I like drinking.
Let me rephrase – I like drinking anything but agua.
It is boring. It has no taste. And when it has a taste, it is baby pool.
Thus, I have expertly trained my body to require less water than the rest of you humanoids via simple avoidance therapy. Sometimes I wake up and feel like I’ve been mouth breathing and licking sandpaper in the Sahara for a week. Sometimes my eyes are so dry I have to carry eye drops. But when the wave of water wars crashes down on the world’s panic-stricken shores – you can thank me for needing less than you. You’re welcome.
What do I drink?
Children of the early 90s, recall the scene in Men in Black where the alien crash lands and grodily inhabits the farmer’s skin then demands from his confused wife: sugar. In water. more sugar. more.
Welp, that’s me. I’m that shell of a man whose sole purpose in life is liquefied sugar.
So, no surprise here that I’d scrappily find ways to get my liquifixes sans bottles, jars, caps and straws. Typical addict.
Henceforth is a list of ‘kind-of’ recipes peppered with rambling tangents.
I already told you how much I don’t like coffee. I’m only posting this cause everyone else does. Here’s some one-of-kind-of recipes for cof-cof.
Recipe 1 – Wasted – plastic-lined cup, stirrer, straw, time, money
At Sbux Counter: Mmmm… do you have any of that bitter, brown, acidic drink? The one that stains my teeth and makes my breath smell like poop?! Speaking of poop, I’ll want to do that right away so give me extra strength and just cut it with some liquid cow fat and high fructose syrup. Gotta gradually work up to that non-functional level of addiction, you know?
Barista hands the cup over. “That’ll be one MILLION dollars and your first born son.” Whatever you want, just give me the goods. You are no use to me anymore, coffee maiden.
If you can’t kick this recipe, at least bring your own mug, as the trademark white coffee cups are unrecyclable due to their plastic lining. Plus, a mug = 10% discount at lot’s of cafes, including Sbux.
It’s confusing, I know. It looks like paper, but if it were recyclable, Sbux wouldn’t have their PR person writing this – what this really means is they talked a shit ton at ‘Cup Summits’, realized they can’t change their cups nonrecyclable qualities, conducted pilots only to see that sustainable infrastructures for the collection and repurposing of the cups into napkins/more cups are not viable, formed a coalition, and called it a day. That is not to say they aren’t still trying. But their 100% recyclable cup goal by 2015 needs some caffeine.
Recipe 2 – Wasted – plastic K-cup, coated paper, grounds
Brew your coffee like candy in a vending machine,
Buy a Keurig cause it’s the cool new thing!
Are you kidding me? Donate your Keurig and never use a k-cup again. Even the inventor of K-cups is crippled with remorse. Most of their plastic components are non-recyclable. Users don’t break them down. And the compostable grounds/tea are trapped inside instead of being returned to the dirt.
If you can’t deal with the grand inconvenience of measuring your own grounds, consider buying compostable K-Cups & do your research about them bc they’re not all made equal.
Recipe 3 – Wasted – Nothing
BUY beans in bulk at any bulk food store using your own coffee bag. Store them in an airtight container and grind as needed. Note – only all paper coffee bags are recyclable. The shiny ones coated in plastic/aluminum AREN’T RECYCLABLE and neither is the twist tie thing at the top.
EVEN BETTER BUY beans from a local roaster who meticulously sources their coffee and offers to grind them according to your size preference right there. Bring back the bag you originally bought it in and they will use it (ex: Runcible Spoon Cafe in Bloomington).
BREW Stop using bleached paper filters. Ain’t no need for that. Switch to unbleached and wet it before using (why?) then compost the whole thing.
EVEN BETTER BREW using a reusable filter, a percolator, or a french press – all brew better java anyways. And for goodness sake put your GROUNDS back in the GROUND.
That’s enough of that. Pinkies up, it’s tea time.
First of all. Herbs are medicine. I always feel like a damn adult when I start or end my day with tea. And sugar. More sugar. More. Jk no sugar needed- unlike coffee, tea is neat in that it actually tastes like it’s made for human consumption. Thank you flowers, you so tasty.
Recipe 1 – Wasted – Plastic covering, staple, plastic/aluminum coated wrapper
Tea is like the true box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get – until you open it and pull your hair out because you’ve just entered a Russian doll of packaging.
1. Take the plastic wrap off the box.
2: Open five individually wrapped in plastic/aluminum coated paper slips to get to the bags you want to brew.
3: Be distracted by the cute little paper quote at the end of the string almost but not quite overshadowing the company logo. (Yeah, the stapled/taped paper quote serves no purpose other than one final advertisement in the absence of a bottle.)
Recipe 2 – Wasted – time & energy
If you want to still have the convenience of individual bags, find a company that
- Doesn’t wrap the whole box
- Doesn’t individually wrap their bags or at least uses 100% paper if they do
- Does use stickers to attach the paper logo to the string – not staples
- Recycle the box/reuse the tin
- Recycle the paper tag
- Compost the bag and string
- Compost the waxy insert that houses the bags if it came with one
Sound complicated? Sound like it involves a lot of opening pandora’s boxes? Yup.
Two other notes about tea bags worthy of mention. First, by god avoid the fancy new silken mesh pyramid bags – ain’t no silk worms spinning those threads. They’re actually made of plastic (Nylon and PET). So the bag is not compostable, nor recyclable, nor imho is it a great idea to heat plastic up to 212 degrees and drink up. Second, the standard paper bags are often chemically treated to prevent disintegration.
Recipe 3 – Wasted – Nothing
1. Go to your farmers market, bulk store (or local cafe/tea shop if you fancy like that). Buy loose leaf tea with your own jars/bags. (An added bonus – you can shop with your nose).
2. If you are a teaddict – brew a big batch in a saucepan or pot and use a mesh strainer that you likely already own. French Press works too. For small batches – acquire a minimally packaged reusable, metal tea ‘bag’. Or don’t. There are tea-experts (damn, what a chill profession) who swear that tea should be left loose in water to get the full flavor dispersed. Makes sense to me.
3. Toss grounds in the yard – your grass will thank you.
It’s that teasy.
P.S. PAHLEASE, don’t get psyched and go buy an ingenuiTEA teapot or the like because you want to sustainable for five seconds. #godsavethe
is weird. Humans are the only species who consume the breast milk made for the offspring of other animals. Big NOPE for me. For several reasons I won’t get into. For a while I opted for soy milk like a typical veg. But guess what, it’s expensive. Plus, all the jollies from all the almond, cashew, soy, rice, hemp, milk in the world can’t cancel out the fact that alternative milks are just as resource intensive as the real thing AND have the added benefit of being packaged in non-recyclable cartons (IN is not part of the Carton Council’s network yet). So, bye bye milks. But guess what, I’m still alive and I don’t have osteoporosis…yet.
Enter homemade coconut milk and my photobombing roommate.
- Add boiling water to a couple cups of coconut shreds
- Pulse in a food processor.
- Let it sit and muddle, strain it.
- Add sugar.
- Dry out the coconut shreds and use them in a curry paste or granolly.
Et voila. EZ. It’s def not ‘milk’ btw – but it’s delicious.
Once coconut milk cools, all the oil migrates to the top and hardens. Now you have coconut oil to cook with or make fancy body things.
Don’t you dare think I forgot about Kombutcha. A slightly alcoholic drink filled with carbonation, caffeine, and good bacteria. The Mother Mary of liquids, the trifecta of tinctures. But…nothing makes me feel more white priveleged than burning 4 bucks on a bottle of fermented tea that will be gone in minutes. So, I started my SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) about a month ago, from scratch. Screw all you motherscoby’s I wanted to birth my own.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Until it ferments, I’m addicted to…
Another obscene money torch is called ‘Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar Ginger Drink’ (personally, I think my Dr. Bronner’s vibing name would up their already ridiculous profit margin but w/e).
All you do is add lemon, honey, grated ginger, and ACV to boiling water. Bottle it up. It gets more flavorful as the day goes on and the ginger disseminates. Not just tasty, all four of those ingredients are super powerful in healing your throat.
And that’s how you drink when you’re going zero waste and you don’t like water. 😉
Probst until the next post.