Monday, December 20, 2010

it's what's on the outside that counts

My mother-in-law has this cute/crazy (and resourceful) habit of saving e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  And I mean everything.  Nothing gets thrown away unless it's been used at least once more (or twice) or if it's in the process of disintegrating.  Believe it or not, though, this characteristic of hers is something I admire.  It warms my heart and fond (and funny) memories are usually the result.

To her, all things have some sort of potential.  It just may be the perfect(!) embellishment for a scrapbook page!

Here are a few examples:  sandwich baggies, the small plastic containers that holds your salsa at Moe's (complete with cute little plastic cover), extra mayo packets from Wendy's, and restaurant napkins (she hasn't bought napkins from a store in YEARS), hotel coffee/tea, old elastic-hair bands, to only name a few.

My favorite so far is, the styrofoam coffee cup.

Whenever she gets a tea or hot chocolate from a "coffee" shop (she doesn't drink coffee - except for a Starbucks' pumpkin latte) (and "coffee" shop can mean a gas station), she saves the cups.  And she uses them again and again.  And not just when she's "traveling".  She'll use it as her regular cup for hot liquids simply around the house...for days.  Until it renders itself "un-usable".

I decided to try this out for myself.  So, I ended up saving my DD's cup that was originally filled with White Hot Chocolate and Whipped Cream (heaven!) from a recent Christmas-shopping trip.  When I went to make my afternoon cup-o-joe the next day, I reached for the DDs cup in my cabinet.

I ended up walking around my house, doing chores, making gifts and wrapping presents holding my DDs cup filled with my regular 'ole coffee.  And I felt as if I was drinking a fancy drink!  My coffee stayed warmer for a longer time than usual, too (thanks to the specially designed, and snow-flake covered, styrofoam cup - complete with plastic cover)!

What I learned from this experience is that, when it comes to coffee/tea/hot chocolate, it's what's on the outside that counts!  Whether it's your favorite "cozy" mug, a special Christmas-cup, or an old (yet, clean) styrofoam cup that tells me "Happy Holidays!" with every sip, it makes everything so much more FUN(!) to drink.

So when you buy your next Peppermint Mocha Latte, enjoy!  And then be resourceful, and save your cup to use tomorrow.  You won't regret it.  And the planet will thank you.

Maybe going 'green' isn't so "earthy-crunchy" after all?

P.S.  Going "green" is still sorta "earthy-crunchy" to me.
But this aspect just makes it fun and not all that 'weird'.

P.P.S. I do love my planet.
And I do believe we need to take care of it.
I'm just not obsessed with the idea.
And refuse to jump on the 'green' bandwagon.
But maybe, the cups are my entry drug?  

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Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown