SodaStream Fizz drinks-maker pictures and hands-on

The summer's here, sort of, and the sun is out, sometimes, so what better way to quench your thirst than with environmentally friendly fizzy pop?

SodaStream has been around in a home guise since the 1950s, but never before has it been so associated with green issues. After all, the gas canisters and bottles are reusable and the company even supported Climate Week in March as one of the partners. Oh, and it now does a Fizz machine that's, er, green. You can't get greener than that.

We last looked at the Genesis edition of the SodaStream home carbonation appliances back in 2010, and the principal is still the same with the Digital Fizz machine (which in itself is the same as the SodaStreams we all know an love from the 1970s). In the rear is a carbon dioxide gas canister which forces bubbles into still water when it's screwed into the front housing.

There are a few differences, other from aesthetic, with this more up-to-date machine, mind. First, the small button has been replaced with a wider, easier to use bar, which spews forth the bubbles when plunged. The second is a digital readout at the top of the unit.

On this small LCD screen, you can see how much fizz you've added and, more importantly, how much gas remains in the canister. This is the most essential part as it gives you a head up on whether you need to order a new canister or refill.

This can be done online or, as we've found recently, through authorised agents, such as some branches of Argos. Instead of having to pay close to £20 for an entirely new canister each time, you can swap your empty for a reconditioned full one for around £10. Not only do you save money, but little measures like this help add up to saving the entire planet.

You get one full canister when you first buy your Fizz drinks-maker (for around £100, either from SodaStream's own website or, you know, the shops), plus a bottle to fill with fizzy goodness. This 1 litre plastic receptacle can be used up to 2,000 times before it's recommended you buy a new one, so that's another tick on the eco-friendly box.

Speaking of which, the box it all comes in can be recycled.

You don't, sadly, get any of the flavoured syrups you'll need to make up your drinks. These come separately, costing from £3.49 to £4.49 a bottle. Each one makes anywhere up to 12 litres of pop though, so it's economical when compared to a bottle of Coke, for example. At £2 for a 2 litre bottle, the equivalent would be £12. And you'd have the plastic bottles to dispose of.

And the SodaStream flavours are vastly improved over those we remember from the Seventies. We've got a vague memory of SS cola tasting a bit like Fairy washing-up liquid. Mind you, there's no guarantees that our nans weren't actually using Fairy washing up liquid on the sly. Times were tough in those days.

There's also a vast array of different flavours to choose from in these more modern times, including Natural Pink Grapefruit, Green Tea and Clear Passion Mango, so there's bound to be something for everyone.

Are you a fan of SodaStream? Let us know in the comments below...