Each summer I’m in Sweden I notice most homes have a SodaStream. I tried another bubble brand a few years ago only to be stuck with empty CO2 refill cylinders that I didn’t know what to do with. But I decided it was time to try again, and I’m so glad I did! Here’s why.
Less calories than soda and juice
We all know soda is not good for us! One 12 oz can of soda is 138 calories. Juice is similar. One cup of orange juice is about 111 calories. Don’t shoot the messenger, but one 5 oz serving of wine is about 123 calories, and one can of beer is about 154 calories. I’m sorry. I know all this is very upsetting. I don’t like it any more than you do. But there’s a better alternative. It’s called water. Wait! There’s more. You can add all kinds of flavors to your water for way fewer calories. Keep reading for easy, natural soda syrup recipes.
Better for the planet
One of the latest health trends is replacing traditional soda with sparkling water. That’s great for our health, but all those cans and bottles create a lot of waste and unnecessary transportation.
SodaStream reduces waste
Did you know reducing food waste is Drawdown.org’s number three solution to climate change? Ok, so sparkling water is not exactly food. But if your kids are like mine, you end up throwing out about half of each can of water. With SodaStream sparkling water it’s still wasteful if it ends up down the sink, but at least it hasn’t traveled halfway around the world to get there.
SodaStream’s reusable carbonating bottles help to significantly reduce waste from store-bought bottles and cans, while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint by up to 87% in comparison with generic PET-bottled sparkling water brands*.“
SodaStream reduces transportation
Trucks consume about 25% of fuel in the United States according to Drawdown.org. When we buy bottled still or sparkling water, it takes up a lot of space on ships and trucks before we get it home. Most of us have drinkable water at home in our own taps, which can be easily filtered.
SodaStream was recently listed in a report about companies rethinking packaging by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The SodaStream is a circular product for two reasons. First, it designs out waste from unnecessary cans and transportation. Second, it keeps the cylinders inside a closed loop. Here’s how:
- Go to SodaStream’s refill gas cylinders page to order a refill.
- SodaStream will mail you full gas cylinders and send you an email with a link to print your pre-paid shipping label.
- Place empty SodaStream refill cylinders in a box and mail them back to SodaStream using a pre-paid shipping label from SodaStream. (Yes, you have to print it at home. Don’t get me started on the love/hate relationship I have with my printer.)
Here’s the catch. You have to return the empty cylinder within 30 days of returning the new cylinder. If you don’t they charge you an additional $15 for the new cylinder. They clearly want to encourage you to send it back.
My take on sending it back is this. A circular economy product must keep materials from being sent to landfills. When a cylinder doesn’t get sent back it’s no longer staying inside the loop. So although it seems annoying that they charge you when you don’t send the cylinder back, it certainly discourages waste.
Why the SodaStreamer is cheaper
Cans of sparkling water cost between 55 cents and $1. Assuming each person in a family of four drinks one can of sparkling water per day, you spend about $66 per month on sparkling water. That’s $792 per year! At around $129, the SodaStream starts saving you money in less than three months. Carbonation cylinder refills are about $15 each.
When you order the SodaStream refill cylinder on SodaStream.com you can send your old cartridge back to be recycled for free. One carbonating cylinder will make up to 60 liters of sparkling water according to the company. Results vary depending on how bubbly you like your water.
On another note, PepsiCo purchased SodaStream in 2018. Looks like even the big companies see that consumers are tired of soda and waste.
Easy, natural sparkling water recipes
I use various combinations of stevia, lemon juice, elderberry syrup and mint leaves to flavor water. Below are the tried and true fizzy drinks I’ve made for years. But don’t be afraid to experiment. Maybe try taking out the stevia or adding juice from a grapefruit? My rule of thumb is about 1 tablespoon juice to 1.5 cups of water. That keeps the calories low and the flavor high. Three to four drops of liquid stevia are more than enough. Start with a drop or two of stevia and add more to taste.
Elderberry for immune support
Elderberry has been used for centuries for immune system support. In Sweden, we drink a lot of elderberry saft. Elderberry saft is a concentrate made from water, soaked elderberry flowers, lemon, and sugar. In the United States, I buy Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup and make my own version of saft. This is the recipe.
Elderberry syrup soda recipe
Keep in mind elderberry syrup is a powerful herb, so no more than one serving per day. Don’t serve to children under four years old just to be on the safe side.
- 1.5 cups SodaStream sparkling water
- 1 tsp Gaia Black Elderberry Syrup
- 1 tsp Raw agave nectar
- 1 – 2 tsp lemon juice to add a little zing (optional)
Virgin Mojito recipe
I love a real mojito, but I can do without the sugar and booze most days. This recipe is easy, crisp, and low in calories.
- 1.5 cups SodaStream sparkling water
- 1/4 tsp SodaStream Lime Drops or 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 5 – 10 (or more) mint leaves
- 1 – 4 drops liquid stevia for sweetness (optional)
Sparkling Stevia Lemonade recipe
My quick and easy low-calorie lemonade recipe.
- 1.5 cups SodaStream sparkling water (or still water)
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 3-4 drops liquid Stevia or 1 tsp raw agave nectar (optional)
Stevia is an herb related to ragweed and chrysanthemums according to Dr. Axe. It’s 200 times sweeter than sugar which is why a single drop or two is enough to make a fizzy drink almost as sweet as soda. Stevia is considered non-caloric. You can even buy a stevia plant in some garden supply stores if you want to go completely natural.