I've been holding out on you! Well, not really. I wanted to save this particular review so we could end Earth Month with a big bang. I had never heard of the Soda Stream until I saw it around the bloggersphere. My family and I are not particularly big soda drinkers, mainly because it's an expense we don't need to have, and I personally don't like all of the bottles and cans it creates. I also don't care for the negative health factors that accompanies soda drinking. I figured that a Soda Stream might be the exact solution we are looking for.
Soda Stream sent me the Genesis Soda Maker. This came with two plastic bottles, a big CO2 cartridge, and a bazillion flavors. We're talking cola, ginger ale, fruity flavors, diet flavors, lemon lime - oh my gosh so many flavors! My favorite was the Raspberry-Cranberry flavor. My husband broke into the box before I was able to, and before even reading any instructions he went full steam ahead making his first bottle of soda. I'm laughing just thinking about it. He managed to get soda water everywhere... TWICE! I had seen a video review of the Soda Stream before and knew exactly why it happened, so as a quick suggestion for anyone who buys this or wins this - Read the instructions.
I like that the Soda Stream is really easy to use. It doesn't take much to put it together and within seconds you are literally making your own sodas. Just a few pushes of the carbinator, and a cap-full or so of your favorite flavors, and voila! You have a bottle of soda that you can store in the fridge if you don't want to finish it, or take with you to work. Heck, buy a Soda Stream for your office if you want easy access. It definitely beats going down to the vending machine and paying a dollar or two for a tiny bottle. I also think the size is great. It normally sits on the edge of my over-flowing kitchen table and takes up very little space.
There were only a few things I didn't like, and it isn't really related to the actual Soda Stream machine. I would have liked the caps to have poured neater. If you don't wash the cap out after each time you flavor your soda water, they get really sticky and begin making a mess. It's not a huge deal, but something I would like to see improved in the future. I also noticed the soda water loses its carbonation quicker than store bought sodas. That doesn't bother me because I happen to like my soda a little flatter, and if I want it to last longer I carbonate it to the max. It does last for several hours, but if you need to keep your soda for longer than 3-4 hours without it losing too much carbonation, I'd suggest putting it in the fridge.
Every once in awhile there is a method to my madness. I have been sitting on this review for several weeks. Of course I wanted to try it out for a long time, but I also thought it was a perfect review for Earth Month. I found online that it takes a plastic beverage bottle up to 450 years to decompose. That is just ridiculous! For those that don't live in a state where you can take them into a redemption center for a little extra cash, how many people choose to toss those bottles instead of recycling them? The Soda Stream is a great solution to this issue. Yes, it's a little bit of an investment, but in the long run it saves money, but it also helps keep hundreds upon thousands of bottles out of the landfill. On the Soda Stream web site they have a little ticker of how many bottles they are saving the world from. Right now it's up over 1.7 BILLION! According to their site, 1 one their reusable bottles saves the world from an average of 2,000 bottles and cans.
I mentioned that I wasn't thrilled with all of the health issues that seem to accompany soda drinkers. We all know the sweeteners aren't great for you, especially the aspartame. I was thrilled to learn the following when checking out Soda Stream online.
"Regular sodamix flavors contain less sugar, calories, carbohydrates and sodium than national drink brands. Regular flavors contain no high-fructose corn syrup, and are sweetened with a blend of sugar and sucralose. Diet sodamix flavors contain no sugar, no aspartame and are sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener. Sparkling Naturals are sweetened exclusively with cane sugar." ~ Soda Stream
You can taste a difference. It's a small difference, but it is there. At first I wasn't all that happy about it, but after a few goes with the Genesis and finding my favorite flavors, I would much prefer drinking what I'm able to create with my Soda Stream versus pumping all of that sugar and other crud that accompanies many soda brands into my body. It may not be a huge healthy change for us since we drink soda probably not even once a week, but now that we have our Soda Stream it's every few nights, and it is a much healthier option.
Overall, I love it. I may not have gone out and purchased it myself, but that's only because of how little we drink soda. I think it's a wonderful product! It's very well made, will last a long time, convenient, healthier, better for the environment, and a good investment. I've already had family members and friends asking where I got mine and where they can purchase one. FYI - you can shop the Soda Stream Store online, or check out all of their retailers. Some retailers will have a carbinator exchange program and others will not. But you can see what each store near you carries by putting in your location [HERE]. I love this thing, and it is actually FUN to use! So, I am beyond excited to tell you that you will have a chance to win your very own Soda Stream!
Prize includes -
Fountain Jet Soda Lover's Start-Up Kit ($99.95):
Fountain Jet – Winner’s choice of color (black/silver, red/silver or white)
1 carbonating bottle - Reusable for up to 3 years
Reusable carbonator to fizz up to 60L of soda
Variety 6-pack of popular sample-size flavors
3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice
When the giveaway is live you will be able to enter [HERE]. Open to age 18+ residents of the continental USA.
* I received a product for free from Soda Stream in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.