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Archive for December, 2008

Sparkle Your Water and Skip the Plastic for the New Year

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

SodaClub - Penguin
Make your own seltzer water and soda $89.00
Penguin Model from SodaClub

I’ve been a soda and sparkling water water addict for ages and despite always recycling I still feel guilt over using so much plastic or aluminum from my little vice. Now that I found from the EcoChick Blog out about how to indulge your fizzy jones without all the demon PET I feel even more guilty. One solution that seems promising is to join Sodastream, a Israeli company that makes home carbonation systems, 25 different flavored soda types, carbonating bottles and CO2 gas.

You just pour cold tap water into the device, press a button a few times to force the CO2 into the water (adjust for your taste in fizzyness) and you have a liter of seltzer water.

They offer various models, functionality and pricing of their fountain jet systems that are powered by proprietary carbonators filled with beverage-grade CO2 cartridges. When your cartridge is empty you arrange online to get a new replacement and send the empty to be refilled. The cheapest refill carbonator kit they offer is $25.00 (for 2 cartridges) – enough for 120 liters. Their pricing of other option on refill options are rather confusing on their website – be sure to check what your ultimate cost will be with the model you get and whether you want exchange cartridges or spare. You will also need to plan out when you’ll need a new refill as they don’t send it automatically.

The biggest advantage is in dramatically reducing the plastic in your life. Other perks are not having to lug heavy cases of soda and the reduced transportation costs of shipping ( do we really need to ship our sparkling water from France or Fiji?)

If you are a big soda drinker you could save some real money after awhile as their reusable 1-liter PET bottle goes for $0.20 per liter and flavored sodas for around $0.57 per liter. If you follow their instructions you can also save more money by flavoring your own water with juice or other flavoring of your own making. The flavorings cost $8.00 for a 100 ml bottle which makes about 40 liters of flavored seltzer.

If you want the classier designed Penguin model it will run you 249.99 for the model with all the perks and $199.99 for the “starter kit” version, it uses more elegent glass carafes rather than the PET liter bottles used with the less expensive Fountain Jet models. With the Penguin model you also get more soda mix.

SodaClub - Fountain Jet

If you are looking to save more money the Fountain Jet White Home Soda Maker seems a reasonable price at 159.99 which includes 3, 60-liter Carbonators makes about 180 liters of seltzer, 4 Carbonating Bottles, and you choose 8 Flavoring bottles (SodaMix) enough to make 96 Liters. Other models are also available.

Spinning Solar Crystals

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

solar spinning crystals rainbows
Silent Symphony® Solar Spinning Crystal Aria Single Crystal Model $89.00 SunDance Solar

A great way to fill a sunny room with shimmering, spinning rainbows that will brighten your spirit. Enjoy the visual delights or perhaps channel your inner hippie with solar powered spinning crystals. Perhaps one of the last items you really don’t need that is still made in the USA! Made with Chandelier grade Swarovski crystal(s). One of three models whose price and features vary depending on the number of spinning crystals.

Sadly, the poor design of the rather cheap looking wooden support distracts from what could be a good idea and makes you think twice about the price tag. However, once hidden away on a window sill the mesmerizing effect of the spinning refractions might make it all worth it.

solar spinning crystals models
Silent Symphony® Solar Spinning Crystal Overture Triple Crystal Model $159.00 SunDance Solar

TerraCycle’s Urban Art Flower Pots

Monday, December 15th, 2008

pots made from recycled e-waste plastic
Urban Art Flower Pots $9.99 TerraCycle

A few more plastics from computer and electronic parts aren’t going to make it to the landfill this year due to TerraCycle’s Urban Art pots being made from 100% e-waste. These pots can either be plain or with colorful designs. The green-thumbed folks may be happy to plant even more greenery.
Presumably, any toxin’s from the e-waste have been safely removed but I probably would avoid growing anything I will eventually put in my mouth.

Build Your Own Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Forget the toxic plastic artificial trees and the pesticide laden live trees. Here is nn excellent way to remove some of the consumerism out of Christmas and make your holiday’s a tad greener is to make your own Christmas tree. This video (and the book they promote) shows how you can make a Christmas tree shaped plywood constructed and drilled holes to be a holder for live pine branches that you can gather from discards at nurseries, your own back yard or local woods. (just don’t take enough branches that might actually harm the tree) If you make it sturdy enough you can use this for many years.

Aroma Aeromatic Oven

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Aroma aeromatic oven
Aroma Aeromatic Oven
Amazon.com $89.99

This convention oven is good for cooking healthy meals with low energy for a small household. It grills, broils, bakes, frys, toasts, steams, roasts and even crisp bacon while saving energy and without adding fat. Will cook food almost as speedy as a microwave by circulating hot air at fast speeds to uniformly cook food which seals in the natural juices. Includes a 58-page cookbook with instructions. Tempered glass bowl is dishwasher safe.

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