We’ve been testing out this system for 6 months+, and I really like it. There are pros and cons but it works well for us so I can’t see us switching it up any time soon. The best part – besides getting nice yummy water – is that the entire thing is plastic free and zero waste!
We drink a lot of water and I know the tap water in my city is safe to drink – and many people are fine with it as is! – but I just don’t love the taste or mouthfeel, if that makes sense. I don’t want any barriers to drinking lots and lots of water! So, we filter our water before drinking it.
Even our 15 month old daughter likes the filtered water better now. My husband tried to fill up her water bottle with tap and she shook her head, walked over to the fridge and tapped on the door. Ha! #wecreatedamonster
Here’s our set-up:
1 glass drink dispenser* (also a great selection at Target*) with a metal tap* (yes, we had to buy our metal spigot separately)
kishu charcoal filter*
Tip: large or extra large sizes work best depending on the size of your container
[UPDATE >>> Looks like you can now also buy charcoal filters at Target*. I believe the sticks online are smaller to go with this bottle*. You could put a few in your larger container or grab a glass water bottle and use these sticks to purify on the go!]
We keep the glass dispenser on a shelf in our fridge, but you could leave it on a counter if you prefer room temperature water. We had to move the shelves in our refrigerator around a bit to account for the height of the vessel but it wasn’t a hard process.
When you first get your charcoal, just drop it into the water. Feel free to boil it first but it shouldn’t be necessary. Depending on the size of the vessel, it will take a few hours (up to 12, we found) to filter the water. The Kishu brand filters come in a cardboard box with a compostable clear sleeve inside.
PROS: The pros are clear. This system is easy to maintain, looks nice, is plastic free and safe for your family, and doesn’t produce waste. Plus, it’s a pretty low initial investment cost compared to some other more eco-friendly systems and if you don’t end up using this system forever, finding another use for a sturdy glass drink dispenser should be relatively easy. Or you can sell it or give it away. It’s not a specialized piece of equipment or jug built for one kind of thing.
There’s not very much maintenance. Certainly not as much as going to the store to get a new Brita or PUR filter, etc. Or making sure to have enough stored in your kitchen. Each month you simply submerge your charcoal stick in a shallow pan of water and bring to a boil for 10 minutes. Empty the pan of water and allow it to dry for 30 minutes.
After 4ish months, your charcoal stick can be composted or it can be given a “second life” as a refrigerator deodorizer, etc. With other filter options, your best case scenario is doing some research and figuring out *if* you can recycle it in your area.
CONS: There is really only one con that we’ve found, and that is that the water takes a while to filter. It doesn’t flow through a filter and come out in mere seconds or minutes. We’re in the habit of filling up our big jug every night before we go to sleep and it hasn’t really been a problem as our container has a two gallon capacity.
Note that, depending on the packaging and new-ness of the glass vessel and tap you get, there might be some things going to the landfill. For me, though, even with packing materials/packaging/shipping, this is still a very low waste solution.
Another post you might like: Where to find plastic free home essentials
Hope you enjoyed this review! Please let me know what else you want to know about how we live plastic free and zero waste! xo, Meredith
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