Saturday, January 31

the cup and the cafe

i have a draft post list of around 20. Somedays im just not in the mood to post what i had planned and so i do something different. So my list keeps growing. This morning i had contemplated a make your own verjus post, a Long Lunch post and a coffee cup post.It's obvious what won.

Now its not really all that exciting, but it was a bit of an ah-ha moment for me ; a lesson in being conscious. It goes like this.
When it comes to coffee, im not really a drink coffee when i go out kind of girl. Too much coffee and Im like Elvis on a bad day. I have one cup every morning; a French Press of fair trade East Timorese double roast (the most loca organic coffee i can find), usually in bed and most days brought to me by the love of my life. Cant get that at the cafe! But somedays, when im heading off to work, im rushed and dont get to enjoy that cup of milky drug as much as Id like and so the cafe around the corner from my office gets my business for a weak latte.

So here's the story. First day back after leave, I've detoured, bought the latte and found myself sporting a core flute cardboard coffee cup with the plastic hat. Hmm. Ive posted about these damn plastic coffee toppers and disposable coffee cups before and Kale for Sale had a post only last week on plastic toppers which i probably read nodding, but thinking ohh, not me. Yikes. How did i end up with this small enviro bomb in my hand? Pot, kettle and all that...

It was just something that happenned on the spur of the moment. By the time the coffee was in front of me, it had 'the hat'. Too late to say no, it would have been thrown away anyway if id taken it off there...so the next morning i went, in ordered coffee, preempted the hat topper and said hold the hat and asked if it would be ok if i brought my own cup in from now on? Not being the most assertive person, i figured best to ask first and be rejected than be there with cup in hand and face sure torture if my request was denied and cop another cardboard cup "No problem Kel, as long as it fits under the machine thats fine"

So yay! I now belong to the holier than thou cup bringing brigade. Here's a challenge to you..wanna join? Wanna be a cup bringer too? If you have a regular coffee place it makes it easier to ask as you already have a relationship with the person behind the counter. If you go to a cafe chain, where shifts and numbers make relationship virtually impossible, find a small owner operated cafe and start one!
Then again, if you're one of those assertive, 'i do yoga in the customs area of international airports coz waiting just bores me' kinda people, or very very organised (or running late but dont care, coz you're from Paris )kinda person and get to sit and enjoy the coffee in situ in porcelain, then ignore this suggestion.

Moral of the story, be organised. Im looking at all these environmental issues and thinking most (all?) of them are due to 'convienience'. If we had to be organised; take bags, cups, hankerchiefs, towels, the bus, be responsbible for our own stuff...

Let me know if you do.

10 comments:

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

It's great that you've started doing that! I live in Japan and every food place gives you disposable chopsticks. I now always have 2 pairs of "real chopsticks", one for myself, one for my husband, that I leave in my bag to use at those times instead.

innercitygarden said...

I've often worked in places where food and coffee is banned at desks. Everyone goes out of the office to eat and drink and it's so much more civilised. Meetings tend to organised in cafes for morning tea and so on. Unfortunately when I've worked in places without the ban and/or strong culture I've gone for convenience. I'm a total addict, it brings out the worst in me.

Now I mostly drink coffee at home and the takeaway isn't an issue. I like No Impact Man's jar idea, because putting a lid on the takeaway is handy.

elburro said...

Same thing with bottled water. I've hated the times when one of my kids has been so thirsty that I ended up buying a bottle of water, thumping myself for not packing some from home. It really does boil down to convenience and organization...

naturewitch said...

Hi Kel

Great post! It's true - we all do things that we cringe about and it's all because it was convenient at the time and/or we weren't organised.

I don't drink coffee, but I do indulge the occasional soy-choc (but not in this heat) and as you say, bringing your own cup is accepted by some places but not others.

Being too busy in the mornig sometimes to take lunch to work or just feeling like a treat (a bought lunch) often leaves me feeling guilty over the packaging of the lunch. I'm getting better, though, at just throwing in a random selection of nuts, fruits and veges and munching on those when I'm in a hurry. You'd be surprised at the mix sometimes! Lunch on Friday was rockmelon, raw corn on the cob and some brazil nuts and almonds.

The thing is - we all do it. We all do non-green things at times. The main things is to be conscious of it and as you say try to be organised enough so that it doesn't happen. And not beat ourselves up about it when it does. xx

notesfromthefrugaltrenches.com said...

I'll join you!! Well done you!

Annuska said...

Well, I feel so behind and also constantly sabotaged in my environmental attempts that I have not much to say. At least working from home I just use our Fair Trade Coffee in our own mugs! It is hard when not all the residents share the same level of concern!

littleecofootprints said...

Hi Kel. I can totally relate to everything you are saying. I have my daily cup of fair trade coffee in the morning at home - but on those mornings when I am running late and don't have time - I am tempted to buy a take-away on the way to work. You have motivated me to keep a cup in the car for those occasions.

I also totally agree that trying to be green is all about being organised. Its all those quick conveniences that have the big ecological footprints. I think its also all about getting into a routine. Change can be hard in he beginning but then after a while it just becomes a normal part of every day life.

Cheers, Tricia

Kel said...

Melanie Grey- thanks for dropping in. Thanks, and I think its all about changing perceptions too, the more people see others doing these things, the more normal it becomes.

Inner city- when is your new blog happenning??No pressure. lol. Yes i do agree that minimising takaway is the way to go but realistically , convienience is a human trait, and if we eliminate waste from the process but still hae convienience...

elburro- hehe, yes, many times i make them wait until we get home...,makes them remember the damn bottle next time!

Nature Witch - yes, beating yourself is not as effective as learning and changing...


NFFT - as we say here 'onya'! ( good on you) Keep us updated on your success.

Annuska - nice to see you again and 'keep on keeping on' and chipping away. One is better than none!

littleecofootprints - yup, we do what we can and im being organised to the max for the first time inmy life now that we have bean3 and im expressing at work - i only forgot the pump once!- never again. Im all sorted with breakfast makings, lunch and pump the night before!

kale for sale said...

Saturday I ended up a coffee shop with a girlfriend, ordered our lattes, we're talking to the girl behind the counter in the Obama shirt and the other girl brings us our lattes. All smiling we walk out, sit down, much conversation and half way through the damn thing I realize it has a plastic hat as you say! After my great awareness to no longer use them and bring my own cup I'm kicked out of the holy cup brigade. It is so easy to loose focus and just take what is handed me.

Kel said...

kale- of dear, best just notch it up to expereince ;-) its is so very easy, you just have to be one step ahead...its exhausting!