Monday, October 9, 2017

Filtered water, no plastic

Years ago a friend gave me a small piece of charcoal for purifying water. She was using this centuries-old Japanese technique and got her charcoal from her Japanese friend. I was excited to try it out with a small bottle and research it, but then I never got around to actually getting started on a bigger scale and buying more.

This summer I visited her and saw that she had taken it to another level by having two 5-litre Kilner dispensers of water with charcoal on the windowsill above her sink, which provide enough water for herself and her two children each day. She had me do a blind taste test comparing purified water with water straight from the tap, and the former tasted so much better. I told John about it, and he promptly bought one of these dispensers, even though he was sceptical, but he likes a project and unlike me, he is a doer.

I then ordered binchotan charcoal from this website, and we said good riddance to our plastic Brita jug with its wasteful and expensive filters - the jug was relocated to the potting table in the shed to use for watering plants. Each night we pour any water we haven't used into a glass jug and refill the dispenser with fresh water, so it is purified by the next morning. After three months you reactivate the charcoal by boiling it in water for ten minutes, and after a further three months you recycle it (there are various uses for old charcoal, from deodorising to gardening), so the sticks last for six months. We use three sticks (each approximately 12 cm and long and 2cm thick) in 4.5 litres of water.

Apart from all the above benefits, it is aesthetically pleasing - I never liked the look of the plastic jug sitting on the counter.


Two new-to-me songs I added to my playlist this summer:
"Going home (Mythical Kings and Iguanas)", a strangely haunting song by Dory Previn, which was another late-night-radio-while-driving discovery

"A Rose for Emily" by The Zombies - I found this via the podcast S-Town, which I binge-listened to while painting rooms

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