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Published: Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 12:00 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016 9:51 p.m. CST
By AIMEE BARROWS
LA GRANGE PARK – Gary and Lisa Radville are champions for the environment, so when the La Grange Park residents had the opportunity to reduce the amount of plastic water bottles that end up in landfills, they decided to do it. The couple created an online business, Lively Bottle, that sells environmentally friendly, personalized, reusable water bottles.
“There are an incredible number of disposable bottles sold in the U.S., and we’re both sensitive to climate change and pollution,” Gary said. “I think it’s wrong for people to use single-use water bottles.”
Not only are Lively Bottles better for the planet, they are unique to each customer. Through the website, customers can upload their own artwork, designs or photos to create a customized bottle that’s BPA-free and dishwasher safe. The site also has designs that were created by Chicago-area artists that customers can choose from if they don’t have their own ideas.
“We have the opportunity to make water bottles a part of people’s fashion, rather than just a piece of plastic,” Gary said. “Why carry around a bottle with a company’s name when you can have a bottle with your name or your art or your photos on it?”
Gary said another way his company is different is his bottles are made in the Chicago area, whereas most bottles sold in retail outlets are made overseas. He said he’s happy his company can create jobs right at home.
“Our printing process is also far superior than most companies’ because we print on a larger piece of film, which is inserted in between our insulated plastic bottles, which are then sealed together,” he said. “Our insulated bottles are great for both cold and hot beverages.”
Lisa Radville, who is a nurse practitioner, said she is happy the company is encouraging more people to carry water bottles with them, which can increase the amount of water people drink throughout the day. “I see an epidemic of obesity in my job, and we want people to drink water instead of pop,” she said. “I don’t think people realize how important water is to good health. So many body systems require water to run efficiently. A large part of our bodies is water.”
Lively Bottle, which was created in 2012 and went live in 2014, also has been involved with several events in the Chicago area, including the famed 107th Race to Mackinac. Gary said race organizers were interested in working with his company because the sailing industry is embracing environmental sustainability, which is one of the sport’s missions.
“Sailors are on the lakes and oceans and see so much floating debris, and they like the fact that we sell U.S.-made, reusable bottles, and they recognize it’s good for the environment,” he said.
The company also sponsored Columbia College’s Urban Arts Festival. Gary said he’s interested in working with universities because more and more are banning single-use water bottles.
“We also like to work with artistic people and groups because we’re trying to get rid of boring water bottles,” he said. “People are also recognizing that single-use bottles are bad for the environment.”
Lively Bottle does a lot of custom orders for local sports teams, companies and organizations. Gary said most of their customers are from the Chicago area, but he has had several from across the country.
Lisa hopes area residents are aware that a local company is working to make a difference not only for the environment, but also for people’s health. “They have neighbors that are running a business with the goal of promoting the health of the individual, as well as the environmental health of the larger community,” she said. “It’s making a difference. Over the years I’ve seen more and more people are carrying water bottles. It’s becoming mainstream.”
For information, visit livelybottle.com. Each water bottle sells for $21, and shipping is free. Volume discounts are available to teams and organizations.