The EcoloBlue Atmospheric Water Generator. Image supplied by EcoloBlue.
Imagine a machine that makes clean water out of the air. It might sound crazy, but it exists, and you can get one for your home. It's name? The EcoloBlue Atmospheric Water Generator (AWG). To be honest, I was a little skeptical when I got an email about this product, but the more I learned about it, the more interested I grew—and I'm not the only one.
Organizers of the Green Inaugural Ball nixed bottled water for an EcoloBlue machine, and the Global Green Pre-Oscar Party—supported and attended by Leonardo DiCaprio, Rosario Dawson and Neil Patrick Harris to name just a few—also had EcoloBlue's AWG on hand. EcoloBlue Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs) draw water from the air, with the home/office model providing up to 7 gallons (28 liters) of clean water each day.
The unit features a stainless steel tank, biodegradable plastics, and a filtration system that produces water that tests better than most purified water systems you can buy.
The AWGs work best at 50 percent humidity, so they're perfect for reducing the effects of those hot, sticky summer days and nights. The down side, of course, is they're not as effective in the winter months when humidity levels are lower. But the nice thing about these units is they will produce water as long as humidity levels are at 30 percent—and if they're not, you can hook it up to a water source so your drinking water is still filtered.
Clean Drinking Water Anywhere
In addition to making their way into homes and offices, EcoloBlue is popping up in a variety of public spaces. The Frank Lloyd Wright Unity Temple Restoration is getting an EcoloBlue 28 for the historic site. The company has also donated a 200-liter industrial model to the Illinois Institute of Technology for the student activities building—and engineering students will get a chance to study the technology.
Another great application is the AWG offers a source of clean drinking water in the face of natural disasters or in areas without clean drinking water. And since industrial units can run directly off a solar panel or on wind power, they aren't reliant on the power grid.
EcoloBlue's Hefty Price
To put it bluntly, they're not cheap, but at $1,350, the EcoloBlue 28 home/office unit is priced in line with water coolers. In the end you'll save a bundle on costs compared to buying 5-gallon bottles of water. The average operating cost per gallon is just 20 cents for the EcoloBlue (for electricity), but most people pay about $1.60 per gallon for home delivered bottled water, assuming they use one 5 gallon bottle per week. In all, savings total about $364 per year, plus you'll have ditched the bottle.
Tap Water Wins
So will I snap one up for my home? The answer is, like everything these days, driven by the bleak economy: When I can afford the investment, I'll definitely think about it. For now, my budget has me hooked on tap water.
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