Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tree Hugger Idea #1 - Sodastream

One of my favorite Christmas gifts this year was a Sodastream, which is a device that transforms regular tap water into carbonated soda.  If you usually drink soda pop, you can add flavorings (samples of which come with the machine), which reportedly approximate the tastes of Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, Sprite and others (although I've read mixed reviews about the flavors).

I've tried everything from lemon and lime wedges to concentrated sugar-free herbal tea drops but I just can't get into "still water" and I know I should drink lots of it for my health.  The only way I really enjoy water is cold, carbonated and with a slice of lime.  Well, I don't drink any alcohol (reached my quota many years back) and I can't even do caffeine anymore, so I allow myself this small indulgence.  I've always felt a bit guilty, though, about the extra expense and very guilty about the excess trash produced.

Anyway, the Sodastream is great.  It's so easy to make a liter of really bubbly water (or less bubbly if you choose) and the liter bottle it comes with (BPA-free plastic with stainless steel cap and base) has a tight-fitting gasketed lid that really holds in the carbonation.  I'm drinking more water, which I really needed to do, while saving money and my back from having to lug liter bottles home from the market.  Best of all, I've cut way back on my trash output which is where the tree-hugger part comes in.  I can't comment on the Sodastrem flavors unfortunately (it came with twelve samples) because the only flavor I add to my water is a slice of lime.

I rated this idea with "Tree-Hugger severity level is 5" because the whole machine costs in the neighborhood of $100 (depending where you buy it and what it comes with) and I believe the CO2 refills are around $15 at Bed Bath & Beyond, Staples and a few other retailers (which is pretty exorbitant, I think, considering we make our own every time we exhale).  This is still a savings if you usually buy liter bottles of club soda, which I do, since larger bottles loose their fiz before they're half empty.  I think the machine pays for itself within six months or so and liters of bubbly water cost around $.25 each including the cost of CO2 bottle refills. 

By the way, this is a personal endorsement.  I own and use this product.

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