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This post has to date back about… wow… 20 years.

cola splashI’m no treehugger, I’m not overly ‘green’ or anything. I try to economize where I can and reduce waste where it makes sense.
However, I do like my junk food and my soda. Reducing waste and an appreciation for all things unhealthy don’t often go together.

So, what do I do? I want to limit the amount of plastic coming into and out of the house bit I still want my Sports drinks and soda.

[before I go on, I know there is much debate, the World over about whether it is “Pop”, “soda” or a “fizzy drink” etc. etc.  Especially in Pittsburgh. I grew up calling it a can or a fizzy drink. For the purposes of this post it will be Soda]

As I do with so many of life’s questions I turned to Twitter and asked my followers. Many of the responses I got were to buy powdered sports drink mix and reusable bottles and that if I must drink soda (I must) to get cans because they recycle easier than plastic.

eh – all seems like too much work for me for not a lot of difference.

Then I remembered… waaay back to my childhood… there was this kitchen gadget that added CO2 to flavored water and magically made it into Soda! Now, what was it called? My childhod (and current) friend Claire has the answer.

After a little more discussion, Alan Jakub pointed me in the direction of SodaStream USA.

Apparently the good old SodaStream is making a comeback!

Yes, I must have been about 10 years old when the Quayle Family had a SodaStream. I remember driving my parents nuts by drinking the syrup…. straight.

Anyway, I checked out the SodaStreamUSA site, we connected and yesterday a SodaStream found its way to my doorstep!

My Soda Stream

My Soda Stream

Before I left the apartment I hurriedly tore open the box and assembled my Soda Stream. Well, when I say assembled I mean took the cap off the CO2 canister and screwed it in 🙂

I took a quick look at the syrup bottle to see how to measure it (a cap full) added the syrup to a bottle (filled to marked line) with water, screwed it into the machine, gave it three pumps and I had a ready to go root beer!

I tested my mix on one of the guys at the Police station who, without being told what it was could tell it was root beer (a good start) and after trying it said that the flavor and fizz were surprisingly good. The only downside was that the soda wasn’t cold – not surprising as I used tap water and it was 80+ degrees outside.

The question is – is it worth it?

I have the SodaStream Fountain Jet, a couple of 1 Liter bottles and a bunch of Sodamixes.

  • The Fountain Jet starts at about $100 (comes with 2 bottles and a 60 liter carbonator).
  • Sodamixes are about $5 each (50 servings per container). Lets run out the carbonator and get 5 – $25 total
  • $125 initial cost gets you 60 liters of Soda. Works out to about $2 per liter… initially.
  • Now, after your initial cost of the machine you’re looking at about $40 for 60 liters. 66 cents per liter.

Heck, at less than a buck you really can’t complain.  Right?

Now, how green is it?

  • There are no batteries, no electricity at all.
  • Yes, the Sodamix bottles are plastic but you’re getting 12 liters per bottle.
  • The CO2 canisters are recyclable – send them back to SodaStream and they reuse them.

Ease of use?

Terribly easy to use! I didn’t need the instructions to put it together and make up a bottle. Vary the fizz and syrup to your liking too.

Oh, and the fizz – it stays. Before I went to bed last night I made myself a lemonade and put it in the fridge. I pulled it out this morning and fund it still fizzy. I’m sure the quality bottle and the seal in the cap help.

Also, it isn’t an overbearing fizz – its there, in the soda, where it should be.

Personally, I’d say its worth it. Environmental benefit, cost saving, and the fact that you don’t have to buy masses of the same type of soda matter to me. Make what you want, when you want.  Nothing sitting around going flat.

What do you think? Would it be worth it for you and your family?

Update- Feb. 20 2011. Bed Bath and Beyond is selling the Soda Stream here in Pittsburgh. They have a recycle program. Take your used 60L CO2 tank back and you get a new one for about $16. Bargain!
Also, I asked the clerk at Bed Bath and Beyond how popular the Soda Stream is and they told me that it has been selling very well.

See more about SodaStream here

Check out Ms. Fizz

Follow SodaStream USA on Twitter

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
Known globally as a willing source for tech news and views, Andy takes great pride in consultation and education.

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