Editor’s note: CODEPINK is calling for a boycott of this product because it is “manufactured in illegal Israeli settlements” violating international law.
My family goes through a ton of seltzer and the occasional bottle of soda, so when I had a chance to try Soda-Club’s Sodastream home carbonizer, I couldn’t pass it up. First there was the appeal of stemming the flood of plastic bottles into my recycling bin every week. Then there was the greeniness of using local tap water instead of paying extra (a lot extra) to buy flavored fizzy tap water from somewhere else. And of course, there’s the excitement of having a cool new thing in the kitchen to play with.
So, how did the Soda-Club Sodastream stack up?
Home Made Soda Means No More Plastic Bottles
First things first: no more disposable plastic bottles. Let me say that a little louder: NO MORE DISPOSABLE PLASTIC BOTTLES. My family of four was going through six to eight bottles of seltzer weekly, plus a few sodas here and there. Total after using the Sodastream this week: zero.
The Sodastream model that we tried out came with two reusable plastic bottles that have a lifespan of two years. In two years we’d be going through 600 to 800 disposable plastic seltzer bottles, and maybe a couple hundred plastic soda bottles. Okay, wow, I never bothered to total that up before. Cripes, that’s a lot of plastic.
The carbonizer holds a slim cannister about half the size of a seltzer bottle. That’s reusable, too. When it’s empty, you send it back for a refill.
With Home Made Soda, You Get Options
Our Sodastream came with concentrated soda syrups and flavor essences, so we tried out some of those. The recommended amount of syrup gave us that soda kick without the cloying stickiness of the store bought stuff. If you want soda with a little less sugar, you can add a little less syrup, or use the diet formulas. Or you can use the essences to make seltzer with a nice fruity zing to it.
The Tap Water Taste Test
My New Jersey tap water came out great after a spritz of the ol’ Sodastream. Our home made seltzer tasted very fresh compared to store bought, and so did our soda. That shouldn’t be a suprise. The store bought stuff has been sitting around in plastic bottles for who knows how long.
Kitchen Scientists, Bring it On
If you’ve been dreaming about making your own beer or wine but will never actually get around to doing it, a home carbonizer is an easy way to get your feet wet, home brewingly speaking. You can throw just about anything into carbonized water. So far I tried various juices, home-made blueberry jam, and coffee (sounds gross, but it was so good!!). You can also find recipes for home made soda online, like this one using lavender and lemon.
But Wait – There’s More Green!
Soda-Club’s Sodastream uses no batteries or electricity. That’s good news for us closet coal-burners. We found it quick and easy to set up, and we also appreciated the Styrofoam-free packaging: a cardboard box (recyclable), one small plastic bag the size of a sandwich bag (resusable), and one tiny square of bubble wrap (reusable).
Today Soda, Tomorrow the World
Because it relies on local tap water, the Sodastream concept also reduces energy related to shipping beverages around the country. The same can be said for baby formula, instant coffee and tea, powdered milk, and instant fruit-flavored drinks. Green beer lovers, take heart: somewhere in our sparkly green future, there will be instant beer.
Image: whalesalad at flickr under creative commons.
I have been using a Soda-Club sodamaker for over two years now and it is the best thing ever! we bought some extra bottles so we usually have a two being drunk and two chilling at any time (i’m a soda water person, my husband a cola person). Our tap water does have a bit of a smell/taste but all I do is fill the bottle up and let it sit out, without the top on, for a few hours to let it off-gas a bit and it is good to go. The Soda-Club sodamaker is worth every penny!
I have a Soda Stream from Schwans……….from the 1980’s
It works just fine………..but I need glass bottles! Do you know where to purchase them? I have contacted Schwans, but they no longer make the machine….
Thanks, Patty in Oregon
Interesting, it definitely is a solution to environmental issues. what the flavors available?
candy salisbury says
I have a soda stream machine we got from the Schwans icecream truck driver. then they quit carring it and I put it away where can I get supplies
Mike Spike says
Yep, the SodaStream product is awesome – but pricey. Check out http://www.FizzGiz.com for a $2 alternative. If you like the SodaStream, you’ll like the Fizz Giz.
Maureen Schosser says
For the person who wants to know where to get replacement supplies: http://www.sodastreamusa.com. Even Sears carries the soda flavorings (as of the date of this post) for about 4.50 each (if you believe what SodaStream says, that’s less than 5 bucks for 33 – 12 oz sodas) which is pretty cool!
That said, I DEFINITELY want one of these babies. Remember when Coca-Cola used cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup? They still do in the Mexican Coca-Cola though it’s only available in small bottles, is about $1.40 plus tax here and FLAT. I don’t like lugging soda cases, bottles or 12packs around and have little cocktail parties now and then where everyone wants seltzer, ginger ale, 7-up etc. I’m addicted to COCA COLA and dislike lugging trash 1/2 a block to the TRASH COMPACTOR (yes, they don’t recycle here because it’s not worth the effort). I do love sparkling water.
The machine looks FAB. Thank you for posting this commentary and educating me on it!
Now, I’m going to help you out and forgive me for being straight forward but non-political facts are just that, facts: if you want to be “green” get a paintbrush, a smelly can of paint (green paint,duh) and get to work. If you want the truth (which most people don’t), check out the facts that our friends in the hacking community finally got out to light and the MEDIA has buried. Read facts about how corrupt this whole “global warming” bias is rather than the politically fueled hoax machine “data” (sorry Mr. Gore but your powerpoint fails to impress true science even when you paid those scientists nicely). Here, I did it for you:
Get a soda machine but don’t give me the “green” crap. Puke!
dave currall says
although it works great, the syrups are cane sugar and splenda, so if you don’t like the diet aftertaste, you need to find a different syrup.
A new product called My Pop Soda Shoppe makes high fizz soda pop and it is as close to green as anyone is ever going to get. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoGalIrET4w
Mike Spike says
Congrats, Corey, on carbonating your own sodas and reusing PET soda bottles instead of chucking them into the world’s landfills. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IoGalIrET4w hides the co2 source equipment in a bag. And http://mypopsoda.com/ reaches InterNETSubmit.net which displays the following message:
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There’s another gadget out there. Check out the Fizz-Giz video demo at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmrO_m5l3hU
You’ll probably like that too. They’re found at FizzGiz.com