I realize the topic of today's diary doesn't exactly fit into the category of green IT, but it IS technology that happens to have a green purpose so I'm thinking of it as green tech. It's also something that is so darn logical that I can't believe someone didn't start touting it years ago: a simple home appliance that lets anyone concoct their own soda ("pop" for you in the midwest) and fizzy water. It's not as pretty as the antique seltzer bottles my husband displays in our kitchen, but it serves a higher purpose.
This, my friends, is the Web site for Soda-Club USA, which makes gadgets that turn tap water into those syrupy carbonated drinks to which our children have become so addicted. I can be obnoxious about it because I, too, have a daily yen for this stuff. Two of the aforementioned gadgets appear below in this photo:
This video does a really good job of demonstrating how this green tech works. Basically, you fill up the bottle with regular water, attach it to the appliance (which is about the size of a coffeemaker and has carbonating cylinder attached) and use a little elbow grease to add the carbonation. (Extra points for no batteries or electricity required.)
Gerard Meyers, president of the U.S. division of Soda-Club, says the machines are really popular in Europe, where the company has been selling is products for nigh onto 20 years. The company claims that one in four households in both Germany and Switzerland owns one of these gadgets. The green proposition is pretty simple. The Soda-Club products will cut out your need to lug home all those cans and bottles that are cluttering up your refrigerator or pantry. For the scare factor, he cites statistics that claim about 70 percent of those containers wind up in landfill.
A basic model is about $99 and includes two carbonating bottles plus one cylinder filled with CO2. Each cyclinder can be used to carbonate about 110 liters worth of water before it should be refilled. The bottles themselves can handle about three years of regular use, according to Meyers.
Right now, if you want to buy one of these things you have to order it off the Web site or from several smaller independent retailers (including some boating stores). However, Meyers said his company is negotiating potential relationships with several prominent retailers as well as kitchen appliance manufacturers.