There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”- Annie Leonard
That really hit me this morning. I learned in our parental “drug awareness and prevention” training at our high school that this is a really easy way to see if your kids are doing anything wrong. Check their garbage cans. Teens (and people in general) seem to think once it goes into that garbage can it is gone. Like we are tossing our garbage into a black hole. The old “out of sight out of mind” thinking.
I was cleaning out under my kitchen sink a few years ago. And 90% of it was plastic bags. Hundreds of them. They shocked me into using reusable shopping totes. I see the eye rolls from the people behind me in line. I don’t care. I am doing my part in not contributing to landfills. They are easy to use- once unpacked I hang them on the doorknob, or when my car is in the garage I toss them onto the hood. Then I keep them in my trunk. Always ready to use. Simple. And no more under the sink clutter.
I don’t understand the throw away society we live in. We have some of my grandfathers old tools and garden machinery. We repair it and keep using it. Things were built to last. If it broke, fix it. Today everyone seems to just throw it away and get a new one. There is no “away”. Where do we think our garbage goes? Have you driven past a landfill lately? They are massive. Everyone should make a trip to one in their lifetime. Just to see the waste.
Did you know a plastic water bottle takes 450 YEARS to decompose? Let that sink in. 450 years. Recycle them. They can be made into so many different things. It is easy to do. Or use a reusable water bottle. Again, super easy to do. I keep an infuser bottle (our Griffin) on my desk all the time. I clean it out and refill it every day. Easy. All those coffee cups Starbucks and others hand out every day- they do not go “away”. Use reusable travel mugs. We all have them- piled up in a cabinet somewhere. Take them out and use them. Buy a baby bottle brush to wash them out. It takes less than a minute.
Lets end the throwing away thinking. Lets try to reuse and recycle. Lets realize that “away” isn’t a place but an excuse.
Our enamelware mugs are stainless steel mugs with an enamel finish. The enamel is a protective and usually colorful coating that is baked onto the stainless steel. The vivid colors are fun and reminiscent of vintage camping cups. The enamel colors will not fade on exposure to sunlight. In addition to making the mugs look great, the enamel adds protection to them. The enamel coating helps to prevent corrosion (rusting) of your mug. Enamel mugs are highly heat resistant. When properly cared for, these mugs can last a long time.
Some fun facts:
- The making of enameled products on a large scale first began in Germany around 1840. They used a simple method compared to today: they heated the mug to a very high temperature and then dusted it with enamel,they then immediately fired the mug. This often gave them a spotty coat; two coats were always required to achieve the desired surface. Additionally, it could only be applied to cast-iron items, and they could only use it for simple products like mugs, pots and pans.
- From the 1840s- 1930s all enamel applications required two coats of enamel. The undercoat that was needed was always blue. The top coat of the desired color was most often white.
To care for your enamel- we recommend washing by hand as the abrasive action of some dish washing detergents can scratch and dull the surface. Do not put in the microwave! This is a stainless steel mug with enamel coating. You cannot put metal in the microwave! If you drop it on a hard surface, the enamel will crack.
I know with the gorgeous weather we are having here in Buffalo,NY it is hard to believe Fall is upon us. But the stadium is full of Bills fans again and school is back in session- so I know it is here. And with it comes my favorite- the changing of the leaves. It is like nature puts on one final show for us every year before resting up for next year. The colors and flavors of fall are the best. Of course New York State apples are the best in the world. With that comes amazing cider and apple pies. (Please don’t hate me for my next sentence) While I am not a pumpkin fan myself, it seems everyone goes crazy for it this season. Pumpkin flavors, colors and decorations are everywhere. I am heading to our local Apple Umpkin Festival down in Wyoming county this weekend. I am excited to taste and see all the great local apple products there.
I found all sorts of fun new drink recipes on Pinterest today that I cannot wait to try. From caramel to hot chocolate- there will be a lot of experimenting this season! I also saw a cute idea for serving cupcakes in cups with spoons tied to them with string. How cute would that be for a Fall wedding? There are so many fun Fall crafts and activities to keep me and my children happy and busy this season. Please share any you make here with me- I love being inspired!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Fall and gets outside to enjoy this beautiful season we are blessed with!
Campfires. I have always loved them. My earliest memories of them are at Chaumont,NY. My grandparents had a cottage there when I was growing up. Grandpa had built the cottage and the firepit. The firepit was made of flat beach rocks he had piled up into a half circle to protect the fire from wind off the bay. It was right on the edge of the beach, where the grass ended and the rocky shore started. We had a campfire every night. Grandpa would spend hours sitting at it, just staring at it. I asked him once what he thought about and he smiled and said “not much…” It was fun to watch the fire, find faces and shapes in it, watch it dance. It was mesmerizing. My favorite childhood memories involve listening to the waves lap the shore while sitting at the campfire with grandpa. The smell of the smoke, the heat on our faces… If we were good grandpa would let my sister and I build little mini campfires along the outside edge of the big campfire. We would gather small flat rocks from the beach and build little firepits, then use twigs to make our own fires. Often our cousins were there at the cottage with us and of course we would toast marshmallows and make s’mores. They almost always had ash in them from the fire, giving them a smokey taste. We would all sit around laughing and talking and toasting marshmallows. But my favorite memories are still of sitting quietly with grandpa watching the fire dance for us.
When I met my husband he came with a campsite (bonus!). For the past twenty some years it has become a second home to me. The campfires there are always fun. Sometimes just with just us and our children, but more often with friends and neighbors. Learning to build a campfire was one of the first things my son most wanted to do when he was young. Now he builds most of them. Sleeping in his hammock in the woods nearby. Our friends all gather, sometimes to sit quietly and relax and exchange stories about our lives. Sometimes one of the kids breaks out their ukulele and they all start singing. Or acting out skits they learned at summer camp. Mostly we laugh. The campfire is a place to gather and unwind and relax with friends and family. I wonder if grandpa was remembering back to some of his campfires as a youth with his friends and family, doing the same things I am with mine. It really hasn’t changed much. Luckily.
Many mornings following campfires we still have hot coals. So my son throws some bacon over the fire. That brings out the neighbors. They arrive carrying eggs, bread, fruit, etc. and we feast. Sometimes our campfire breakfast lasts until noon. We all sit with our coffee and plan our day. Days spent doing our separate things. Swimming, boating, hiking, relaxing, etc. But we all wind up back together that night gathered around a campfire.
Campfires to me represent family, friends and all that is good and basic and pure. They have been there for me since I was a child, since my grandparents were children and back for generations. Campfires are for relaxing and connecting and making memories. Just the smell of one takes me back to those lazy summer nights in Chaumont with grandpa watching the fire and not thinking about much at all- just feeling the moment and loving every second of it.
How does insulation work in drinkware?
To understand, you first need to remember some high school science. Heat is transferred in three ways: Convection, conduction and radiation. Copper insulated drinkware works with all three.
In convection, heat transfer occurs when a liquid or gas — air, for example — moves. In other words, it works by moving heat from a hot liquid to the cooler air by the motion of the air. For example, when you blow on your hot coffee you are transferring the air particles, cooling the hot substance. In drinkware you want to prevent the heat from being transferred away from your liquid to keep it hot- or into your liquid to keep it cool. We accomplish this with the vacuum. There is a vacuum between the inside layer and outside layer. By eliminating gas from this space we eliminate the convection of the heat. There is little to no gas to transfer the heat through. Some of our drinkware comes with vacuum sealed lids- this would help eliminate convection cooling of your drink also. As the vacuums in drinkware are not perfect, and some lids are not vacuum sealed, eventually some convection occurs.
In conduction, the transfer of heat is through a conducting material, such as metal. Heat causes the molecules to start to move and transfer from the heated molecule to another molecule. This transfer continues until all the molecules around the hot molecule are hot. An example of this is putting a metal spoon in your hot coffee, it conducts the heat up the spoon and soon even the handle is hot even though it is not touching the hot drink. We eliminate heat being transferred out of your hot coffee (or tea, etc) with the double layer of stainless or acrylic. The interior layer does not touch the outside layer. This helps keep the outer layer cool for you to hold and prevents it from forming condensation when you have something cold in your drinkware. Simply put, the outer layer does not touch the inner layer so it does not come in contact with the temperature of the liquid. Double layered drinkware is very effective and usually suitable for casual coffee drinkers.
Radiant heat moves in a straight line away from your hot drink, heating up anything solid that it encounters. This form of heat doesn’t heat the air, it heats just solids. The metals that are in the direct path of the heat absorb it immediately. Once the metal has been heated up, they radiate that heat to other metals. Copper is an excellent conductor. It absorbs the heat the radiant energy is transferring to it immediately and radiates it back. Since the copper is attached to the inner layer of our drinkware this radiation of heat occurs right back into your drinkware. This helps keep your drink hot longer.
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