By Aedan Richter | Staff Writer

An Ooho is a waste-free alternative to plastic water bottles. (Courtesy of Movie<Mint)

An Ooho is a waste-free alternative to plastic water bottles. (Courtesy of Movie<Mint)

As we have come to realize, our way of life is harmful to our one and only planet. Brilliant minds have have come together to make our lifestyles more sustainable. It’s amazing to see the technology people have invented to help correct the problems we humans have caused, such as pollution in the ocean, reduced air quality, over consumption and many other detrimental actions.

One way people have been cutting back on waste is with reusable water bottles. My family is rather sustainable, and we have been using reusable water bottles for as long as I can remember. My home state is less sustainable, with no bans on plastic bags and people drinking only single-use bottled water that they proceed not to recycle afterward. One girl at my high school had a reusable water bottle, but she would use bottled water to fill hers up because she didn’t like the taste of tap water. Ridiculous, I know.

Now, going to college in California, it’s a breath of fresh air (literally) to see people using reusable grocery bags, biking instead of driving, but mostly, using reusable water bottles. It’s comical to me how there is so much status placed on owning a Hydro Flask. They’re everywhere. In the past year or so, it’s become what all the “cool” kids have.

Soon though, Hydro Flasks, and other reusable water bottles, may be eclipsed by a new “bottle” of sorts. The Ooho water is a new invention being produced by the Skipping Rocks Lab. Their statement on the website is “We make packaging disappear.” The Ooho water “bottle” is a membrane produced from seaweed that is completely biodegradable. It takes roughly four to six weeks to do so. It is also digestible and can hold water and other fluids. It’s essentially a squishy clear ball of water roughly the size of an egg.

Skipping Rocks Lab’s goal is to “to create a waste-free alternatives to plastic bottles / cups / plates / you name it,” and with the Ooho they just might. Currently their focus, or selling point, is that it can be used at things like marathons, replacing the paper cups that runners throw on the ground, or outdoor events where people don’t want to carry around a bottle.

The Ooho must be consumed in a timely fashion since they only stay good for a couple of days, which I can see as a setback since stores are used to having water bottles sit on their shelves for months or even years without going bad. Also, it seems a little problematic production-wise if there is going to be a constant demand for fresh Ooho bottles.

Being a germaphobe, I have to point out the fact that these bottles, unlike a metal, glass, or plastic ones won’t keep dirt or anything out because you literally consume the outside and all. I would in no way feel comfortable setting my Ooho down on a classroom table. It’s already hard enough trying to avoid getting sick at college.

So, while these bottles are an amazing invention, I don’t see it really taking over all bottles. I’m not planning on getting rid of my S’well bottle anytime soon, but I can totally see the Ooho being used in places like marathons or concerts and other outdoor events that generally produce a whole lot of waste. It’s most definitely something to keep an eye out for in the future. Maybe one day we will all be popping orbs of liquids into our mouths instead of drinking from a glass or bottle.

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