Thursday, May 12, 2016

Too Many K-cups in the Landfill

Keurig coffee makers are really popular right now.  They have evolved from a basic single serve machine to many fancy styles and colors.  Other companies have followed all in search of a perfect cup of coffee.  It was supposed to make it easy to get coffeehouse coffee at home.  I don't think it's working because I was told the line at Starbucks was 15 deep yesterday morning.

Long before Keurig's became popular I saw one at the Goodwill store.  I bought it.  During that time, you could find K-cups at the bent and dent stores for $2.00 a box.  I liked it for convenience but never really liked the coffee.  It was too strong for me.  As Keurig became more popular, the selection of drinks to be made in them increased.  Now you can buy coffee, tea, soup, hot chocolate in several varieties and flavors.

My recent purchases from Country Values Bent and Dent store. Love that place.

It always bothered me that billions of plastic K-cups were going into the landfill.  I read that Keurig sold nine billion K-cups in 2015,  Apparently Keurig is finally addressing the problem and after ten years are coming up with a recyclable cup.  The problem is that all components of the cup have to be separated.  That means the foil, filter, coffee grounds and plastic cup have to be taken apart. I can't believe people will actually take the time to do this.  I have found organic bio-degradable cups put out by another company.  That made me feel somewhat better that others are worried about the problem too.  In order to cut down on my contribution to the problem, I also bought several of the little pods which hold your own coffee.  They were fine, but a pain to remove the grounds and clean.  I had to cut the foil off the used cup and wash out the cup to use again with a small disk purchased for this purpose.  The coffee tasted funny.  I think the old oils couldn't be removed completely from the little paper filter inside the plastic cup, but it was better than throwing them away after every use.

Recently I discovered a product by Melitta.  It consists of a plastic sleeve, a collar, a paper filter and a disk to cover it.  You use your own coffee and can make it to the strength you like.

You can see I got this product for $2 on a clearance rack.  It comes with two reusable cups, which are called JavaJig cups, and a starter pack of 30 filters.

Instructions for assembling the cup.

I kind of like it.  I can compost the paper filter without guilt and don't have to wash grounds out of the permanent filters.  Hopefully this product hasn't been discontinued and that is the reason I found it in the clearance section.

I still use my Bunn coffee maker most of the time, but when I want a quick cup of coffee I use the Keurig.  It is convenient, but I'm just trying to be smart with how many plastic cups I throw away.  

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Moving Mattresses Isn't Easy

You all know the riddle about why the chicken crosses the road.  Yup, to get to the other side.  So what do old people in the 70 year old range do because they think they are still 25?  No, no, no, it's not what you think.  It's taking on a project that should have been done by the younger generation.

It all started when our daughter and her family bought a cottage.  At least that is what they call it.  It looks more like a nice second home.  It is in an area of Wisconsin that has a lot of fun things for families to do and will be used often.  It has four bedrooms so they needed to get some beds set up.  Between everyone in the family, it won't be hard to furnish.  We had a bedroom set up with two twin beds pushed together to look like a king size bed.  We decided to give them those twin beds, get ourselves a new king size bed and put our old king size mattress and box springs in the lower level where the twin beds were.  Sounds easy enough, right?  WRONG!

The first part was pretty easy getting our bed set up and getting the twin beds out of the way.  Then the trouble began.  We thought we could just carry the mattress downstairs.  It was so heavy, floppy and just awkward but it had to go down only 14 steps with a landing, so we thought it could be slid down.  We got to the landing where the stair turns, and we couldn't get it any further.  It was stuck and wouldn't fit.  This is so contrary to how my husband operates.  He usually figures and measures and measures again.  This time we just went for it, and it bit us in the butt.  So much for being spontaneous. The next part of the adventure took over an hour.  We had to get it back up the steps to where we started.  We pushed and pulled until we were both exhausted, but we finally managed to get it back upstairs.  Sorry, there aren't any photos of this phase.  There was a lot of grunting and groaning but no time for pictures.

I had enough and thought we should call in the young people, but my husband thought he had a good plan this time.  He got out his green garden wagon.

We were going to take the mattress out the front door and take it around the house to a set of exterior steps we have on the marsh side of the house.  Then take it down the steps to a patio door, into the house, down the hall and into the bedroom.  I guess it sounded easy enough.  

We managed to wrestle the mattress outside and got it on the wagon which was reinforced with some boards.  My husband strapped the mattress down so it wouldn't slip off.

He started pulling the wagon and it really pulled quite nicely.  The strapping stayed put so nothing slipped along the way.  Maybe this would work after all.

 Next came a little maneuvering between the birdfeeders and some bushes, but here we were at the top of the steps. 

Now it was time to back the wagon down the steps without it falling off the edge and without ripping the mattress on the cement wall.  I stood at the bottom slowly guiding it down.  It went well until we got to a post that was holding up the deck.  The mattress wouldn't fit through.  The straps had to come off, and we had to maneuver it around the post and then carry it to the patio door.  

Fortunately we had our handy dandy little orange straps.

These little gems are supposed to make lifting heavy items a breeze.  Notice the couple on the box lifting a mattress.  They either had straps that were twice as long as ours or they had eight foot arms.  We did manage to finally maneuver it in place.

The next time this mattress gets moved it won't be by us.  Our days of moving king size mattresses are over.  It did prove we are in better shape than we thought we were.