When I wrote about the rebirth of Soda Stream and home carbonation, however, some commenters argued that this was a classic example of the "green consumer" movement pushing unnecessary gadgets that we could easily do without. Others, however, argued that home carbonation machines are a viable alternative to all those plastic bottles—but were hung up on the cost of proprietary CO2 refill cartridges.
That's where Gaia Soda hopes to get an edge over Soda Stream, launching a line of soda making machines that are explicitly designed for users to refill their CO2 cartridges at cheap, local outlets. The company is also pushing a line of organic, all natural syrups:
All other soda machine companies place proprietary locks on the CO2 cartridges and charge $15-$30 plus shipping for refills. As beverage companies, they make up to a 90% profit margin on sales of a gas. A lot of consumers are VERY angry about this! In fact, there have been lawsuits in Germany and Sweden regarding this situation. However, most people don't realize the real cost of CO2.
Gaia Soda System allows you to refill your CO2 close to home, for $3-$5. Plus, we've created a map of locations where you can refill. When you refill close to home, it's a greener choice. In addition, we've developed a delicious, all natural, and organic line of flavor syrups in both regular and diet.
Exactly when the product will be launching is not entirely clear from the website—but Gaia are putting the finishing touches to a Kickstarter campaign that they hope will allow them to step up and challenge Soda Stream and the other big home carbonation players.
We'll keep you posted on how that develops.