To some, bottled water is public enemy number one. Worldwide, almost 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year, according to the Earth Policy Institute in Washington. Lucky for us, there are refreshing eco-friendly alternatives. Turn to the new breed of at-home water purification systems that can provide sparkling and still options with reusable glass containers. Local restaurant E&O Trading Company has eliminated bottled water options since 2007. Michael Hadley, managing director of E&O parent company Moana Hotel and Restaurant Group, says the restaurant has always filtered all the water that comes out of its taps and the ice, soda and coffee machines, but the Natura water purification system it has installed allows it to serve ice-cold still and sparkling water cost-effectively. “As a result, we will reduce our bottled water waste by more than 7,000 bottles this year.”

1. Natura connects directly to your own water source, removing impurities and additives—no plastic bottles needed. Serve sparkling or still. 310.326.5123, naturawater.com

2. Penguin Sparkling Water Maker allows you to customize your carbonation amount so each batch has just the right fizz. $200 at Williams-Sonoma (Corte Madera). 415.924.6799, williamssonoma.com

3. Everpure Exubera system has the capacity to deliver 6.6 gallons of carbonated and still water per hour. $2,600 at Martin and Harris (San Rafael). 415.454.2021, residential.everpure.com

Wonderful Water

Whether you call it carbonated water, bubbly water, sparkling water, seltzer water or club soda, all have been charged with carbon dioxide gas, which is what gives the water those effervescent bubbles you’re seeking. The refreshing drink has a long history, from its roots with inventor and Englishman Joseph Priestley, who in 1767 discovered carbonated water when he suspended a bowl of H20 above a beer vat at a local brewery in England, to the Great Depression, when Americans would order “two cents plain,” which was plain soda water, and the cheapest drink at the soda fountain.

If you’re not ready to spend the money on an expensive at-home water carbonation system, or you’re just ready to test out your DIY skills, try making your own water-carbonating equipment at home. You’ll need a carbon dioxide tank, a regulator, a few other easy-to-find hardware store parts and some handyman skills. Many websites have step-by-step instructions, but
truetex.com/carbonation.htm has detailed images and all the science
behind it. Priestley would be proud.