At TreeHugger, we don’t like bottled water (read here, here and here) and believe tap water is the greenest way to have it. However, some of us are unfortunate to live in areas where the tap water tastes really bad, so we need to filter it. Water softening also helps, or you can install an osmosis system or use other water-filer products. A more simple and beautiful option for filtering your tap water is the century old Asian method of using active charcoal. The Danish company Sort of Coal have made it their mission to combine the purifying elements as well as the aesthetics of charcoal in their products. These derive from the mountain forests of Japan and Korea and are harvested in a sustainable way. The tree’s root structure is not damaged so that after the best branches have been collected, they can grow back over and over again.
So how does charcoal work as a water purifier? The Binchotan (left picture), a beautiful thick charcoal branch, absorbs unwanted particles like bacteria and smells from the water and instead, releases natural minerals. Because the water is softened, our bodies easier absorb it. One Binchotan branch serves for about 1 litre of water. After leaving it in the fridge for 1 night, the water is pure and soft. After about 3 months they recommend changing the branch, or you might be able to reactivate it a few times by boiling and drying it. At the end of its life, it should be smashed and composted. One Binchotan costs 20€.Apart from water purifying products, Sort of Coal have other charcoal products like the Hakutan Grain, a bag that absorbs humidity and odours inside shoe cupboards for example. Kuro Kabe (right picture) are beautiful panels and tiles for interior decoration that purify the air. Charcoal soap to cleanse the skin is also available as well as a range of purifying jewellery called Shinju Binchotan.
The Hakutan also raised our interests. It is a stem to freshen the air, without added chemicals and perfumes. Tabacco smells and other pollutants are reduced, and it is said to have ionic properties that balance environments with computers or mobile phones. A Hakutan costs between 65 and 120€, depending on the size. All Sort of Coal products are available in shops in Denmark or online via the Sort of Coal web shop.
What we most like about it is that the products are truly beautiful, as interior objects as well as architectural features. This is why Sort of Coal also design charcoal spaces, from private homes to offices or yoga studios. To get a full feel for it, check out their web site and amazing images. Or visit the charcoal kilns on your next visit to Korea, and sit inside a kiln whose heat is recycled for a bit of pleasure; it serves as a sauna, once emptied after 7 days of transforming one batch of wood into charcoal. Via: Green With Passion ::Sort of Coal