Thursday, October 30, 2008

BYO cup success

I have a confession to make. I don't own a trendy, reusable water bottle made of metal or glass. Klean Kanteens and similar products seem to be almost mandatory for environmentalists these days, but I've never felt the need to buy one. I do own a couple of ancient bicycle bottles made of plastic, but seldom use them because water doesn't taste very good in them.

Tonight, I met friends at a cafe that has only single-use plastic cups available at the self serve water station. I was determined to bring my own cup, but didn't want to drink from a cup that had traveled unprotected in my bag. Putting a cup in a reusable plastic bag would have kept it clean, but I find rinsing and reusing plastic bags a hassle.

The solution I hit on was to bring a glass jar with a lid. The lid kept the interior of the jar clean during the trip to the cafe, and it kept stray drips from escaping during the trip home afterwards. The jar was easy to drink from.

I hadn't been sure how my friends would react to my drinking water from a jar that still bears the battered label of the food the jar originally contained, and was pleasantly surprised when they didn't even blink. These are people who have seen me bring my own containers to restaurants to put leftovers in, so they were already aware of my desire to cut down on single-use plastic.

After some of the problems I've had lately with getting stores to let me use my own containers for bulk items, it was great to have things go so smoothly with this attempt at avoiding single-use plastic. I now plan to bring the jar every time I dine at the cafe.

I wonder what would happen if I ordered a smoothie and asked the server to pour it straight into my jar. I suspect that would meet with resistance, but I may inquire about the possibility the next time I'm there.


Alline Anderson said...

Hey Cousin! Great blog. I found you via the Fake Plastic Fish Plastic Posse. I live at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage - many folks here tote Klean Kanteens, but many more tote glass bottles around for their water consumption. The thing is, though, that these bottles are used liquor bottles. Those fabulously shaped, plastic free bottles. Some even have corks instead of screw-on tops. It does make us look like a bunch of alcholics, but everyone SWEARS that it WATER they're drinking. Cheers!

Cousin Yellowstone said...

Hello Alline, and thanks for commenting. I hadn't thought to use a liquor bottle for water, but now that you mention the possibility, it seems like an excellent idea. Liquor bottles are often much sturdier than other glass bottles, I guess in the expectation that drunks will drop them, and as you said some even come with corks. I'll stick with the jar when drinking in very public places, but will try to save a liquor bottle to hike with next summer. Thanks for the suggestion!

Anonymous said...

Love the jar idea. In fact, last weekend, I forgot to bring my Klean Kanteen with me to my meditation retreat. It was too late when I left the house, so I called my friend Mark to see if he had an extra to bring. No, he didn't. But he did have a mason jar. So that's what I used all weekend long. Worked great.