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?

From our partners
Kimberj

Just another boat anchor in the garage waiting for the inevitable trip to Goodwill.

kate

We have had a SodaStream for about 3 years now and would never go back. The canisters are $14 if you take back an empty and we get at least 2 months of sparkling water out of each. Money well spent. We don’t drink soda in our house, but it has paid for itself many times over in sparkling water savings. Very small counter footprint too!

My kids gave me one a few years ago and I use it constantly–like you, just for seltzer. It’s a lot better than lugging full bottles back from the store. I use one that takes the large carbonators, so they last about 8 months. The carbonator exchange is a bit of a pain, but it’s only every 8 months, and it’s nothing compared to buying seltzer every week. They’re not $50 if you exchange them rather than buying new ones. Overall the cost is lower than buying seltzer. I haven’t even bought new bottles, though they say you should. The original ones seem fine.

Kristen

We love ours. I don’t think it saves us much money, but it definitely cuts down on the amount of recycling I have to haul out to the alley. Also, I am addicted to Diet Coke, but since I bought the Sodastream I don’t buy Diet Coke for the house anymore, so I feel just a tiny bit healthier. As for cost of the replacement cartridge, you can trade them in at a number of retailers and a fresh one costs about $14.00.

Angela

We use our constantly (my husband teases that it’s the second most used piece of equipment in our home..after the fridge). Our local hardware store (in DC) sells replacements so it’s easy enough to exchange a couple of cartridges a few times a year.

Previously we had sparkling water delivered and went through an massive amount of bottles (so for no other reason I think it’s a good idea).

I grew up in Germany where most households have these since they drink mineral water all the time. I agree with the comments above that it is a pain to exchange the cartridges and it is expensive. We have one and love it, and we refill our own c02 bottles which makes it SO cheap and definitely a long term thing to keep around. http://www.criticalpaintball.com/SodaMod-p/sodastream-sodamod.htm I think that is the adaptor and then get a c02 tank and your good to go.

I am (still) on the fence.
I drink huge amounts of seltzer but it is so easy to stockpile it from the grocer and recycle those plastic bottles.
The initial cost for another appliance, the countertop real estate it requires, and the canister replenishment for SodaStream continues to be off-putting enough.

There is a third, somewhat pricey, way: http://www.seltzersisters.com/

Elizabeth

We have had one for two years and we use it every day. We have to replace the canister about every two months, but it’s not a big deal – we just take it to Williams Sonoma and they swap it out for $16.95. They carry new canisters at Target now so I am hopeful that they will get the exchange program going and then it will be even easier to do.

girlrobot

for the longest time mine sat on the counter not really used….then I started drinking sparkling water and now I use my sodastream EVERY day. the canisters aren’t a big deal because bed bath and beyond swaps them for you and you can use a 20% off coupon. aren’t those stores everywhere? i have one right across the street from my house and another one across from work! now when I go on vacation I actually MISS my sodastream….I’m that dependent on it!

another tip for me I read was to add true lemon/lime/orange packets to your water for added flavor. I bought a huge box of them and love it. google “true lemon”.

Lee

Years from now, our generation will be known for adding CO2 canisters and those little Keurig cups to landfills everywhere. No thanks!

I agree with what everyone says. The savings might not be monumental, but the convenience of having it there and not having a ton of bottles to recycle may be worth it to some. I must point out that to true soda drinkers, the flavor of their sodas are defnitely different from what you may be used to. Their cola doesn’t taste like Coke or Pepsi and maybe a mix of both. Their orange soda is not the same as Fanta or Sunkist. It is imporant to note that BOTH the regular and diet have sucralose in it so if you have a well trained soda palette you can taste the artifical sweetner.

Catherine

The CO2 canisters are sent back to SodaStream to be inspected and reused so there’s not nearly the same amount of waste like the Keurig cups.

We’ve been using our SodaStream for about 5 years. Best gadget I’ve ever bought! We go through a liter or two a day but only need to refill the large carbonators twice a year. It’s so much easier than lugging seltzer home from the store– especially since we live in NYC and don’t have a car or the space to store bottles of seltzer.

bari

My husband drinks seltzer constantly and 5-6 years ago we were living in a 4th floor walk up lugging 2 liters up and down all the time. We heard about “soda club” where you can order this thing off the internet to make seltzer at home. It turned into soda stream and we’ve had one ever since. Back when it started you had to mail order the canisters and they would be delivered to your house, I think 3 stores in all of Brooklyn carried them but now you can get them at Staples, convenience stores, pretty much everywhere. The canisters are metal and reusable – then they are fully recyclable so there is no waste (like keurig) and no bottle recycling. If you drink seltzer daily its a must have in my opinion. If you aren’t a seltzer drinker it might be a waste of money, but it takes up the same amount of space as ONE seltzer bottle so its not like its such a hardship to stash it somewhere if you already store seltzer.

rose

Love ours. We have the “penguin” version with glass bottles. The canisters last about 2 months for us. We just use it for carbonated water. There are at least three stores in town that offer CO2 canister exchanges(~$16 each) where we live. We feel way better about the lack of bottles to be recycled (high energy requirement), the fact that we aren’t contributing to trucks driving water around, the canisters are reused (less energy than recycling) and we can have soda water whenever we want it (and adjust the level of carbonation too). My husband made his own tonic water syrup last summer and we had it made!

Josette

Idea sounds good but i won’t buy a product made in Israel.

Mary S

I have wanted one of these for a long time, but we have such a tiny, TINY kitchen, that I just can’t see giving up more counter space.

Paddy

My husband bought the Revolution for Xmas present. Worked good for 2 days. He bought it Sonoma and Williams, called and told them the problem, sending a replacement, Great company. We will see if the second one will work.