what are your thoughts on sodastream: eco-revolution or not-needed gadget?

I don’t know about your house, but we go through a lot of seltzer here. We don’t drink sodas, but dinner is not complete without some kind of sparkly water. Since moving to a house with storage room in the basement, we’ve taken to buying huge pallets of the stuff from Costco. The cost is about $5 for 20 bottles. I hate going through so many plastic bottles, but at least I live in a town that recycles them.

Then along comes SodaStream. I first encountered this gizmo at my office last year. There was one in the kitchen, and for a while, it was fun. We’d giggle at the funny noises it made and it was nice to have instant bubbles in our water cups. Then the carbonated tank ran out of juice and no one replaced it. There it sat like a big paperweight for months.

SodaStream has been getting a lot of attention the past couple of weeks for a rejected Superbowl ad. The network was worried about pissing off their big buck advertisers, PepsiCo and Coke, and pulled it at the last minute. The New Yorker asks this week if the soda giants shouldn’t be worried about SodaStream. As Joshua Rothman writes, “The problem for Coke and Pepsi isn’t that SodaStream cuts into sales. It’s that SodaStream demystifies soda.” The gadget works by simply pumping forced air into a bottle, and you can add syrup if you want a flavor. It is a simple concept. But Sodastreams cost at least $80, and the air tanks do run out and can’t be bought — or recycled — easily. We have visions of stack of them piling up and not knowing how to dispose of them. New carbonators cost about $50 bucks each, but the company wants you to bring it back to a retailer for an exchange for a full one. You just pay for air. The Superbowl ad claims Sodastream will help save the planet by not using so many plastic bottles (“More than 500 million could have been saved during the Superbowl”) but it does create another to-do on your list. I’m not sold, but tempted (does that guy, above, come with it?).

What’s your take on the SodaStream? New necessity or gadget that will expire soon?

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