Tiny Bubbles

For a smaller carbon footprint, carbonate at home

It started, appropriately enough, at sustainability's ground zero: San Francisco. Nearly a decade ago, the nose-to-tail restaurant Incanto made a bold move by eradicating bottled water and relying solely on still and house-carbonated tap water. Big names like Chez Panisse quickly followed suit.

Although it may be some time before all restaurants dispense with bottled water (many don't want to kiss that extra $6 on your bill goodbye), there's no reason not to switch solely to tap water at home.

Indeed, it's never been easier (or more fun) for fizzy water fans to indulge their bubble fixation while decreasing their carbon footprint. And with soda taxes looming over certain cities, making cola at home may be the next big DIY endeavor.

Get your feet wet with an Austrian-based Isi Soda Siphon ($60). This traditional canister comes with chargers that can carbonate about two liters of water at a time.

Those with more serious seltzer habits should look to SodaStream's line of products, which offer users the ability to tweak the level of carbonation to individual tastes. The Fountain Jet ($80) takes up the same amount of counter space as a blender and can carbonate about 110 liters before it needs a cartridge replaced. For a sleeker look, the Penguin ($200) opts for glass carafes rather than the Fountain Jet's plastic bottles. The company also sells a variety of corn-syrup-free soda flavorings.

For the most adventurous DIYers, it's even possible to make a carbonating system from scratch ... at your own risk.