Hints, lately. I realize you’ve been getting a lot of them. Little pieces of stories rather than the whole thing. But every once in a while, I’m finding the time to share the good stuff. The where and what and why of the stories. If a detailed description of our recent journey into the world of charcoal-filled water interests you, read on. If no, look at the pictures and scroll on along.
Here, the latest addition to our plastic-free household: a giant stick of charcoal. For years, James and I have been using a Brita water filter to clean our tap water. I didn’t grow up filtering my tap water, and to be totally honest, when James proposed the idea it struck me as bordering on the excessive end of the health conscious spectrum (sort of like meal planning). But when you live in New York, the water is nice and clean, but the pipes are not. I’ve known two people who have had the experience of beginning to use a water filter (the kind that attaches to the faucet) only to realize that it became so quickly gooped up that they had to change it after only a few weeks. Sigh. In keeping with my perpetual need to find things to worry about, lately I’ve been equally concerned about the waste that the Brita filter itself creates, just another hulk of plastic to recycle or add to the landfill. Not to mention that we’ve been using the same plastic pitcher for four years. Goodness knows what that’s leached into our systems.
All of that to say, that I’ve been pondering charcoal for awhile and when my internet-friend Briar Winters mentioned she’d been using it, I decided to bite the bullet. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure of the exact brand of science/magic that makes the things work, but the charcoal makes the water taste delicious and I’m choosing to believe that’s it’s purifying it, too.
We ordered sticks of Morihata Kishu Binchotan Charcoal, though I’m considering changing to these smaller sticks next time (they’re shorter and will fit more reliably in our wide-mouthed bottles). We’ve developed a two-bottle system where we keep one filled with charcoal and one without. Whenever we empty the bottle without charcoal, we fill it with whatever’s been detoxed and then replenish the source. The charcoal should last us awhile, with biweekly boils to re-juice the sticks.* Best of all, when they’re not doing their good work anymore, we’ll just toss them in the garden. Full circle.
*Full instructions for boiling and magic-making come with the charcoal.
For the curious: