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April 1, 2008

Goodbye Plastic Coffee Maker. Hello Porcelain.

 

Goodbye old friends. You served me well. But did you poison me in the process? I don’t know. Supposedly #5 polypropylene is safe. But that’s what they used to say about your buddy polycarbonate, and look what he’s doing to us! So you have to go. White coffee drip cone, black coffee drip cone, and Braun electric coffee maker with the plastic coffee cone, goodbye. And you, new Melitta coffee filters in the plastic bag, you have to go too. Hope you will all enjoy being with the brave Freecycler who has agreed to take you home, despite the warning in my Freecycle post that I was getting rid of you because I wasn’t sure it was safe to drink hot liquids poured through plastic.

So hello new coffee friends. It’s a good thing I bought you last week before Crunchy Chicken’s Buy Nothing Challenge began on April 1. Too bad you came with a plastic bag of bleached white coffee filters, which the above-mentioned Freecycler is going to enjoy. But considering that you are all porcelain, come in a cardboard box with only a tiny bit of cardboard inside and no plastic packaging, and will last me for many, many years if I’m careful, it’s a small price to pay. (Maybe I should send the filters back to Melitta with a note, but at the moment, I have too many other things going on.)

You’re nice because I can set your coffee cone directly on my travel mug for making coffee for myself in the morning. Or I can use the porcelain 6-cup pitcher and make coffee for friends as well. I still have half a box of unbleached #2 filters (smaller than this #4 cone, but still workable.) But when they are gone, it would be nice to get some reusable coffee filters. And not the gold/stainless mesh ones because they still have plastic in and around them. How about it organicneedle? Are you up for sewing organic cotton or hemp coffee filters that don’t come in a plastic bag? (I’ve only seen reusable cloth filters in plastic bags. If anyone knows of filters that come sans bag or at least in paper or cardboard, please let me know.)

The other nice thing about you is that you came from Greenfeet, an environmentally conscious online retailer that packaged you 100% plastic-free. They even used paper tape on the box instead of plastic! That is rare these days, indeed. And when I emailed them to find out about their packaging policies ahead of time, this is what customer service rep, Jessica, wrote:

At Greenfeet, we do not purchase new plastic or styrofoam packaging. If anyone ever receives styrofoam or plastic packaging, it is packaging that we are reusing. Though typically, we try not to use those materials at all. If the merchandise ships out from one of our manufacturers, there may be plastic or styrofoam packaging in there. However since most items ship from our facility at Greenfeet, we try not to use those packing materials.

See? The box was full of paper and a little bonus surprise…


This photo is dedicated to homeschoolmom’s almost 13yo son, who likes it when the kitties come out to play. The packing paper is still all over our living room floor. Yes, I know it would be better to gather it all up and save it to be reused. But Soots and Arya are enjoying it so much, I just can’t take it away from them!

Tomorrow, I’ll have a post about the milk that goes in the coffee. And another dairy product. I said I was going to slow down on posting, didn’t I? Not this week, I guess. I seem to have all this extra energy. Could it be because of Madonna???

I April Fooled my co-workers today telling them that “Oh my god! You will not believe this! Madonna read my blog and called me this morning! She did! Well, her rep did, but then she herself got on the phone after I picked up. Really. She says she’s banning plastic from all of her tours from now on just because of Fake Plastic Fish!” It’s a nice thought. Tomorrow I have to confess I made it up, right?

But that’s not why I’m in such a good mood. My energy level is being artificially boosted by repeat playings of the Madonna/Justin Timberlake/Timbaland single, 4 minutes, on my iPod, which has me dancing Ellen Degeneres-style at the BART station in the morning exactly 4 minutes at a time over and over and over again. Sometimes being a little obsessive is a fun thing!
 



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15 comments
Kurt@Tassimo Coffee Maker
Kurt@Tassimo Coffee Maker

It's a very good point you bring up about plastic. I was told years ago to stop putting my food into the microwave in plastic containers and so I guess that would also apply when I'm making coffee, huh? The french press is a great choice for sure... although they can be a little troublesome if your in a hurry... The cat in the box is cute... I've got two myself and they both love a new box!

racherin
racherin

We have (and love) a chemex. The website is http://www.chemexcoffeemaker.com/Coffeemakers.htmWe used to have a stoptop Italian style coffee maker, but we burned out some of the parts. We drink A LOT of coffee. My husband makes a big pot in the morning, puts the rest into his thermos, and is good for the day. A coffee shop near his library refills for $1.We love the coffee the chemex makes. For us it combines the best attributes of filter and french press flavor. They do have special, extra thick, unbleached filters. I also love it because it looks like a chemistry experiment.

Rosa
Rosa

ooh! ooh! A milk post!] I have to admit, I was looking at the plastic cap on my glass half-gallon milk jug and considering weighing two of them against a gallon plastic jug to see which actually contained more plastic, yesterday.

Grad Green
Grad Green

Another way to go is a stove-top espresso maker. I have one that I got in Italy (but they sell them here too). It is metal. You put the coffee in a little receptacle, the water in the bottom, and it bubbles up through the coffee. It's pretty fun, and I use it when I go camping too.

Fake Plastic Fish
Fake Plastic Fish

Warning: Do not believe anything that Philistine Axelle has to say. She obviously does not understand the secret geniouses of art that are Madonna and Justin Timberlake, nor does she realize that there are no cuter specimens of kittenhood than Soots and Arya anywhere. They are bringing sexy back, and don't you forget it!What's that you say? I'm the Philistine? Oh. Never mind.

axelle
axelle

I tried to listen to the 4 Mins tune but it hurt my ears and made me want to pull at my face. Terrible thing. If HOMESCHOOLMOM's son would like to see wonderful pix of my many, many foster kittens, some of whom are even cuter than Soots 'n' Arya, have him contact me. For those of you who have medium-size French presses, and your carafe has broken, a Bubbie's Bread & Butter tall pickle jar makes a swell substitute.

SootsandArya
SootsandArya

wate u say wuz sumthing else in box? we thot u just bot box of paper 4 us 2 play w/ we can has cofy? then we can stayz up all nyt stomping on ur facez. soots lykez it blak but arya wantz a litl milk in herz kthxby.

homeschoolmom
homeschoolmom

OMG, my middle son is really feeling the fishy love. His comment,"I love cats!" Thank you, thank you. You made his day!On topic, I think Burbanmom over at Going Green has offered to sew reusable fabric filters for coffeemakers in the past. Or at least has done it cuz her hubby is a coffee fiend. And I'm pretty sure she'd do it for you, Beth. Really. She's that kinda gal. And it seems like she can sew up a storm with no plastic at all!

organicneedle
organicneedle

I'm on the job. Coffee filters had actually crossed my mind but I would need to test them long term before marketing them. Not sure how my fabrics would hold up to the heat and wetness. What size maker do you have? You may have just signed yourself up as a guinea pig. :)

arduous
arduous

Dancing Ellen Degeneres style at BART? FPF, I think your coffee has you a little TOO wired .... ;)

Sunny
Sunny

Well others already beat me to it - a French press is the way to go, you can get them with stainless instead of plastic but it would be silly at this point since you've already purchased an alternative...unless you need something for when you have guests over. As someone who is trying to cut sugar out of her diet (all sweetners) I am having a hard time knowing where to go with coffee. I like it with my sugar-free hazelnut syrup and milk. Sigh! Don't like it without "stuff". Anyways, good luck Beth.

Cave-Woman
Cave-Woman

OH---and just for fun and when you are off Crunchy Chicken's April challenge---Audubon society sells the best coffee. Not only are they fair trade produced ( so good on the local economy), but the harvest is particularly kind to songbirds. Also, since the coffee is growing the way nature intended, it has a more complex and interesting flavor. Blessings!

jennconspiracy
jennconspiracy

Agree with anonymous: French Press is the only way to go. I have three French Presses -- two are glass (big and small) and a lexan camping french press. Since I haven't been drinking much coffee, you may borrow to test out for the month of April.I might have to say that I'm in for Crunchy Chicken's challenge though the "Freeze Your Buns" challenge wasn't really that hard for me since I have no heat in my apartment. Running the space heater cost $250/month and didn't get me warm so I spent a lot of time Not Home. Planning to start putting rent in escrow in September to encourage the landlord to install gas heat.My kitties also love boxes -- I have a Breville blender box from January that Dobs still plays in.

Cave-Woman
Cave-Woman

Hi! I love your blog!I'm interested in minimizing the plastic in my life and I was particularly interested in your comments on your coffee-maker.Where did you find the porcelain six cup pitcher and the travel mug?I've had particular challenges with travel mugs. I finally found one that I love (since it doesn't leak)--but it is plastic. I would really love a ceramic travel mug that doesn't leak, since the metal mugs tend to leave me with a metal aftertaste. Could you point me in the right directions?Thanks!!

Anonymous
Anonymous

The coffee way to go is french press! We got ours second hand. The only thing we need to buy is the coffee! We have had to buy two replacement glass inserts over the last 20 years due to breakage (we recycled the glass) don't remember if replacements came in cardboard, but I didn't have to throw away the plastic handle. Molly in NH

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