Review: Boxed Water


This is a review of a box of water. Seriously! Forget all the controversy over plastic water bottles. It’s time to check out a product called Boxed Water.

Boxed Water

Officially described as “Part sustainable water company, part art project, part philanthropic project, and completely curious. Boxed Water Is Better is a boxed water company,” the name of the company is exactly what the product is.

In my hand I hold a 1 quart box of water, functional in the style of an orange juice container with a screw-off cap. The design of the packaging is pretty minimal, a white box is clean typography denoting the slogan “Boxed Water Is Better For the Earth” so two sides, while the phrase “Hello” written in cursive adorns a third. On the fourth panel, there are a few symbols and paragraphs explaining why this Grand Rapids-based company feels that this is a better solution over plastic water bottles.

Boxed Water

Now I’m not going to get into all the environmental arguments for or against the use of plastic water bottles, nor are we going to discuss things like carbon footprint or whatnot. We’re a beverage review website!

However, given that it’s both interesting and funny to say “I’m drinking a box of water,” I felt it important to transcribe the 4th panel of the packaging that contains the message that the folks behind Boxed Water are trying to get across:

So why is boxed water better? Glad you asked

First and foremost, we’re far more sustainable than plastic bottled water. 85% of this box is from a renewable resource, trees.

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The trees used to make this box come from certified, well managed forests. These forests remain healthy and stable through ongoing replanting while removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

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The creation and distribution of this box has a significantly lower carbon footprint compared to plastic bottles, up to 80% lower in some areas.

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This box is recyclable by your existing recycling service. Hopefully you have one!

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We really care about the world’s water supply. 10% of our profit is donated to world water relief foundations. We feel anyone who consumes our product is in a privileged position and it’s important that part of their spending goes to help those who are not as privileged. Just makes sense, doesn’t it?

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We really care about the trees. So much so that we donate yet another 10% of our profit to reforestation foundations. So when you’re drinking this water, you’re helping to plant more trees and protect our forests, strengthening mother nature’s lungs.

Now, I live in Chicago, and have Lake Michigan coming out of my tap… and frankly, I’m cool with that. So purchasing something like Boxed Water may be a bit of an overkill for the situation I find myself in.

Boxed Water

That said, whether this is a step in the right direction or not is probably going to be up to the marketplace. It’s commendable that one of the motivations of this company is to help areas of the world that don’t have water as easily as you and I. The donation angle is one that would help you consider a product like this if it was perceived equally with a similar bottled water item. The recycled paper angle brings up the classic “paper vs. plastic” debate regarding what is better for the environment in the long run. Sounds like something you and your friends should discuss over a nice glass of boxed water!

Speaking of which, how does it taste? We’re told via the official website that “Boxed Water is carbon-filtered, purified water from Minnesota.” I hear they have a lot of lakes there! Not having an array of bottled waters to compare it against, I tasted it side-by-side with good ole Chicago tap water. And you know what? It tastes pretty much the same… which, frankly, is a good thing. I was worried I’d be tasting something like a cardboard flavor, but to be honest, that wasn’t there. Then again, neither was that somewhat plastic-y flavor that you can sometimes detect with bottled water.

I liked the taste. It didn’t turn me off. Other experts and purveyors of water products probably could make many other observations, but from my perspective, Boxed Water is something to check out if given the chance. Who is to say whether their mission and purpose will come to light… but as far as the taste of the product itself… thumbs up!