About 3 weeks ago, we've taken on Sodastream's #PlasticBottleChallenge, to see whether we can cut down on our plastic bottle (and other recyclable drink containers) consumption by using Sodastream to make our sparkling water and fizzy drinks instead.
Before we accepted the challenge, we would buy plastic bottled water in bulk to keep in the car as they are convenient for when we go out. We also buy sweet drinks that comes in plastic bottles and carton boxes, and fizzy drinks in cans as a treat or when we are on holiday (the kids normally drink water or diluted juices), especially when the weather is (or was!) getting warm.
As the containers are recyclable, we never really think that we are doing harm to the environment, but we never thought about the carbon footprint we are leaving behind during the process of having them collected from our recycling bin, to them being turned into recycled materials, which consumes a lot of energy and water. So, after reading the PR's email, we decided to take on the challenge, and see whether we really need all that bottles and cans in our lives, and see how simple it is to help the environment a bit more.
Before I go on about our challenge, I have to mention how smart the Sodastream Source look, and how glad I am not seeing a cable in sight! It's really easy to set up and within minutes, I made our very first sparkling water using our filtered tap water.
For the first 2 attempts, we added flavouring into the bottle of sparkling water, but then decided to add them into individual glasses instead so we can have different flavours whenever we fancy (instead of waiting for the bottle of drink to finish first).
We first added orange juice to the sparkling water. While I was happily sharing this picture on social media, I realised that I have failed the #PlasticBottleChallenge, because the juice I used (it was siting in the fridge) came from a plastic bottle!
That's when I noticed how many plastic bottles we have in our house (honey, syrup, bread spreads, and even skincare!), and how difficult it is to cut them out from our lives completely. But instead of admitting to defeat, I told myself that the least we can do is to try to cut them down to the minimum, and not using single use bottled and canned drinks is definitely a good place to start.
So we went back to basic and tried to use as many fresh ingredients as possible for our drinks.
We don't normally drink sparkling water on it's own, and do prefer our fizzy drinks to be sweet, so we did use bottled honey for most of our Sodastream creations, but it does make me feel better knowing that a bottle of honey lasts much longer than single use bottles of water and canned drinks, and it makes the drinks a lot healthier too because it's a natural sweetener, and I can control the amount of it going into our drinks as well.
After 3 weeks (although probably less than 2 as there were times when we just wanted still water) of taking on the challenge, we noticed that, not only did we hardly drink from the canned and bottled fizzy drinks we have in storage (they are covered in dust now!):
we have also made a lot of fizzy drinks that are much more delicious and healthier:
|Lemonade with a touch of honey|
|Fresh Strawberry infused Sparkling Water|
|Sparkling Freshly Blended Watermelon Juice|
|Sparkling Honey and Lemon Tea|
After 3 weeks, we noticed that our recycling bin was only half full in 2 weeks. We used to fill it to the top! It took me some time to realise that it was because we haven't been drinking bottled and canned drinks, and thought that we've left some rubbish around that we forgot to add to the bin.
Because of this challenge, we also became more aware of the containers we use. We now have plenty of reusable bottles at home that we use for taking still water out with us. When the kids are up for a treat, we will fill them with homemade fizzy drinks instead.
We also haven't touched the single use bottles of water that's in the car for a good while now. We will keep them there for the days when we really need them, until they are all used up (or expired) without restocking.
So having a Sodastream isn't just about having a fancy gadget in the kitchen, make your own homemade fizzy drinks and saving money from buying drinks. It will also help you and the family save the environment that we are living in, which I think is the most important benefit for everyone.
Thank you Sodastream for this lovely opportunity to show us that we don't need all those extra plastic bottles and cans, and that we can do a lot more to help the environment than we think!