In a time when looking after our environment has never been more important, switching from all bottled water and other drinks – even the large two litre ones – is surely another step in the right direction. I’ve had a SodaStream for years (and years), and love that it allows me to have fizzy water whenever I want it. These slightly odd-looking small kitchen appliances are a pretty decent way to reduce plastic and save money.
I remember there being one at home when I was a child. It would sit on the counter by the back door in our house in Devonport, in a lovely two-shades-of-brown. Remember the “let’s get bizzy with the fizzy” adverts on television? SodaStream have been battling single use plastic for that long! I won my own in a competition back in 2011-ish, which I have used and abused since then. Recently I was offered a shiny new SodaStream Spirit to try out, and took the opportunity to pass my pre-loved one onto a friend and to have this black one on my worktop instead.
Having this out on the worktop is already a good review from this homeowner, because with the exception of my kettle, which is vital to have access to at all times, it’s the only small appliance that doesn’t live in a cupboard. We have very little worktop space in our kitchen, and so the toaster, slow cooker, blender, and other things get put away out of sight when they’re not in use. I’d have the microwave in a cupboard if it would fit. With the SodaStream being used almost every day, there seems little point hiding it.
The SodaStream Spirit is the basic unit currently available – there are others in the range that offer electric buttons or glass bottles, but this starter kit looks good and works very well.
Using the machine is very simple. Your gas bottle goes in the back (I swap my gas bottles over at Lakeland, but you can also do this at Argos and other places), and stays there for around 60 litres worth of time. To carbonate some water, you first fill up the (reusable) bottle that comes with the machine with tap or filtered tap water up to the wavy line, place the top into the machine and push it back so it clicks in place, and push the button on the top for a few seconds to send the gas into the water. You can gas up your water as much as you like – press for longer for fizzier water.
I have two one-litre bottles for mine, which live full-up in the fridge ready and waiting to be carbonated at any given moment. Once fizzed up, I keep them stood in the fridge door, and it is still sparkling the next day (if there is any left).
You can drink the water plain if that is your preference, or you can add flavour. SodaStream sell syrups to go in your water (which have had a bit of a recent makeover and are now less sugary and come in glass bottles), or you can do what we do and make use of the large variety of nice proper cordials now available in the supermarket. Anything from Belvoir, Bottlegreen, and the posher Robinsons ones, works very well indeed – and all of these come in glass bottles so you can be safe in the knowledge that your whole drink is not harming the environment (not from the materials, anyway, I’m not commenting on any manufacturing process or issues of mass farming here… small steps). My personal favourite is a good quality elderflower, or the Robinson’s Lime and Mint is particularly refreshing on a hot day.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not perfect when it comes to single use plastic. I still buy the occasional large bottle of Diet Coke or Irn Bru, and drink my way through bog standard lemon squash like there’s no tomorrow. But I’m getting there. I’m told that we don’t need a handful of people doing things perfectly, we need millions of people doing things imperfectly to make the real difference. And while I don’t imagine you’ll all go out and buy a SodaStream this afternoon, I do feel we can all look at our most-consumed items and find ways to be a little more environmentally friendly in those categories. If you drink fizzy drinks most evenings with dinner, then I would suggest a SodaStream is a must-purchase item for your kitchen.
You can find the SodaStream Spirit in all kinds of colours on the SodaStream website for £59.99 including one bottle or £89.99 including several bottles and some flavours. The basic starter pack is also available at Currys for £39.00 (a bargain!) and the “mega pack” is at John Lewis for £59.99, Lakeland for £79.99, and Amazon for £79.99. RRP for the starter pack is £99.99 but you shouldn’t ever need to pay that.
I was gifted the SodaStream Spirit last summer and have been using it almost-daily since then. Some links are affiliate links. Prices were accurate at time of publication (January 2020).