Monthly Archives: August 2009

Sending Back the Sigg

Sigg bottles, to be returned
I’ve carried a water bottle with me since high school. Back in those early days, I reused a large disposable bottle that I carried around in an insulated carrier I picked up at Eddie Bauer (EB was way cool during the 1990s in Portland, OR). When I went to college, I picked up a serious Nalgene habit, particularly since that was around the time that they started making the cool, brightly colored bottles. I used those Nalgenes for years, even taking one to Indonesia when I went in 2001. My attachment wavered slightly when an impossibly stylish European girl scoffed at my red Nalgene (she said it made me look like such an American), but as soon I was stateside again, my water bottle was ever-present once more.

About three years ago, having hear about potential issues with plastic bottles leaching chemicals that mimicked female hormones into their contents, I switched from using Nalgene water bottles for work/gym/school water toting, to Sigg bottles. Everyone said that the metal bottles were BPA-free and so I felt safe guzzling water out of those vibrantly printed canisters. Over the last few years, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Siggs, so that there’s always one around the apartment that’s clean and ready to go. I even convinced Scott to trade in his Nalgene for a silver Sigg.

However, it’s recently been found that the lining used in these older Sigg bottles also have small amounts of BPA in them, despite all company assurances to the contrary (for more about Sigg bottles and BPA, check out this Metafilter thread). When I heard about this on Friday afternoon, I was pissed off, as between Scott and me, we’ve got seven older Sigg bottles. That represents a fairly significant financial investment, that we made thinking we were buying safe, chemical-free bottles.

I sent an email to the address ( I found online (I don’t remember where I found this exactly, I did a lot of searching once I first read about this) on Friday, inquiring about whether the company would be offering replacements. Amazingly, I got a response within two hours of writing and it was a completely positive and helpful email. They are willingly taking their old bottles back, and once they receive them, will issue me a gift certificate to buy a few new ones off their website.

I’m seriously bummed out that the old bottles have BPA in their liners, but I’m so appreciative that they’re responding in such a customer-friendly manner. If you’ve got some old bottles that you want to send back for replacement, just send an email to the address above and they’ll take care of you.

Ruined kettle

melted umbra kettle
I don’t lose things and I rarely break things. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve taken really good care of my stuff. That’s why when I do get distracted and ruin something, sort of rocks my world and sends me racing to repair or replace the damaged object.

A couple of days ago, I was making dinner while talking to my mom on the phone and inadvertently turned on the wrong burner. Sadly, it was the burner upon which my beloved Umbra teakettle was sitting, totally empty. I didn’t realize my mistake until I smelled something funky. I immediately pulled the kettle off the burner and thought I had managed to save it before any permanent damage.

However, when I went to fill the kettle this morning, I noticed that the plastic lid was melted beyond repair. I stood there for a few seconds, sink running, blinking in surprise at my ruined kettle. Then I put it on the floor next to the trash can and altered my coffee plan.

new kettle/old kettle

Because I can’t live without the ability to boil water (and I don’t have the counterspace for an electric kettle) I made Scott run out to Marshall’s with me tonight before we met friends for dinner. The kettle pickings were slim, but happily they had a nice looking anodized one (oddly, it carries the Palm Restaurant brand, who knew that famous steakhouses also make teakettles?!) that I think was actually made by Anolon and wasn’t particularly expensive.

Whatever the real brand, it seems well-made, doesn’t have to be emptied after every use and has no plastic parts, which means that at least there’s no portion of it that I can melt. It’s not quite as cool or sleek as my old kettle, but apparently, I’ve shown that I can’t have nice things if they’re destined to live on my stovetop.

And with that, balance has been returned to my kitchen eco-system.