Addressing Canada’s Plastic Addiction with SodaStream Canada and The Water Brothers

SodaStream Canada

Step away from the disposable water bottle! The stats surrounding Canadians plastic addictions are staggering. 

How many times have you purchased plastic water bottles, whether out of sheer need and convenience while out and about or preplanning while doing the groceries?

In a recent survey done by SodaStream Canada they found that 52% of Canadians purchased bottled water for convenience and a whopping 8 out of 10 bought it while at the grocery store…81% of us buy bottled water when we potentially have the same water at home. That’s because in Canada bottled water can be manufactured from the same supply as your municipal tap water.

Even worse is the fact that EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF PLASTIC THAT HAS EVER BEEN MANUFACTURED STILL EXISTS TODAY . It’s great that some of us recycle those bottles (95% yay!) the sad truth is that 1 BILLION bottles still end up in landfills and the environment EVERY SINGLE YEAR affecting the environment.

Us Canadians are a smart and kind bunch and as per usual we not only have the best intentions of trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible (86%) but only 58% have taken any steps to lower their plastic waste in the past year.

We can do better folks, especially since our lovely HUGE country has some of the biggest freshwater sources in the world. 

Interview With The Water Brothers, Alex and Tyler Mifflin

Sometimes I get a chance to do some really cool work like ask the questions that I want to be answered. My mom always told me that I should never be embarrassed of asking a question, that if I am asking there is likely 5 other people in the room that are wondering and there is no such thing as a stupid question…I really hope that The Water Brothers, Alex and Tyler Mifflin agree.

SodaStream Canada

Can you tell me a little bit about what you do?

We are the creators and hosts of the award winning eco-adventure documentary series The Water Brothers. In the show my brother and I travel across Canada and around the world exploring some of the biggest water related environmental stories of our time. We’ve been to over 30 countries filming the four seasons of the show and looked at a wide range of challenges facing the oceans and our freshwater resources such as overfishing, climate change, plastic pollution, the loss of biodiversity, access to clean water and sanitation and much more. Unfortunately, there are a lot of water issues that need more attention, but a big part of the series is looking at solutions and showing viewers what we can all do to help overcome our fractured relationship with the environment and water.

Why are you so passionate about water conservation?

We are passionate about water conservation because it is the most precious resource we have. Water is what connects us individually to every living thing on this planet and it’s water that supports all life on Earth, yet many of us take water for granted and don’t always give water the respect it deserves. We hope that our show can help more people become aware of how poorly we are managing freshwater and the oceans, because we need as many people as possible to be engaged in solving these issues if we hope to overcome the many environmental challenges we all face. SodaStream Canada

How do you feel Canadians are doing in regard to taking care of the planet/water in relations to other places in the world?

Canadians are both really good and really bad at taking care of the environment. Because Canada is such a large country with so much wilderness and water, many of us assume we are doing a really good job and are world leaders in environmental protection but sadly this is not the case. Our economy is still largely driven by resource extraction, and while we are making good strides at dealing with climate change in some ways, by pricing carbon and encouraging clean energy development, we are also building new pipelines and subsidizing the oil and gas industry with over 3 billion dollars of taxpayer money each year, ensuring that the industry remains the foundation of our economy for years to come. When it comes to water, Canadians are plagued by what is known as a “myth of abundance”. Most of us are taught that Canada has 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, so we don’t face shortages like other countries. However, what we are not often told is that only a fraction of our total water supply is renewed by precipitation and most of our water flows in regions of the country where no one lives and in rivers that empty into the Arctic ocean, far away from the narrow band of the country along the US border where most of us extract water from. And because we assume we have a limitless abundance, it has caused us to use water very inefficiently. We are some the largest per capita water users in the world, we undercharge industry to extract water and we don’t hold business or ourselves accountable when we treat water as little more than a garbage can. We are certainly better at caring for the environment than most other countries, but we have the capacity to be global leaders in environmental stewardship and we should never be satisfied by simply being above average.

Do you have recommendations on how to improve?

On a national level we can start improving by investing even more into clean energy and scientific research. We also desperately need to improve science literacy both for children and adults, especially politicians. We think that science courses should be mandatory at every school level and even if you study business or art in university you should still be required to take at least a couple science courses. On a personal level, one big way we can help is by reducing our consumption of single use disposable plastic. Plastic is a huge threat to both freshwater and the oceans and we’ve seen firsthand how damaging our throwaway lifestyle can be during the trip we did to the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” for our episode Plastic Ocean. So we always recommend that people eliminate single use plastic from their lives as much as possible. One easy switch is ditching bottled water for a reusable water bottle, or if you prefer sparkling water you can buy a device like a SodaStream to make sparkling water in your home or office. Ditching plastic is one of the most powerful and easiest actions you can take in your daily life to protect water.

Some other ways we can help conserve water and prevent water pollution is by reducing food waste and meat consumption, especially beef, since it is very water intensive to feed and raise livestock and cattle has such a huge carbon footprint. Taking shorter showers can help save water in a small way, but just ten hamburgers requires the same amount of water to produce as an entire years’ worth of showers! We also need to become more careful about what seafood we eat and use sustainable seafood guides and smartphone apps so we don’t contribute to the overfishing epidemic. And of course, we should vote for politicians that fight for the environment and water and support charities that do the same!

SodaStream Canada

What is the worst-case scenario if we keep on the same path?

The worst-case scenario is that a combination of overpopulation and runaway climate change will cause large swaths of humanity to lose access to clean water and food, leading to multiple armed conflicts and spurring a mass migration of refugees that destabilizes the global economy. As the planet warms we may eventually reach a tipping point where vast amounts of methane will get released from the bottom of the ocean and permafrost, leading to even more rapid warming that could make parts of the planet uninhabitable. We are already living in the midst of the planets sixth mass extinction, the main difference this time is the speed of change we are experiencing and that humans are responsible. It’s now up to us to decide how bad of an extinction we allow it to become.

Do you have anything to add that I may have missed?

Yeah, you can learn how we can all play a role in overcoming the environmental challenges we face by checking out our website and streaming our episodes at www.thewaterbrothers.ca !

SodaStream Canada

SodaStream Canada

There are some very small changes we as Canadians can make that can significantly reduce the amount of plastic refuse going into our landfills. Not buying bottled water is a small step in the right direction. Tap water is a great alternative to use and if you are looking for a way to make water exciting again why not opt for a home carbonation unit like the ones SodaStream makes. In business since 1903 and operating in 45 countries worldwide it is no surprise why they are the #1 world leader in home carbonation machines. In seconds the Sparkling Water Maker will transform your ordinary tap water into a delicious bubbly one. With the addition of fresh fruit and herbs you can really PUMP up your flavor without compromising the planet and that is pretty sweet.

SodaStream Canada

Photo credits go to The Water Brothers and SodaStream Canada

This post is in partnership with SodaStream Canada. A special thanks go out to The Water Brothers for taking the time out to answer my questions. All opinions are my own.

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24 Comments

  1. kathy downey
    April 22, 2017 / 9:54 am

    My friend has a SodaStream and it’s the best kitchen addition in her home,she claims!

  2. Calvin F.
    April 23, 2017 / 3:22 pm

    Such a meaning campaign!

  3. April 24, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    I totally agree about the myth of abundance getting in the way of conservation efforts. There really is no reason to buy bottled water regularly. I mean, occasionally I forget my bottle, or I’m out for longer than I expect, but I don’t understand spending all that money on bottled water for home when it’s right there.

  4. April 25, 2017 / 9:31 am

    Need something beautiful just went through a Cancer Scare.

  5. Katherine Petrunia
    April 25, 2017 / 2:53 pm

    I’ve always wanted to try one of these and love the eco- friendly side of it as well. The less waste we produce, the better!

  6. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    May 13, 2017 / 6:24 pm

    I just can’t understand people actually buying bottled water, what a waste of money and resources too. The water that comes out of most of our taps is pure and clean and without any plastic too. If you like fizz in your water get a Sodastream but stop wasting money and producing garbage by buying bottled water – and please don’t throw your empty bottle just any where!

  7. Treen Goodwin
    May 29, 2017 / 8:36 am

    wow that’s wonderful , i have a soda steam its awesome , i love it , i use it everyday 🙂

  8. Elizabeth Matthiesen
    June 8, 2017 / 4:52 pm

    I think that this is a wonderful campaign. I just can’t understand people buying water in a bottle and paying good money for it when it’s practically free from our taps and there’s always Sodastream for those who don’t like plain water. I have never bought a plastic bottle of water in my life and never will!

  9. Corry L.
    July 2, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Such a great campaign! We have a SodaStream and love it! I’ve actually had family and friends stay with us who have gone out and bought them after seeing and trying mine out!

  10. AD
    July 3, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    I recently watched a documentary on Netflix on plastic in our oceans and was shocked. SHOCKED! I cannot believe what we have done to our planet and so many of us are completely oblivious and/or uncaring. We are slowly switching our plastics usage to paper, glass, etc.

  11. Nate
    July 3, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    We need to reduce the amount of plastic we use

  12. Kristi
    August 17, 2017 / 11:11 pm

    This is such a great post. I really worry about how much we’re wasting in this world and cutting down on plastic is an important thing for me.

  13. Janine a
    August 24, 2017 / 7:08 am

    Such an important topic, I think we forget we have to live in the world we are continually dumping on. We have to take care of the earth!!

  14. LisaM
    August 27, 2017 / 9:02 am

    Thanks so much for sharing this. We have some bottled water for emergency use but other than that we try very hard to limit it.

  15. erin n
    September 17, 2017 / 4:29 pm

    So sad 🙁 More people need to recycle! Great campaign.

  16. Kevin B
    September 21, 2017 / 2:27 am

    great article — thanks

  17. September 25, 2017 / 12:00 am

    A soda stream is going on my wish list.Maybe if I’m lucky Santa will bring me one! Thanks for the great post.

  18. Judy Cowan
    October 29, 2017 / 7:20 pm

    We have a soda stream and use it almost everyday, definitely does help cut down on the waste.

  19. Tannis W
    January 3, 2018 / 12:12 am

    I do my best to bring a filled reusable water bottle with me when I go out instead of buying plastic throw away bottles. I’d like to try a sodastream someday!

  20. February 20, 2018 / 9:19 am

    Hi Aneta,
    Good work.Thanks for sharing this resourceful content. I want to Sodastream. Can you give me a idea for that?

  21. Gayle Alton
    May 10, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    My beloved Soda Stream all of a sudden stoped working. The canister has gas init. How can i fix thi?

  22. Tammi L.
    June 28, 2018 / 11:08 pm

    A lot of schools are requesting that you don’t use, or even banning, disposable water bottles. The water bottle issue aside though, I had no idea how much eating beef costs! WOW!

  23. May 4, 2019 / 2:29 pm

    We have a Soda Stream and it is so awesome!

  24. JoKing
    September 20, 2019 / 1:37 pm

    It’s horrible what people are doing to this planet we live on. I recently watched a jogger just threw her can/bottle when she was done with it. I wanted to stop my car march her back there and make her pick it up. I think part of giving people fines should also include monitored clean up (community service) Sadly, people are not held responsible.