Friday, November 27, 2015

Black Friday Special: Recycle/Reuse

There are so many products we could buy to allow us to live a greener lifestyle. Some in the "green" community call those things "greenwashing", and the point is that it doesn't make a lot of sense to try to live more lightly, more simply and more frugally, if one is also purchasing things.

I mean, yeah, okay, it does save money to bring one's own water in a reusable water bottle than it does to purchase a plastic bottle of water. I wonder, though, what did people do before there was bottled water and reusable water bottles. Oh, I remember ... public drinking fountains, or bubblers (depending on the part of the country from which one hails). Do those even exist anymore?

I used to like the cute little reusable plastic cups for cold beverages. I started bringing my own iced tea with me wherever I go. What I don't like is that keeping them clean is really tough. Mold (or something yucky and probably toxic) grows in the threads of the cup and the lid, and get under the seal, and then, since most of those cups are double insulated, sometimes the two layers come apart ... and then, well, it has to be replaced. Planned obsolescence much?

The reusable coffee cups are similar. I haven't had a reusable cup that I've been able to keep and use for the long-haul - and by long-haul, I mean every day ... forever.

So, I found a different solution, and I keep modifying the solution and improving on it.

It involves the plastic straw from the useable plastic cups, a reused glass jar (and I purchased that brand of sauce specifically because the jar lid was the same size and style of a standard canning jar), a reused plastic lid (and I bought that brand of salad dressing specifically because it came in a glass jar, it was organic and gluten-free, AND it used a jar with a lid that was interchangeable with a standard canning jar) ... and a drill.

The lid for the salad dressing is black plastic, but fits perfectly on any regular canning jar. So, I drilled a hole the same size as my straw, et voila, a reusable cup that is easily cleaned and reuses a bunch of stuff that might have been considered trash.

I love that many of the products I can find at the store use packaging that is so easy to keep and reuse. The jars are especially useful, and if I changed the lid, moving the hole closer to the rim, for instance, I could have it serve double duty as a coffee cup and a cold beverage cup.

Hmm ....

I wonder what I can reuse to make a sleeve to hold the jar when it's filled with hot coffee ...?

*Note: I haven't found a jar, yet, that fits in my car cup holders, and glass or metal straws would be better, but for now, I have a completely reused reusable cup and I'm really happy with it.


  1. Do you have any old wool sweaters around that are ready to give up the ghost? You could felt a sweater down and make a felted coffee sleeve for it. Or use the arm of a child's outgrown sweater, unfelted, if you don't feel like going through the whole felting process. There are also patterns on Ravelry for knit and crochet sleeves - not completely "reusing", but if you have some yarn leftover from another project, that'd be a good way to use it up. You could even do a "sleeve of many colors" with bits and bobbits of various types of yarn. Or maybe sew together some old potholders.... Hmm, you've got me thinking now. LOL It might be fun to knit up some jar cowls - so they wrap around the jar, but then fold over your hand(s) as well - it'd be a neat way to warm up in the winter. :D

    1. Awesome! Great ideas, and even though I don't really know how to knit, I can do enough to make a jar cozy. I love the idea of a cowl that folds over one's hands, too. Brilliant!

  2. I have patterns faved for jar cozies, mug cozies, French press cozies, even ice cream pint cozies. I think they are such a fun idea. (Now I just have to get around to MAKING some. LOL)