Gear You Need: The Penguin from Sodastream (or home soda maker)

The Penguin home soda maker

Do you like sparking water?

Do you like to entertain?

Would you like to make your own soda?

Do you consider yourself to be “green”?

Are you cheap frugal?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you need a home soda maker. We use a Penguin from Sodastream (there are other models, but we will just call it the Penguin). What is a Penguin? The Penguin is a device that quickly, easily and inexpensively makes sparking water at home.

How does it work? Basically you get the Penguin, carafes for water and gas canisters to make the soda. You fill the carafe with water, chill it and then use the Penguin. Presto, sparkling water. If you want to make soda, just add flavored syrup. Each gas canister makes over 50 carafes of sparking water. And when the canister is out of gas you just mail it back to Sodastream for a new one. It is very easy.

Best of all, each liter of sparkling water or homemade soda costs less than $.25 cents. Most commercial water or soda will be at least $1.50 per liter. If you drink as much sparkling water as we do, the Penguin pays for itself in a few months. We used to go through a bottle of Pellegrino a day, plus extra for parties. I am embarrassed to say that was over $500 a year in fizzy water (I feel shame). A home soda maker costs between $100- $200. The gas will cost another $20-$40 a year. The machine will last at least a few years. So by my math we saved about $750 in two years. Real money.

Some other benefits of making soda at home:

–       You can control the level of carbonation in your sparkling water.

–       You won’t run out of sparkling water when entertaining.

–       Make fruit syrups (or use store-bought) at home to make flavoered soda with the kids. They will love it.

–       You will no longer use glass bottles for your water, saving energy and resources.

We have a Penguin and ordered a few extra carafes to be prepared for larger groups. It works great. The carafes look good enough for entertaining and are easy to refill. It is so easy the kids make the sparkling water before dinner. We can even claim to be “green” while consuming a luxury good. What’s not to like?

If your recycling bin is full of sparkling water bottles right now there is no excuse not to make your own soda at home. The earth, and your wallet will thank you.

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