I buy my coffee at the corner bodega every day—usually two or three cups. All those paper take-out cups began to add up, and I found myself throwing out full stacks of them each week. On the lookout for a better alternative, I wandered through the bargain store at the corner. I could have bought one of those Starbucks insulated metal coffee mugs, but they’ve always offended me—their plastic lids feel like a child’s sippy cup, and the plastic gets roughened, chewed over, gross. If I were driving, I’d give in; after all, the lids do stay on tight, and keep the coffee from sloshing out of the container. But I’m walking, not driving, so I don’t have to make that compromise.
I did see a nice ceramic cup, with perfect proportions. But it, too, had a lid that was nasty, this time made of silicone. And the thought of my lips on that rubbery surface felt just as bad as the Starbucks plastic lid.
Then I came across this beautiful and simple solution: a stainless steel mug with a simple lift-off lid. Since I’m simply strolling about fifty yards from my door to the corner, this fit the bill perfectly. It amuses Pedro no end, too. And no more wasteful paper cups.
On the theme of simplicity, my friend Anna Pinto recently gave me a little tool she’d made out of plastic onion bags. Neatly folded, and gathered at one end with a rubber band, it’s an ideal pot scrubber.