with glass. You can also re-use glass jars from sauces and jams for years. If you are still loading up with cases of little water bottles at the supermarket when you do the weekend shopping you can save time, strength and money by switching to an at-home water cooler, with refills that can be delivered by the corner shop for as little as Dh7.

Then outfit the family with a set of stainless steel water bottles that can be refilled at school, work and home and cut down on your unwanted contribution of dozens - if not hundreds - of bottles to the local landfill every month. Although there are an increasing number of cheaper options in hardware and grocery stores, my favourite remains the trusty and beautiful versions from the Swiss company Sigg.