I have long wanted a Soda Stream to make my own fizzy water for soft drinks and, more importantly, mixers for gin -the best of all spirits. For now I am buying tonic in tins (but they of course come plastic lined), or bottle (plastic-lined, metal cap and very expensive!).
But it has to be a SodaStream Crystal Sparkling Water Machine ( see one here) because these take glass bottles rather than plastic.
Until now there have been 2 drawbacks to this scheme. Recently I have been traveling… a lot. No fixed abode means no large kitchen appliances. Extended travel also results in limited income and those things cost around £110.00 pounds. Yes I am sure I would make the money back in the long run but in the short term I simply don’t have the cash.
Recently however the planets have aligned. I now have a kitchen and I got a bargain on Ebay. A new Soda Stream machine in original packaging for less than half price. Given my gin drinking habits, I will soon make that back!
Yes the machine is plastic but I consider this to be plastic that ultimately cuts my plastic consumption. And of course it is cutting my consumption of disposable plastics while it is a reusable item.
The Soda Stream itself was well packaged. The box is shiny cardboard (maybe plastic coated) with one little plastic carry handle. Inside it was all brown card protective units. Yay!
The Ebayer I bought it off sent it wrapped in bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard and plastic tape.
If I had got it from a shop it would have been almost plastic free… but when you are skint you often have to compromise. Sigh.
Bottles & Gas
It was so cheap because it came without a bottle. At least that is what I understood the blurb to say. So I bought some gas and a glass bottle from Amazon. I know it was wrong of me and I wont do it again but they too were bargains.
The Amazon packaging was cardboard with plastic tape and the original soda stream gas and bottle packaging were (plastic coated?), shiny cardboard.
The gas bottle itself had a plastic cap and a seal. And a plastic sleeve with information printed on. I see no reason why this could not be paper.
Not In My Bin….
The tape had to go on my monthly plastic tally but the boxes I free-cycled. There’s always Ebayers who need packaging.
To make fizzy drinks you need to mix the carbonated water with concentrated cordial. You can buy a range of Soda Stream mixers to make all manner of beverages from cola to tonic. They come in plastic bottles and while this represent a massive cut in overall plastic consumption, I think it is avoidable.
You can buy cordial in glass bottles from most supermarkets but it is really easy to make your own and you get to control how much sugar and other nasty additives go into them. I find commercial soft drinks, even tonic, to be way too sweet.
To date I have made raspberry fizz and ginger and lemon sparkle. Both taste great with gin!
Go to Bently Grange PYO fruit farm and get some raspberries. Boil them up with some sugar. Strain. Add fizzy water. Yay!
Ginger & Lemon Sparkle
Boil ginger pieces, lemon juice and sugar. Strain. Add fizzy water. You can save the ginger to flavor other stuff with. Goes great with melon!
Grapefruit & Lavender Blush
Juice of the grapefruit, few heads of lavender the last dollop of jam. Add some sugar, boil.
If you put enough sugar in I guess these cordials would last a long time. I don’t use much sugar so I make small batches and keep them in the fridge for a few days. If I make a lot I freeze the cordial as cubes of icy flavour.
Find more recipes in the plastic free cookbook