Plastic-free water filter

Last year we toyed with the idea of getting a water filter. One of those fancy tap ones. Instead, we decided to get skylights. One downstairs and one upstairs. Our town house gets very little sunlight during the day, and certain areas, like my desk, the stairs, and front of the house require us to turn the lights on to get about during the day. We figured if we installed sky lights, we would not need to use any lights and would save on electricity. These areas rarely get used at night and having lights on during the day was kinda crazy. Needless to say, the skylights have changed everything (so much light!!!!) plus the one upstairs opens to let fresh air in. This was amazing on hot nights. When we open it, the heat is sucked straight out, making the air conditioner completely redundant...which is good, I don't like air conditioners and this will also save us money in the long run too.

We forgot about the water filter, until Happy Coal contacted me about their plastic free water filter...made of charcoal.

Yep, charcoal – well white charcoal, to be precise, that is confusingly, black.

The charcoal is Kishu Binchotan, made from oak branches that are baked at high temperatures inside kilns over the course of a month. The process is an old tradition from Japan, and has been used as for cooking for hundreds of years. Recently, it's porous structure has shown it to be ideal for removing chlorine, heavy metals and to alkalise water.

Filtering water is personal. Water in Australia is clean, meaning most of us can turn the tap on and drink, without contracting a water born illness. For it to be clean, the water is treated with different methods to ensure no micro-organisms breed. One of the treatments is adding chlorine. You only need to type the word chlorine, with the word water into a search engine, to find the varying views on this chemical in our drinking water and its potential harm to our bodies. I'm not about to start complaining about it. Not when there are people without clean drinking water. But if I can remove something like chlorine from my drinking water, then why not.

Unlike most water filtration systems on the market, such as jugs or permanent taps with inbuilt filtration, this simple charcoal branch is plastic free.  It doesn't require multiple parts. At the end of its life, the charcoal goes onto a garden or compost.

How to use
  1. Open packaging. Put binchotan into boiling water and boil for 5 minutes to sterilise. Remove and cool.
  2. Put binchotan into a water bottle. Use 60 g per 1 l of water. Take care not to drop it. Binchotan is easily breakable. Fill with tap water.
plastic free water filter
  1. Leave for at least 5 hours to filter. For best results, leave binchotan to work its magic overnight.
  2. Enjoy clean, soft, delicious, alkalising water!
  3. Refill your bottle again and again. Reuse for up to 2 months. Boil binchotan every 3 weeks to refresh and remove build-up.
  4. Once binchotan is no longer effective, compost it in your garden.
I enjoyed this product. Normally, when I am asked to review a product, I don't. Usually because it does not interest me or it's something I would not use. I almost did not say yes, because the binchotan comes from Japan and I try my hardest to support Australian made. For the record, Happy Coal is an Australian company.

The packaging is fully compostable, made of 100% recycled material manufactured in Australia along with the shredded recycled paper.

Below is how the goods were sent to me. All reusable and compostable elements. The packaging is just as important as the product. There was no hidden plastic.

I would use this again. The experience was enjoyable, easy to use and the water did taste cleaner. Binchotan would be a fantastic option for people who buy water in plastic water bottles, because they don't like the taste of tap water or don't like the chemicals that are present.

I have one Happy Coal Premium Binchotan gift box worth $25.00 to GIVE AWAY.

o win, simply comment below or email me, with your favourite quote about water. It can be a line from a book, poem, song, quote...anything. The winner will be randomly selected. Entries are open until midnight, Wednesday 20 April 2016. Australian residents only. Competition closed.

I was not paid to write this post. Happy Coal asked if i'd like to try their product and give an honest review. I received this product for free.


  1. I'm a picky water drinker and I love binchotan! At work, I keep a big glass jug with a piece of binchotan in it so I don't have to remember to bring my water bottle every day.
    Wish I could enter the giveaway but I live in the US. Actually, I've always wanted to live in either Australia or NZ so this giveaway would be a great opportunity to move there. JK! :)

  2. Smoke City - Underwater Love

  3. water, water everywhere, and not a droop to drink...

  4. should be drop to drink!

  5. Hi Erin, we are having a similar debate at the moment. My usual method is to fill up glass bottles overnight and the chlorine dissipates over time (it works better in sunlight). But it creates a lot of clutter in the counter which I don't like, and it only removes the chlorine, of course. The thing about the water filter that puts me off - needing to replace the filter (I am sure it would have plastic non-recyclable parts)and drilling a hole in the counter (plus there is no room under the sink so not sure where the unit would go). It's easier not to bother! I'm quite intrigued by this idea!

    And you'd like a quote about water! I love Sylvia A. Earle's quote in Bag It! I love the way she speaks and she has so much compassion in her voice - when I read it I hear her speaking to me. “People ask: Why should I care about the ocean? Because the ocean is the cornerstone of earth's life support system, it shapes climate and weather. It holds most of life on earth. 97% of earth's water is there. It's the blue heart of the planet — we should take care of our heart. It's what makes life possible for us."

  6. Bronwen I4/13/2016

    "We never know the worth of water until the well is dry" -Thomas Fuller

  7. Emmanuelle4/13/2016

    "With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you're connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live."- Sylvia Earle

  8. I'd love to try this out. :)
    I think my favourite water quote would have to be by Lao Tzu "Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it"

  9. My favourite water quote would have to be 'life is easy- just add water'

  10. My favourite water quote would have to be 'life is easy- just add water'

  11. Always be like a water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.....

  12. I love this one : "When life gives you water, make tea". Niels F. Davidsen

  13. Thanks for this review, sounds like a good product - how does it work in places where water quality could be an issue for health?
    My favourite water quote: "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it enjoy the view" - Tim Freedman

  14. Miranda BB4/13/2016

    My favourite water quote is 'Fluent' by the late Irish poet John O'Donohue: 'I would love to live, Like a river flows, Carried by the surprise, Of its own unfolding."

  15. I had no idea about using charcoal! Thank you! My quite is from a Brad Paisley song "Water"--
    All you really need this time of year
    Is a pair of shades
    And ice cold beer
    And a place to sit somewhere near

  16. "Make every drop count". I very rarely drink anything other water, so would love to try out the coal purifier. My Mum has a beautiful picture of this quote on her bathroom wall, which my brother made for her. The inside of the letters in the word 'DROP' are cut out, revealing beautiful photos of waterfalls. I think it's on her bathroom wall to remind our kids to restrict their showers when we go visit!

  17. Nice idea Erin. What about "We forget that the water cycle and the life cycle are one" from Jacques Yves Cousteau

  18. Oh I love this idea!!! I'd love one. My favourite water quote is from JFK, "anyone who can solve the problems of water will be worthy of two Nobel Prizes, one for peace and one for science"

  19. Down to the secret waterhole the animals all come,
    As seasons bring forth drought and flood, they gather there as one.
    United in their common need, their numbers swell to ten,
    But hidden deep amongst the trees lie ten times that again!
    The Waterhole, written by Graeme Base

  20. "Thousands have lived without love, not one without water " W.H. Auden

  21. “Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”
    ― Wallace Stevens

  22. How awesome! I'd love to win the pack. As a dietitian my quote is: I believe that water is the only drink for a wise man. David Henry Thoreau

  23. “Always be like a water. Float in the times of pain or dance like waves along the wind which touches its surface.”
    ― Santosh Kalwar

  24. Hi Erin! Has the winner been announced yet? :D Also I'm wondering if anyone has looked into comparing the cost of using this method of water purification versus buying a water filter unit with charcoal technology? Many thanks!

    1. Hi Emmanuelle, yes the winner has been notified. Thanks for checking. I have not looked into the cost of this method vs one with charcoal technology.

  25. Anonymous10/25/2018

    Putting a stick of carbon in a pitcher is far from an effective filtration system. Sure, brownian motion will bring a bit of water to and through the carbon, but carbon can only absorb certain types of chemicals in the first place, and any real filtration system will have water flowing through finely processed carbon, not just floating a 10 dollar stick of it. What a gimmick.


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