The Refillable Water Filter That Will Cut Down on Your Brita Waste

Phox Water
Phox Water

If you’re not lucky enough to live in a city with great-tasting, safe-to-drink tap water, you probably go through your share of plastic water filters. But while filtration systems like Brita or PUR pitchers make your water tastier and healthier, those disposable filters aren't great for the environment. A new eco-friendly water filter aims to change that.

The Phox water filter features a reusable cartridge that you can refill with packets of filtration mixture once a month. The five-stage filter design—which you fill with the company’s coconut shell-based purification powder—softens hard water, improves taste, and removes chlorine, copper, lead, and mercury. The 1-liter pitcher takes roughly eight minutes to filter.

A woman pours a filtration packet into the Phox water filter cartridge
Phox Water

The purification packets come in two different mixture options. The Clean Pack removes contaminants, odors, and heavy minerals, but doesn’t add any flavors. It makes the pH of your water neutral or slightly acidic, perfect for water you're going to use for coffee or tea. The Electrolyte Option, meanwhile, removes all the same contaminants, but also adds in sodium, calcium, and magnesium. This makes the water alkaline, with a pH somewhere between 8.0 and 9.5. (There’s little scientific evidence to show that alkaline water provides any health benefits, but some athletes swear by drinking alkaline water to improve performance. Others just enjoy the taste all those minerals lend the water.)

A cardboard box and three Phox refill packs
Phox Water

The Glasgow-based Phox Water estimates that 100 million plastic water-filtration cartridges end up in landfills every year. To make a more environmentally responsible product, Phox’s pitcher and refillable cartridge are made out of recycled plastic, and its refill packets are shipped in cardboard and paper. Each filtration pack lasts approximately 45 days (or 44 gallons).

Buy it on Kickstarter for $59 and up, with shipping scheduled for August 2019. Refill packets will cost about $9 each for a 45-day supply.

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Keep Your Pet Entertained While You’re Away With This Robotic Ball Toy

Cheerble
Cheerble

The ball is as simple as pet toys come, but even the classic design can be improved upon. Some of the hottest pet accessories on the market today are interactive toys, like Kong chew toys and other puzzle items with room for treats inside. Unlike those products, this ball doesn't cease being entertaining the moment your pet solves a puzzle. The Wicked Ball, currently raising money on Indiegogo, rolls, bounces, and holds your cat or dog's attention all on its own.

Though it looks like a regular ball, the Wicked Ball is actually a robotic toy. A motorized wheel propels the ball around your home, distracting your pet from any trouble it might get into when no one's looking. The gadget can be set to three modes: gentle, normal, and active. In addition to rolling, the ball also vibrates and bounces across the ground to keep things interesting for animals.

Dog with robotic ball toy.
Cheerble

The Wicked Ball is designed to be totally autonomous, so pet owners can rest easy leaving their pet alone with it at home. A built-in collision sensor helps make this possible by alerting the ball to incoming walls and objects so it can avoid getting stuck in tight places. The toys runs on a battery that charges via a USB cord. After charging for an hour, the Wicked Ball lasts for 100 minutes of continuous play. If your pet spends as much time chasing the ball as it does taking breaks, as is typical, the charge will last four hours. Even when it's shut off, a plug in the side of the toy can be filled with treats to keep pets occupied.

The toy is available in a colorful plastic shell for dogs and a gray wool coating for cats. You can purchase either version on Indiegogo for pledge of $34, with shipping estimated for August.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Fuel Your Cold Brew Obsession With This Elegant, Efficient Coffee Maker

Brrrewer
Brrrewer

The sun is scorching, the days are endless, and the gentle clinking of ice cubes in a glass of cold brew coffee sounds like chimes at the gates of heaven itself.

A beverage so divine deserves to be created by a machine to match, right? Meet Brrrewer, a coffee maker that will provide you with the smoothest, sweetest, richest cold brew coffee you’ve ever had—and it’ll do it in just four hours.

Brrrewer uses the cold drip method to brew coffee in which coffee grounds are suspended between two microfilter membranes. Water is poured over the top membrane, then slowly filters through the coffee grounds and drips out from the bottom membrane. The top membrane ensures that the water is evenly distributed among the coffee grounds, and the bottom membrane allows only the water-turned-coffee to fall into the carafe below, without any of the gritty residue. (That gritty residue is often a result of the full immersion method, which is popular among those with French presses; basically, you just steep your coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours, strain out the grounds, and drink.)

The carafe is encased in a second layer of glass, providing thermal insulation and keeping your coffee cold for longer than a regular glass bottle or pitcher. And you can cross “coffee filters” off your shopping list—the microfilter membranes do that job already.

The Italy-based team at Essense designed Brrrewer with elegance and minimalism in mind, so it won’t throw off the aesthetic groove of your kitchen. In fact, it might enhance it. Also, it’s manufactured from a combination of borosilicate glass and BPA-free Tritan plastic; in other words, it’s extra-sturdy and environmentally friendly.

Mixologist Francesco Corona, five-time Italian “Coffee in Good Spirits” champion and world championship finalist, worked with Essense to develop special cocktail recipes for Brrrewer, which you can find in the paperback book, available on its own for $17 or with Brrrewer (the book and coffee maker combo is $78). Order Brrrewer by itself for $67 here, or see other purchase options from Kickstarter.

If four hours is more than you’re willing to wait for cold brew, check out Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System, which can make it in about 15 minutes.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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