By Lindsay Dolak
Updated Jul 14, 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Credit: just/Instagram

In case you missed the memo, water is a miracle beverage and, fortunately, thanks to an inundation of information about H2O’s sweeping benefits, we’re drinking a lot more of it these days. And while that can lead to things like clearer skin, less headaches, better digestion, and potential weight loss, if we’re sipping our water from the wrong receptacle, it can also mean a slew of not-so-great side effects, too.

That’s right, your plastic water bottle habit isn’t doing you or the environment any favors. Besides being massively unsustainable (what you finish in a matter of minutes can stick around in landfills for decades), plastic water bottles may contribute to some health issues, too. Some research suggests that when even BPA-free plastic bottles sit for too long or are reused too often, they can leach chemicals in the plastic that then end up in your body. Think potential carcinogens and hormone disrupters. So what's the solution? A paper box!

Taking a cue from classic milk cartons, companies like JUST and Boxed Water saw the need for a more sustainable drinking water option and came to the rescue with their own versions of boxed water bottles.

“We’re generally advocates of tap water whenever possible, but when bottled water is necessary, we just know it can and should be better,” says Grace Jeon, CEO of JUST, where they bottle water in a container derived from 82-percent renewable resources. The paper comes from Forest Stewardship Council certified forests and the plastic is made from sugarcane. “Our methods result in a verified 47-74 percent reduction in carbon emissions compared with traditional plastic bottles,” adds Jeon.

Similarly, Boxed Water has created an entirely recyclable container made of 74 percent paper from well-managed forests. “More sustainable packaging and a thoughtful design philosophy, and a commitment to build better communities allows people to make a simple choice for a better tomorrow,” Matt Dewitte, vice president of marketing for Boxed Water, tells InStyle.

In addition to overall and over time environmental impacts, both companies are committed to giving back to their more immediate communities. JUST, the partial brainchild of Jaden and Will Smith, which sources it’s water from a watershed in Glens Falls, N.Y., has set up shop and partnered directly with the city to bring a revenue source into the area. The company also uses the town's natural resources in a sustainable way.

Boxed Water created the ReTree program, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation and 1% for the Planet, which aims to plant one million trees by 2020. The campaign simply asks consumers to post a photo of their Boxed Water with the hashtag #Retree and the company will plant two trees for every social post using the hashtag.

So, next time you need a convenient, on-the-go water option, consider the benefits of drinking out of a paper box for the environment, your body, your wallet—we could really go on forever here...

Find out where to buy JUST water here and Boxed Water here.