We’re coming up for another Earth Day/ Earth Week. I’m glad to see the awareness for the environment and our planet continued. When it began I wondered if the whole thing would just be one more fad, soon forgotten. So far it seems to be something people are giving importance to and listening, even thinking about still.
One Earth issue which I’ve been thinking about lately are all those disposable coffee and tea paper cups we use. Most people writing about this will jump on the bandwagon for the “paper cups are evil” campaign. I’m looking at it from a different point of view.
I know paper comes from trees which (in my opinion) should be classified as a non-renewable resource because we need more trees giving us oxygen rather than more trees giving us paper products. If possible the trees should be left alone to grow in the wild and we should only use trees from tree farms – even harvesting farm trees should be scheduled.
Anyway, I’m also looking at the paper cup issue as someone who does not drive a car to work and around town. This means, anything I need to use during my day has to be carried around by me all day long. A china mug is not practical, they break. A plastic mug I would not feel safe trusting for more than one use before I run it through a good wash at home. (Some people might work in a place with a kitchen available to them, I don’t). In this way the paper cups are the practical option. Unless someone has a better plan which I haven’t found yet.
So what does all this have to do with art and/ or collectibles? Everything. Change brings new art forms, new appreciation for old art forms too. Think about coffee pot and mug cozies and paper cup sleeves. Yes, we had tea pot cozies for a few generations. Not many people did much for their coffee mugs. Now there are so many arty, cute and beautiful coffee mug cozies. Then there are the sleeves to fit over your paper cup. The paper sleeves offered at coffee shops are just the beginning. I may buy a fresh paper cup each time but I do bring along my own coffee cup sleeve. I bought one last year. At the time it was the first I had seen of them and I bought it for practical reasons, it’s not pretty but it works.
Most of the coffee I drink during the day is coffee I make myself, at home. I use a French press and a very large china mug. Too often I get busy and forget to actually get my coffee. When you use a French press you first wait for your water to boil and then you pour the water over your coffee and wait for it to brew. That’s two steps of just waiting. I almost never just sit and babysit my coffee during that time. The kettle I use to boil the water keeps it hot for a pretty long time. But, my French press doesn’t have anything to insulate the hot water. It can get lukewarm in half an hour and I have been known to forget I made coffee until more than an hour later even. Well, once it’s cold it just isn’t the same. I usually drink some of it anyway. It’s never the best cup of the day.
The coffee pot warmer in this photo comes from Sunny Decor on Etsy. This particular item is no longer available in the shop. I bought it! So I’m doing my part for Earth Day and supporting a (fairly new) art form.