environmental benefits of such machines before so I wasn't totally opposed to the idea. But sometimes he gets carried away and splurges on expensive toys that he doesn't end up using. So I said, okay, let's not get it right now, but we can talk about it, and think about whether it would be a good decision to buy one.
However, a few days later I came home to several cases of bottled seltzer and water. What was plastic bottled water doing in my "green" home?? Turns out when I denied him on the soda maker, he went ahead and signed up for a delivery of seltzer bottles, which came with a complimentary delivery of regular water bottles as well. Apparently his interest in seltzer is not a passing fad but an obsession. He had been spending $$ daily on sparkling water from delis near his office and was looking for a way to cut this cost. It would have helped if he had told me this!
Then he read the receipt and realized he had inadvertently signed a yearlong contract for a monthly delivery of seltzer. The thought of hundreds of plastic bottles moving through our apartment unnecessarily every month was even more horrifying to me than the sight of the dozens of bottles currently housed in our apartment.
He yelled at me for blocking the seltzer appliance purchase in the first place. I yelled at him for making a decision without us having the opportunity to properly discuss the situation. (Oh domestic "bliss") In the end, he decided it would still be cheaper to pay the contract cancellation fee and buy the soda maker than it would be to continue with the delivery service. Score one more: by a stroke of luck, Poland Springs let him out of the contract without a fee because they had messed up the order slightly.
So now he has the Soda Stream Soda Maker. Not the $200 Penguin model with glass bottles, but the $80 Jet model with BPA-free plastic bottles because it was cheaper, plastic is lighter and easier to carry around, and the plastic bottles are larger and thus hold more water than the the glass carafes.
Homemade soda makers have several environmental advantages over store-bought seltzer. The machine comes with two reusable bottles and utlizes our own tap water. By not supporting bottled water companies, we are preventing tons of plastic from being manufactured and moving through the waste stream. Fewer fossil fuels are being used for the creation, transport, and recycling of bottles. Furthermore, tap water is actually more strictly regulated and safer than bottled water.
So far it's a hit. He makes seltzer daily, brings it to work, and it stays carbonated throughout the day. I'm not a big on seltzer personally (to me, the most environmentally friendly beverage of all is plain water, which I drink in abundance), but I do see the benefits. When I was sick a couple weekends ago, I was happy to be able to drink sparkling water with lemon slices as an alternative to sugary processed ginger ale. I pretty much cut out mixed drinks when I gave up conventional soda, among other processed foods, a few years ago, so I'm looking forward to experimenting with simple syrups and flavorings to be able to create homemade sodas and cocktails.
Have you thought about getting a soda maker? Do you have any other tips for cutting down consumption of bottled beverages?