Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Questionable Coffee Cup

I was sitting and enjoying a cup of tea this morning and I was thinking about cups. No, not glass ones or plastic ones, and certainly not protective ones, but those take-out generic cups used by restaurants and coffee houses everywhere. The one I was drinking from was markings of any kind. It was actually quite boring and, if I had had more time or if my lecture had been lagging enough, I would have defaced it, but instead I sat there in epiphanic wonder:

How bad are these things for the environment?

When you start to think about it, there are a lot of different kinds. You've got your typical ones used by Tim Hortons and other average joe coffee shops, paper-made with a coating to seal the paper from the liquid because, otherwise, you'd have a very messy coffee!

Then, you have the Timothy's World Coffee cups. I love them. There's no need to double cup their drinks. But then, when compared to paper, what's better for the environment? I mean, how great is polystyrene...really? Hmmm, perhaps I'm digging too deep and much too quickly. Allow me to lay out the facts first, then I'll continue:

Paper: from our beloved, and quickly disappearing, forests. Sigh, caffine empires such as Starbucks claim to be so environmentally-friendly, then we're losing trees to stop the shakes and twinges of their coffee-drinking, half-caf and low foam customers!

Polystyrene: is "a rigid, clear, thermoplastic polymer that can be molded into objects or made into a foam that is used to insulate refrigerators." In other words, this foam is made into a material that has been trademarked and is commonly known as Styrofoam. Moms everywhere are happy it was created because now they can have a party and NOT spend the rest of the night elbow deep in dirty dishwater! But this material, also used for insulated disposible cups, is normally thrown not into a recycling bin, but into a trash recepticle. If it is incinerated, like some garbage is, it burns to release a soot.

This is not good.

I found a site calling for "No Foam!" and here's a little of what they said:

  1. Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food that they contain. These chemicals threaten human health and reproductive systems.
  2. These products are made with petroleum, a non-sustainable, heavily polluting and disappearing commodity.
  3. The product does not biodegrade. It crumbles into fragments that have no expiration date.

And all I can say is, "Yikes!" and that I believe I need to rethink my views on Timothy's Word Coffee cups...

There's also "heavy board" cups, but those you don't see too often. All in all, I only needed a chance to rant a little. Well, that and I wanted to make you think about what you're drinking out of. I guess that the most important thing that you do is think twice and recycle whatever you drink from!

So, enjoy your coffee today, but with an added sense of environmental awareness to mix in with your milk and sugar.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Happy New Year...Now What?

Happy New Year, everyone!

So, 2006 is finally here. You know, I was thinking the other day about Y2K. Wasn't that hilarious? Everyone under the age of forty was laughing, meanwhile, almost everyone over that was completely convinced that somehow the world's computer systems were going to short-out, or shut down. I understand the concern surrounding the bank systems and stock markets, but our generation was so busy that Christmas season trying to convince all the baby-boomers that their home PC was NOT going to explode. The only thing I remember exploding was the excellent fireworks display on the waterfront. See? Mel Lastman was great for the city because, even with his media follies as mayor, he certainly knew how to raise Toronto moral and start the city a-partyin'!

All that was six years ago...Wow, feeling older? Now that I look back, the year 2000 was my grade eight year. That was our family's first year in Mississauga after moving from Richmond Hill. Huh...Funny how time flies. Now, I'm in second year at York University and debating about my next step. I've realized that now matter how much you dream, there are no concrete plans in life. Dreams are just a way to give you direction. They are so important to have, but never forget that sometimes dreams change and mature with the dreamer.

So, this New Year's, don't be afraid to do more than just resolute. Re-evaluate your dreams and make some goals instead. Go past the usual "I need to lose weight." Look at the long term. Set some goals, one each month and aim to achieve them. But as you achieve, make sure you assess, too. Don't be afraid to change the next goal to fit your is your life, after all.

Well, on the topic of life, I have to get back to it. My room looks like a bomb exploded in it, so I should probably get cleaning before I go crazy (or before my mom or dad get mad!). Here's one of my goals: I want to be more organized, but I think I'll need a little help from the local IKEA.

As she reads over my shoulder, my mother is so happy.

All the best in the New Year!