Most water-purifying jugs have two problems: The cheap plastic pitchers look inelegant, and the plastic carbon filters inside aren't recyclable. In 2011, Mike Del Ponte decided to solve both. "At one of our first meetings, someone said, 'What if we could make it 100 percent biodegradable?'" To craft the Soma, Del Ponte tapped former Ideo design director Markus Diebel and went through 20 iterations of its shatterproof glass carafe; R&D for the filter took twice as long. After considering organic materials like wool and cotton, the Soma engineering team hit on a combination of coconut-shell carbon, silk, and plant-based plastic that's 100 percent biodegradable. Best of all, you'll never find any black charcoal flakes floating in the water. [$87;]