Posts Tagged ‘penguin’

Scarlett Johansson and SodaStream

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I’ve had my SodaStream Penguin since the company sent me one to try out in 2009 and, as reported on this site, I love making seltzer at home. Or at least, I used to love it. A couple of years ago, a politically active friend told me that the company operates in a West Bank settlement, a fact I found alarming and upsetting. It was also a fact I had trouble verifying in a cursory Google search. Since then my roommate and I, who both love bubbly water, have done a fair amount of research online and through conversations with friends working in the field of human rights. Verdict: SodaStream does operate in illegally occupied land in the West Bank and therefore will receive no more money from our housefold.

My first romp with the Penguin

My first romp with the Penguin

To meet our cravings for bubbles, we decided to find alternatives to purchasing SodaStream CO2 cartridge refills (SodaStream seltzer makers use proprietary cartridges, which theoretically require paying them and only them for more gas when the bubbles run flat). We haven’t quite figured out a way around this, though according to the internet, it’s possible to buy cartridges from other companies that fit the Penguin. In the meantime, we haven’t used the device.

Also in the meantime, Scarlett Johansson‘s decision to serve as a spokesperson for the company — and to defend its business operations — has brought a lot of attention to the topics of homemade seltzer, celebrity endorsements, human rights violations and peace in the Middle East. I have to say, on a personal note, I find her stance surprising. Before this move, I have admired her progressive politics and outspoken support for reelecting the President, defending women’s health and rights in the U.S. and reducing poverty around the world.

For more background on this brouhaha, here are some handy links:

The Penguin

Sunday, January 11, 2009

UPDATED POST:  A while back I got a Penguin soda machine in the mail, thanks to the PR peeps representing Soda-Club.  The pitch: reduce soda can and plastic bottle waste by making your fizzy drinks at home.  The catch: SAMPLE SIZED Soda-Stream flavor syrups come in plastic pouches that can’t be recycled.


Penguin and shrub

Beth over at Fake Plastic Fish came to ethical terms with this dilemma by sticking to the company’s water flavorings, which come in little glass bottles instead of plastic.  Trouble is, I don’t drink much plain or flavored seltzer (unless you count vodka sodas at bars).  I tried out a couple of the sample syrups that came with my machine.  Root beer, too sweet.  Diet cola, tastes JUST like Diet Coke, which I shamefully love.   But I put off posting on the Penguin because, honestly, once I went through the diet coke samples, I only used the thing once to make some lemony water for friends.


flavor packs

I was all set to write just that: I guess it’s cool, but I would never have bought it if it weren’t free and I never use it.  BUT THEN, my wonderful mother gave me an extraordinary gift: a large bottle of raspberry shrub, a fruit vinegar syrup used to make my all time favorite carbonated drink.  Suddenly I’m using the Penguin all the time and sans guilt since shrub can be purchased in bulk and in glass.  SODA-CLUB ALSO SELLS BULK SIZES IN BETTER PACKAGING.

Therefore, it is with great enthusiasm and several reservations that I recommend the Penguin.  On the plus side, it’s very easy to use, a cute design—you carbonate the water by depressing the beak and the whole thing squeeks when its ready—and you can make delicious shrub whenever you want.  On the flip side, it takes up a lot of counter space and it’s expensive (starter kits begin at $200 plus shipping).  THOUGH CHEAPER, SMALLER MODELS ARE AVAILABLE.

Recommendation to Soda-Club: if you’re going for an eco-marketing campaign, DON’T SEND PLASTIC SAMPLES TO GREEN BLOGGERS.

Note to self: save money by mixing vodka sodas at home more often or—moment of genius—vodka shrubs.

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