Is My Soda-Making Machine Helping the Environment?
For many Americans, drinking soda is a guilty pleasure. They know it is not the most healthy drink available, but sometimes it is exceptionally nice to have a fizzy drink on a hot day. To help fuel this craving, several companies have created a soda-making machine that will carbonate your drinks at home. They claim to save you money because you will not have to go to the store for a carbonated beverage. They also claim to help the environment because they reduce the use of single-use plastics with their own reusable bottles. However, these soda-making machines require CO2 canisters and have other ways of contributing to practices that harm the environment. When it comes down to it, are these machines better or worse than buying your favorite soft drink at the store? Keep reading to find out.
How a Soda-Making Machine Helps the Environment
One prominent soda-making machine company, SodaStream, offers promising numbers with the purchase of their products. On average, using your own machine to create carbonated drinks can save each owner 550 plastic bottles a year. This is because they offer reusable and refillable 2-liter bottles and you can pour the drink into your own cups at home. For those of you that are at the store every other day to buy a drink, you will waste significantly less plastic if you make your own soda. Not only that, but you will also save yourself money in the long run. Granted, these companies require an investment of $80 to $100 to start, but over time the savings add up.
Other people may have questions about the CO2 canisters and if they are also good for the environment. Thankfully, there is not a company that pumps CO2 into the air just so you can have a carbonated beverage. Instead, the CO2 you use in your soda-making endeavors is essentially recycled. Other manufacturing processes create carbon dioxide and release it into the air, so they gather that gas and store it. This allows them to sell it to customers, very much like propane. Once the canister is empty, you take it back to the store and they will sell you a new one. They will then send the empty canisters back to the manufacturer for them to refill.
How the Machine Harms the Environment
The biggest part of owning a soda-making machine that harms the environment is transportation. You do not have to worry about the amount of CO2 used because the numbers are very small in comparison. For example, the total carbon footprint of a can of Coke is about 0.4 pounds of CO2. However, most of this comes from manufacturing the packaging, which you avoid by making your own soda. On the other hand, driving a car about 20 miles creates 18 pounds of carbon dioxide. If you are flying on a plane, you are likely contributing to hundreds of pounds of this gas. This means that transporting the soda-making machine, flavorings, and CO2 canisters can rack up quite a bit of pollution. This is a common flaw in many of the goods we have because they all require transportation to stores and to your home.
You probably already know what our conclusion is. When you weigh the pros against the cons, using a soda-making machine is better for the environment. For one, it can help you drastically reduce your single-use plastic consumption. There is so much plastic in the world, and this helps you to do your part to avoid using more plastic than necessary. Though transporting the items contribute to pollution, it is a necessary evil for almost all of the goods we purchase. Hopefully, we can find ways to reduce that as well. Overall, you can feel better making your own soda because it keeps some plastic out of landfills and out of the oceans.