Last year I gave up soda–specifically Coke–for Lent. That was hard. I am the person at fancy tasting-course dinners that eschews the expensive wine pairings in favor of Coke in the little glass bottle. For years I hid this, my desire to have my palate taken seriously overshadowing my own baser desires. So, now I’m letting it all hang out. Maybe I should write about my love of show tunes, too.
Anyway, giving up Coke is not going to happen this year. It’s been a really bad winter–flu, fevers, colds, lots of work–and I’m not up for a food-deprivation Lent. I do, however, believe in the Lenten tradition of sacrifice and self-improvement. So I got inspired when I read this blog post at My Plastic-free Life about giving up plastic for Lent.
Since I’ve become more and more interested in frugality, simple living, organics, and minimizing waste, this sort of project seemed perfect for Lent. Giving up all plastic is pretty hard-core. I’m not quite ready for that. I can, however, focus on dramatically lowering my own plastic consumption. So far, I’ve bought a Klean Kanteen reusable stainless steel cafe cup for my hot beverages habit. That’s working out swimmingly. It’s far sturdier than flimsy disposable coffee cups and, when sealed, it’s pretty leakproof and I can even throw it in my bag. I’ve brought metal tiffin containers to restaurants for leftovers–similarly nifty and easy once the habit is established. I have been bothered, however, by the plastic cups that my children use on a daily basis. They’re Ikea children’s plastic cups–not disposable, but cheap, made of plastic, and, frankly, hard to keep clean. Everything in my kitchen goes into the dishwasher or it doesn’t really deserve to live in my kitchen, and, as these cups are aging and getting a little rough around the edges, I’m finding more and more residue on them that survives the dishwasher. Yuck. What, though, is a good alternative?
Enter the small Duralex tumblers you see in the pic. Cafe Dada, one of my favorite coffeehouses, uses them to serve water. They’re small and adorable and high-quality and I’ve always admired them. Today I got coffee at the to-go counter and saw boxes of them for sale at the register. Eureka. They fulfill the trifecta: 1) not made of plastic; 2) suitably appeal to the pretentious yuppie aspects of my personality–i.e., high quality and aesthetically pleasing (even made in France, natch); and 3) reasonably priced. The fact that I was able to buy them locally was an added bonus.
I’m looking forward to seeing them in action. I think my kids will enjoy them. I’m also looking forward to using them for myself, because it makes me feel good to have a classy vessel free of plastic chemicals in which to imbibe my favorite corn syrup-and-caramel-color concoction.