"What is that thing?" people invariably ask when they walk into our kitchen. Our SodaClub Stream seltzer maker looks sort of like a countertop ballistic missile. But it's so much better for the planet. If you drink lots of seltzer, you'll save thousands of plastic bottles, and you won't have to lug cases of seltzer from the store anymore. And assuming you use this thing daily, and I think you will, you'll save money.
All you do is fill a bottle with water, chill it, stick it in the machine, and press a button a few times, or more if you like more fizz. You can also add flavorings, like cola and lemon-lime. The CO2 carbonator is easy to install once you get the hang of it (well, except for a geochemist friend of mine, who claimed to have "extensive … argh! … experience in the lab … ugh … with these devices … ack!"). Each carbonates about 100 bottles, and when you order new ones, Soda-Club picks up the old ones. Sometimes that swap goes smoothly, sometimes not, but I feel this appliance is worth it.
Soda-Club Stream seltzer makers range in price from just under $100 to $200 for the "Penguin," which is so cute I think it might be worth the extra money. You can order from Soda-Club directly or from Williams-Sonoma, Amazon, and other sites. If you want to see some customer commentary before you take the plunge, check out biteofthebest.com.