Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Snap ... Crackle ... Slurp

I don't think my friends would call me a materialistic person, but I do love well-designed stuff. It seems to me that there are few things in the world that really just do exactly what they were designed to do. Here are a few recent favorites:

I want to say just one word to you. Just one word.

Are you listening?


OK. When have you ever known me to say just one word? About anything?

That little quote from The Graduate expresses the hope that we once had about plastic. And it is a miracle invention. It allows us to make things like cell phones, cheap and clean syringes that save lives, and Barbie dolls (remember those wax dolls they had in the Little House books? Melty). But plastic has a down side. Plastic is usually made with petrochemicals (hello! BP oil spill!) and unfortunately, when heated, many types of plastics leach chemicals which are thought to be carcinogenic.

That's why I love my new Glasslock food storage containers:

They are glass, as you might assume from the name, but have airtight plastic lids that snap on. They are also microwave safe (remove the lid to avoid the plastic leaching) and dishwasher safe, which doesn't matter, since I don't have a dishwasher. They are also quite sturdy, as I've dropped them in the sink numerous times already -- and I've only had them for two weeks.

But plastic has its place. Don't you just love the crackling, crinkling sound of a reusable shopping bag made of recycled plastic?

For example, a friend used this giant reusable bag (from Walgreen's) as a gift bag at my birthday.

It's made of 80% post-consumer waste, and it's so big that it makes a great multi-use bag. It can be used for shopping, beaching, or, if you're a cat - diving into.

As a child raised in the Pacific Northwest, I was mainlining Starbucks mochas at an early age. You could probably fill a landfill with all of the paper cups I've used. In the last couple of years, I've gotten much better about using my "personal cup" (as the baristas call it), bringing my own coffee tumbler to Starbucks and my local independent coffee shops.

In the summer, however, I don't want a hot cuppa joe. I wanna icy drink to cool me off. And those don't fit into those reusable coffee cups. As the weather warmed up this year, I began to feel guilty because I was ordering iced drinks that come in clear plastic cups.

Then, voila! These appeared at Starbucks:

They are reusable cold cups. They are double-insulated, so your drink stays cold and they don't sweat all over your desk. And, I swear that drinks just taste better in this cup. Unfortunately, I couldn't find them online. You'll have to check out your local Starbucks -- the baristas have twice told me how popular they are.


Unknown said...

Love the reusable shopping bag for a gift bag. Totally stealing that idea. ;)

Catfish said...

I love getting gifts in reusable shopping bags! There are tons of cute ones now, too.