Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Eliminating a waste stream
I like to mix club soda with fruit juice for a refreshing sparkling beverage that has no additives or artificial flavors and colors in it. The only problem -- far too many plastic bottles in my recycle bin every week.
So I acted on a tip from Beth at Fake Plastic Fish and visited a site called Soda-Club where one can buy a DIY club soda making machine, as pictured above. Beth wanted the elegantly cute Penguin dispenser with glass carafes bu5t I opted for the cheaper Fountain Jet, which unfortunately comes with plastic bottles rather than glass. However, the plastic bottles are supposed to last for three years and there are only two of them. Had I continued buying my usual 6 bottles per week at 52 weeks per year for three years -- well, that's a lot of bottles no longer in my recycle bin.
The Fountain Jet comes with an aluminum tank of CO2 that lasts for 110 bottles worth of soda. Then I can mail the empty tank back to be refilled and resold. Naturally, I ordered a back up tank to have on hand. It also comes with a sampler pack of soda flavors including various cola and root beer options. I've never been into flavored soda, so I will be Freecycling the sampler pack.
It's very easy to operate. I keep the soda bottles filled with delicious Akron water and store them in the frig until its time to charge one up as you have to use very cold water when you do the carbonating. You screw the bottle into the Soda Fountain and then press down on the lever three to five times and -- voila! Club soda for far less than one pays at the store and no bottle to recycle each week!
The soda maker itself is made out of plastic, but it is sturdy and looks like it will last for years and years. This is just the first of a number of changes I'm going to be making this summer that will help reduce my personal footprint upon this over-worked planet. Stay tuned for further green adventures!