News of the terribly wasteful

This morning I dropped Tate at daycare and headed toward the bus stop. The hopefulness of the day caught me – you know that lightly toasted northern autumn light? It was a morning like that. A little brisk, a little golden.

I tried to donate blood. You know, to delay going into work. (Donor clinic was closed.)

Sort of an odd reaction.

Instead of donating blood, I got coffee and a muffin.

Well. Rephrase. I would have got a coffee and a muffin anyway.  I used to be a “eat RIGHT when I wake up” person. RIGHT AWAY. ‘Move away from the kitchen, I’m coming through.’

And other people would be like “Oh, y’know, I wait six hours after waking up to eat.” I’d think, “Fuck off. I’d eat you alive by six hours into the day and also you just go die-die-die-die-die. Only do it somewhere other than between my bed and breakfast, or I’ll resucitate you to kill you again.”

Turns out this is a side effect of dieting in me. Now that I have quit dieting, I cannot eat right away when I wake up. I’ve turned into one of those ‘wait to eat’ people. I don’t even much like looking at food first thing in the morning, and when I do get hungry – an hour, hour and a half in – I want something bland. Toast. Oatmeal. A scone.

In other words, the people who sell muffins and scones and coffee outside in the world are suddenly targeting ME. The coffee slinger becomes the coffee target. Ahhh, rich irony. I brown bag my lunch, but I’m vulnerable to breakfast, because I hate soggy hour and a half old toast.

When I am thinking, I buy muffins at a grocery or make scones and bring ’em. When I’m not, I end up paying for $4- for a muffin and coffee.  So, that’s what I was doing this morning. Not having the foresight on Tuesday, and being 2 days away from grocery day, I didn’t have anything with me.

Now, I’m working at an Auto Co-op, right? Which is all about lowering one’s carbon footprint. So it is rather ironic that when I buy my financially wasteful, “latte factor”, muffin - and coffee to go with it, because I am unfond of the office’s coffee – I take my coffee in a cardboard cup. 

I tell ya, tho’. I’ve had a variety of travel mugs, and they’ve all gone the way of the dodo PDQ.

There are the ones where the centre thermal bit slips out, usually while you’re drinking. Which is okay with the lid on. I had one of these for awhile and I scotched taped it together. 
The bad ones, though, are the recent Starbucks ones ’round here: all of them have a double wall with paper inside and tiny little holes around the rim. Get manky water and coffee in the double wall, and it pours out all thick and slimy. Gross.
And mainly, there are the ones that get lost – my bumblebee mug from first year university that I loved so well lasted the longest, maybe 3 months.

So, what do you think? What’s worse? 3 paper cups every week? Or one lost or broken thermal mug every three months?

Yeah. Blows my mind.


  1. Paper is recyclable. And less expensive to replace.

    I hear you as far as mugs go. I’ve had more travel mugs than I can count – actually, I recall the first one being an old school original Starbucks mug, about Grade 11. It had a handle, and I used it to tote my over creamed and sugared coffee to school. I was so cool, man. Starbucks was THE place to hang out in Lynn Valley, once you got too old for the 7-11. So the mug had a certain grown-up quality, and I enjoyed slinking around the school with it while wearing my combat boots and over the knee striped socks, ripped jeans and plaid shirts.

    Miss those days. Sometimes.

  2. I’ve been wanting scones all day, thanks to you. Harrrumph.

    How about buying a small thermos, toting the coffee to work that way, and then drinking it out of a regular ceramic mug?

    (My major issue with travel mugs is that I somehow always manage to drip coffee all over myself while using them. It’s a very classy look, I must say.)

  3. I am an I’M AWAKE MUST EAT EAT EAT person. I was only ever a wait-6-hours person when I was smoking & drinking coffee for breakfast.

    O’course there is the 2x nightly breastfeeding at the mo.

    I have a new travel mug I love a lot. Today, I got coffee and then kid said he wanted to go to the library so I stashed it in the bottom of the buggy, through storytime and checkout…it was still hot! Steel on the inside & plastic on the outside, no funny flavours, no funky closures. I hate any lid that is too complicated to undo with one hand, while walking.

    Um anyway. I agree w/ Erin. Cardboard is recyclable.

  4. My first travel mug was a hayuuuge one my dad brought home from a computer conference. Nexxon, maybe? Whatever it was, that thing held a half-liter of coffee. Maybe more. Serious buzz.

    Now I have one of those Starbucks ones (Yeah, I know, but I never go there to fill it!) that you got to put your own decor into. It’s fared admirably for a good five years or so now.

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