Why Carbonated Water is Having a Moment (and an Environmental Impact)

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My addiction to infatuation with sparkling water began in college. Like other college loves, it all started in the dining hall, next to the soda fountain. But unlike other college loves (that we need not revisit), this one lasted beyond graduation.

I've kept tabs on my college one-and-only (don't we all?) and noticed that he's it's been in the news now more than ever:

We Taste-Tested 17 Types of Sparkling Water (& Here's What Happened)
We Taste-Tested 17 Types of Sparkling Water (& Here's What Happened)
  • It's become cool: In the last five years, sparkling water has begun to eclipse its "Sparkling or still?" competitor. The industry has doubled over the past five years, with Wisconsin's (not France's) LaCroix taking the lead with a 75% increase in its stock.
  • But it may be bad for your ivories: While flat water has a neutral pH of 7, sparkling water is slightly more acidic (around 5.5), and flavored sparkling waters can be even more acidic and corrosive as orange juice, according to The Atlantic. Over time, this can damage teeth enamel.

When you go to @target 🙌🏼🙌🏼 @our.splendid.life #livelacroix

A photo posted by LaCroix Sparkling Water (@lacroixwater) on

Yesterday, carbonated water appeared on my news feed again, when Bloomberg reported that the environmental footprint of carbonated water may be reduced (or even reversed). A Zurich-based company, Climeworks, has found a way to suck the environment-harming greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, out of the air to use in fizzy drinks. (While carbon dioxide isn't harmful to us, those bubbles can be incredibly harmful to the environment—carbon dioxide is a heat-trapping gas and it's currently supplied by chemical companies, sourced from fossil fuels.)

The process isn't perfect—the carbon dioxide gets released back into the air as soon as you open your freshly carbonated SodaStream bottle (think of the satisfying pop when you open a can of soda)—but at least it won't be coming from millions-year-old organic matter.

Maybe it's time that the two of us reconnect...

Have you been drinking way more carbonated water recently? Did you bump into it on the subway? Tell us in the comments below!

Tags: Alcohol-Free Drinks, Food News, Sustainability