The Refillable Water Filter That Will Cut Down on Your Brita Waste

Phox Water
Phox Water

If you’re not lucky enough to live in a city with great-tasting, safe-to-drink tap water, you probably go through your share of plastic water filters. But while filtration systems like Brita or PUR pitchers make your water tastier and healthier, those disposable filters aren't great for the environment. A new eco-friendly water filter aims to change that.

The Phox water filter features a reusable cartridge that you can refill with packets of filtration mixture once a month. The five-stage filter design—which you fill with the company’s coconut shell-based purification powder—softens hard water, improves taste, and removes chlorine, copper, lead, and mercury. The 1-liter pitcher takes roughly eight minutes to filter.

A woman pours a filtration packet into the Phox water filter cartridge
Phox Water

The purification packets come in two different mixture options. The Clean Pack removes contaminants, odors, and heavy minerals, but doesn’t add any flavors. It makes the pH of your water neutral or slightly acidic, perfect for water you're going to use for coffee or tea. The Electrolyte Option, meanwhile, removes all the same contaminants, but also adds in sodium, calcium, and magnesium. This makes the water alkaline, with a pH somewhere between 8.0 and 9.5. (There’s little scientific evidence to show that alkaline water provides any health benefits, but some athletes swear by drinking alkaline water to improve performance. Others just enjoy the taste all those minerals lend the water.)

A cardboard box and three Phox refill packs
Phox Water

The Glasgow-based Phox Water estimates that 100 million plastic water-filtration cartridges end up in landfills every year. To make a more environmentally responsible product, Phox’s pitcher and refillable cartridge are made out of recycled plastic, and its refill packets are shipped in cardboard and paper. Each filtration pack lasts approximately 45 days (or 44 gallons).

Buy it on Kickstarter for $59 and up, with shipping scheduled for August 2019. Refill packets will cost about $9 each for a 45-day supply.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

8 Fun Bookmarks to Keep Your Place

iStock
iStock

Why settle for a torn piece of paper or receipt when you can have something way more exciting? These bookmarks are for readers who want to add some extra whimsy to their reading routine.

1. Sprouts; $12.50

These ingenious silicone markers don’t work like normal bookmarks. Shaped like adorable sprouts, they fit inside your book and mark the exact line you’re at on the page. Because they’re made with a flexible material, you can close the book easily with the sprout inside and it will spring back to shape when you open the book again. The sprouts come in sets of six. For a little luck, check out the four-leaf clover iteration.

Find it: Amazon

2. Butterflies; $10


If you've ever wanted to have a real Disney princess moment, consider buying these bookmarks, which will make it look like butterflies have perched on your books. The set comes with 10 pieces in a variety of designs.

Find it: Amazon

3. Crocodile; $13

These clever placeholders create the illusion that a crocodile is lurking on top of your book. When you lift up this intimidating bookmark, it shows the reptile’s sharp teeth, warning others not to dare lose your place. (If mammals are more your style, there is also a hippo option.)

Find it: Amazon

4. Lamp; $13

Let this lamp-shaped bookmark illuminate where you left off. The lamp shape sits on top of the book while the yellow light-beam fits snuggly between the pages. It comes in three colors: white, red, and gray.

Find it: Amazon

5. Literary Feet; $24

Remember that scene in The Wizard of Oz when the house fell on the Wicked Witch of the East and only her feet stuck out? You can recreate that iconic movie scene with a bookmark. Even better, the design isn’t restricted to just the witch: You can get all kinds of famous book character feet to stick out of your book. Just some of the literary legs available include Alice from Alice in Wonderland, a direwolf from A Song of Ice and Fire, and a magician from Harry Potter. There are also some non-book selections, like animals, ballerinas, and Yoda.

Find it: Amazon

6. Food; $30

Let some of your favorite food keep your place. The plush bookmarks feature a slice of pizza, ice cream, coffee, and an ice cream sandwich.

Find it: Amazon

7. Magnetic pals; $5

You’ll be even more motivated to read if you have a small buddy smiling at you from the side of your book. You can attach them to any place on the side of the page, so you know exactly where you are in the story.

Find it: Amazon

8. Pointers; $7

These bookmarks also mark the exact place in the book, but without the help of magnets. Instead, they come with stretchy loops that wrap around the entire book. A hand pointing can pinpoint the exact word, in case you’re the type that stops reading mid-sentence. They come in packs of three.

Find it: Amazon

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy.

Get Cozy With Bob Ross Slipper Socks

Always Fits
Always Fits

Setting aside the evening to binge-watch The Joy of Painting videos is a foolproof way to have a relaxing time. In case Bob Ross's inspiring mantras and soothing landscape paintings aren't comforting enough, now you can boost the coziness factor with a fluffy pair of slipper socks branded with the beloved artist's likeness.

These socks from Always Fits capture the warm and fuzzy feeling of watching Bob Ross craft his masterpieces. The inside is lined with wooly sherpa material, and the outside is made from a velour blend. Non-skid grips protect the bottoms, so you can pause your binge session to get a fresh canvas or refill your tea mug without slipping across the floor. The socks are patterned with cartoon versions of Bob Ross—complete with his paintbrush, easel, and signature perm—against a background of happy little trees.

The comfy footwear is available in two sizes: small/medium (women's shoe sizes 5 to 8) and medium/large (sizes 8 to 10). One set is available for $18 online, with discounts applied to bulk orders of five or more.

If you're looking for more ways to get in the Bob Ross spirit, you don't have to stop with slipper socks. Mugs, T-shirts, and coloring books inspired by the artist are all available to purchase.

Bob Ross slipper socks.
Always Fits

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don't return, so we're only happy if you're happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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