(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

The black Binchotan coal you see above is actually white charcoal made from Japanese oak heated in an oxygen-starved kiln until it turned to carbon. (These charcoal purifiers have been around for a few years.) Place one of these sticks in a jug of water and it will reportedly absorb chlorine and unpleasant tastes and odors while infusing your water with natural minerals.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

The black sticks are very delicate, like porcelain. One stick will last about 3 months, and at the end of its life you can crush it and mix it with soil so plants can benefit from it.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

Buy It: Kishu Binchotan Charcoal, $19.50 from Gent Supply Store or Water Pitcher with Sticks and Stones, $110 from DWR

Related: Can You Help Me Find a Good Looking Water Pitcher?

(Images: Merchant No. 4 and DWR)