Sodastream Home Soda Maker

Concerned with our household’s waste-stream of plastic bottles and cans, we started using this counter-top soda maker to concoct our own soft drinks with tap water processed through a Britta. It’s easy to use. The durable bottles are said to be good for three years. Best of all, Sodastream’s proprietary CO2 cartridges can be conveniently exchanged either via mail or at accessible chain stores like Williams-Sonoma.

If you’re looking to save a little money, you can build your own set up, like the previously-reviewed carbonation system. However, the Sodatream has the benefit of being plug-and-play; it’s smaller and less clunky; and it’s only about $30 more than the DIY set-up. Plus, the DIY set-up requires you to lug around a big scuba tank every time you refill the CO2. But hey, to each his own, no?

After the initial investment, the only things I ever need purchase are carbonator refills and new bottles of flavoring. So far, we’ve enjoyed Sodastream’s cola, faux Dr. Pepper, tonic, and pink grapefruit — all diet with Splenda instead of aspartame (They also sell sweetened syrups without hi-fructose corn syrup). I find the taste is excellent. The pink grapefruit is one of the best soft drinks I’ve had anywhere.

Aside from reducing our waste, we no longer have to lug bottles back from the store. I also like to think about all the energy we will save annually by not buying water that’s been shipped from one part of the country to another.

-- Brad Zebal  

Sodastream Pure
$115

Available from Amazon

Manufactured by Soda Stream Direct