Being zero waste is such a fun journey! Every time I think I have it down to a science, I find another thing I can work on! I think that's how it should be. Not a huge trash dump of our old lives. Rather, a journey into a more sustainable living practice. Learning at our own speed.
We never needed a water filter until recently. Our water was always fine! Until one day... *dramaticness*. We got new pipes ran and ever since, it just tastes horrible. I can't stand it. No one else seems to care but I won't touch it. Almost as bad as the 5 seconds we lived in the city but not quite as bad as chemical filled pool water. Just chemically. No no no. Just instantly felt horrible in my mouth and was bitter. The Smart Guy thinks it's all in my head, as we did everything correctly, installation to flushing, but I swear it's not the same!
They sell amazing charcoal water purifying sticks here:
Charcoal water stick
but I didn't have time to order! I wanted them NOW. So, what does any Smart Girl in Pants do? I get my DIY on.
Making charcoal isn't hard. It's not even very time consuming. Both of those are completely personal opinions, of course, because this isn't my first time making charcoal. You have to have spare wood, what type depends on many things. Of course untreated. We happen to have loads of that, including my favorite apple tree that is now DEAD. I was heart broken. Good news, she left at least 6 baby apple trees to take her place! Our peach tree spread as well and peaches for days! Made places will tell you one wood is better than the next... blah blah blah. As long as we are researching our wood choices and not choosing anything toxic, dangerous in any way or gross tasting. Of course, no taking that's not ours either.
Then, you need fire. Do not even attempt to use a charcoal used for the grill... oh my. Don't. I did use the charcoal for the grill in one way... to make my charcoal sticks but not in my water!
To create charcoal, you place dry or damp (I have done both) in a fire proof container and place in the fire. Do not use aluminum cans! Just don't. Depending on how hot your fire is, it's usually done in 1-2 hours. This batch was closer to 1 1/2 hours. I was cooking on the grill anyway, smoking with the apple wood chips we obviously have loads of. Be careful around and with fire. It does get hot, you know, and hot means burns. These will be hot.
Once your sticks are done, boil them. Some people say don't. I say, even if you order the one above, just boil it. Takes a bit more time out of your life but just safer than sorry. Plus, in the DIY case, debris for days! I boiled mine then stuck them in cool water in a jar and shook the heck out of them. Look at that! I don't know about you but I really want clear water. So after shaking them and rinsing them until the water was clear, I was happy.
Then just air dry. These don't take long at all to dry!
Leave in your water for, recommended, 24 hours. I have had mine in the water for... an hour? About that. Here goes the test!
Holy Hades, you guys. That horrible taste is almost gone. There is still a bit of an after taste but the initial 'OMG IM DRINKING POISON' feeling I get when I drink my tap water straight up is GONE. Whoa. I'll check in tomorrow morning, that would be 12 hours from now.
Good Morning, world! Is it just me or did that seem like last night went by almost as fast as scrolling down just a smidge? Anyway, the results.
I am shocked at how well this works. Yes, I know charcoal has been used for a vey long time to absorb many things but this works so well. I wish we had taste-o-vision here. Everyone would be shocked at how much BETTER my water tests!
That being said, I can not vouche for how well this gets ALL nasties out of the water, if you were trying to filter bad things this will not. I will be testing further on composition and PH to see what changes there are so be seen but I am just happy the taste is back to normal! Everyone says replace these every month, certain sizes able to 'filter' certain amounts of water. I am filtering 32oz with 6-7" sticks.
Bit of lessons I learned:
-The wood shrinks substantially when converted to charcoal. Go big or go home, right?
- Messy task but works.
- No wasted money buying them, no shipping (so less resources wasted), I know my charcoal wasn't a wasteful product and I had it ready in less than 3 hours.
- Won't filter bad, bad things out and I haven't tested anything to know for sure what it DOES filter/absorb. I am simply going on taste tests here. If you are truly worried about the quality of your water, dig deeper into research than just on taste.
- I'm used to this process, someone else may very well think it's horrible. To me, an extra step in my already grilling event is no big deal.
- Always ask your doctor before investing things. Even though this wood was completely natural, I knew what was done to it and around it, I still asked. It's just a good thing to do, second opinions are always welcome. That's why I'm Smart.🤓
With all that being said, I am SO happy with this! I like my water cold most of the time, I'm actually not picky, but letting a big jug with a few sticks sit in the fridge over night wouldn't hurt at all. Much less wasteful than the types of filters that screw on to my tap.
Rmemeber, my blog is for inspiration and entertainment. Don't just haul off and make things without doing your research and being responsible. I'm not responsible for what ya do, savvy?
There ya have it!
What do you think? Would you try it?
Made it with FIRE!!!!- The Smart Guy in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants
The Smart Girl in Pants