Charcoal sticks : design & eco-friendly water filters

December 17, 2020

If you're looking to purify your water without having to invest in an ugly and/or expensive water-filter device, those charcoal sticks ARE the perfect option.

Water in our new flat didn't taste good, to say the least, since we didn't have an under-the-sink water filter for drinking water... Started looking at the options for counter-top water filters (built-in was simply not an option since we're currently renting), that would do a decent job, be eco-friendly, not take up too much space and not be an eyesore. I am a sucker for objects that are going to be long-lasting, effective AND beautiful, and I really didn't want to get anything that wasn't going to match those three criteria. 

Here's what I considered :
- Berkey is undoubtedly the BEST you can get but it's pretty big and I didn't want to add another 'device' on our countertop + it didn't really fit into our budget,
- Famous brand plastic water pitcher with built in filter : don't like all that plastic, filters are pretty expensive considering they're filled with activated charcoal pebbles + WHAT AN EYESORE,

Kept looking for options when I remembered reading about charcoal sticks somewhere, so I started doing some research : Binchotan charcoal sticks.
Not only are they natural, but they also look damn good ! 

What are binchotan charcoal sticks ?

Binchotan charcoal is made out of a specific oak in Japan, which (just like any activated charcoal) goes through a specific process of heating to make it extra porous. Quoting our good friend Wikipedia : "due to its high degree of microporosity, one gram of activated carbon has a surface area in excess of 3,000 m2 (32,000 sq ft)"

Not bad for some burnt wood uh ?

Activated charcoal, in its powder form, has been used in medicine for centuries to treat food poisoning and overdoses since it has such an exceptional absorption ability. It it also used to clean water from pollutants, therefore you'll likely find at least a layer of charcoal in any water filter.

Binchotan sticks are activated charcoal sticks, which makes it very to use in any regular pitcher to remove pollutants (and any taste) from water. They are fully compostable and last for up to 4 months. We got three 6" sticks for around 30$CAD. One stick can filter up to two liters of water every time you use it, for 2 to 4 months depending on the use, which ends up being a very budget-friendly option !

To reactivate your sticks and make sure they keep on removing nasties from your water, every two weeks, boil your sticks in a pot of water for 10 minutes and leave them to dry before reusing them.

You'll find different-sized sticks, which will determine the quantity of water one stick can filter (don't worry about trying to fit a tree log in your water pitcher, they're not that big, and you can always use several ones at the same time to filter more water).
I love that you can find small sticks to put into your very own water bottle to bring everywhere !

The only downfall is that it takes a bit of time for the charcoal to absorb everything that needs to be absorbed from the water, usually a couple hours... Therefore I'd recommend having a big pitcher at home (or two, so that you can store the filtered water), and just refilling it when empty. Best thing to do is to remember to fill it up at night before going to bed so that you're all set for the next day !

We bought ours from Amazon, but you can also find it on Goop.
I found ourselves a nice pitcher to put it in, which is actually a wine pitcher. Tap water has never felt so fancy !

Take care & much love,


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