Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reusable Mugs and my Coffee

Us Yogi(ni)s, we like our coffee... (or tea). We've chatted about how to 'green-i-fy' your coffee drinking (ahem, fair trade organic, reusable mug) and the 'slave trade' that is the regular coffee industry. 

I haven't really talked much about mugs. I have now morphed into mug-brigade. I have serious guilt pangs whenever I happen to buy coffee 'to go' (because my mug is dirty or at home) and give all paper 'to-goers' hardcore stink-eye. Yep, I am *that* woman. I'm working on the whole, yogic non-judgingness. It's a process. However, I still have serious issues with ordering in a to-go cup and then proceeding to sit and drink out of said paper wasteful death cup.

Ahem. Sorry.

I have had my reusable mug since my first year in grad school... umm... six years ago. It's a stainless steel starbucks mug (yes before I watched the Café Femenino Doc which changed my life) with a beautiful clip handle and awesome pull lid. I honestly was worried that I wouldn't get the 25$ price tag's worth... six years later and I have saved a TON of money on home French-pressed coffee (with sprinkled fair trade chocolate yum!). Silly grad school me.

A few years ago I thought I would share the wealth. I bought Andrew a reusable mug as his Birthday present (I know, I am awesome). It's plastic, but it was the only 'manly' mug available at the time (nice poop-brown colour). Everything was fine and dandy until Andrew and I watched 'The Disappearing Male', a cbc documentary on plastic and it's sperm destroying affects happening RIGHT NOW. The things they had to say about ingesting foods surrounded by heated plastic...

Andrew turned to me with a concerned look and whispered: 'Lisa, I really don't want to drink coffee out of my mug anymore...' And he didn't for about two weeks, until the memory of the dying sperm faded away. (Canadians click here to watch, non-Canucks click here).

Ever since we've been on the search for a new, stainless steel coffee mug. We really didn't feel comfortable supporting Starbucks by buying another one of their mugs. Let's just say my trust factor for that company is pretty darn low. I would look at my Klean Kanteen and wish there was a coffee version... that would be sweet.

 Klean Kanteen vs Starbucks... umm definitely looking hard
Well folks, THERE IS!! Yep, for a few months now Klean Kanteen, a fantastic company, has been selling this beautiful insulated reusable mug. It's sleek, is double wall insulated AND has a stainless steel lid (bottom) option. Simply Authentic has already given hers the A-Ok (although I can't seem to find her post on it...).

Andrew had bought an 'Eco-Flask' for his tea and coffee.... and hated it. The bottom fell out, it leaked all over the place... basically it was terrible. We returned it and with the credit purchased a new Klean Kanteen mug! With the wide mouth it can hold cold and hot drinks AND function as a soup-type container. 
 ouuuu stainless steel lid, and smooth easy to clean edges.
What I love the most? The easy to clean, smooth edges. My mug is difficult to clean down at the bottom and the little ridges are all gucky and a bit crassou...ick!

So now I am quite 'le jealous' as Andrew has his beautiful new mug which should last for years to come (which really is essential to offset the amount of energy and resources required to mine steel...). I'm thinking my mug is coming to the end of her days, with the plastic lid chipping away and the outside paint flaking off. I'll hold out though, as much as I'd love a Klean Kanteen of my own, I really shouldn't spend the money when mine still works.
Passed the 'leak' test! (That is Andrew's 'I am so happy you're taking a picture!!' face. Really.)
Looking for an eco-replacement for your nalgene-plastic mug? Klean Kanteen is kick-butt. I highly suggest (especially for you Haligonians) to order online. The price at P'lovers is just a wee bit much. Plus, you could order the café cap... lovely!

Tomorrow is 'Smiling Goat Coffee Day' where my once a week coffee fix is ridiculously expensive and tasty organic Mocha, with organic chocolate milk. Yep, once a week MAX. :)

Article and photographs copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. Interesting stuff. I don't drink coffee because it makes me jump out of my skin. Yes, sadly, even one cup!

    But I am all for re-useable cups, mugs and bottles as much as possible. At work (when I have a job!!) I have a large pottery mug that I drink my green tea out of every day. I don't tend to travel with tea although if I did, I do have a thermos if required!

    The Aussie solution for replacing take away coffee cups is Keep Cup but really I don't think it's as sustainable a solution as it could be. And I'm not sure about it being made of polypropolene Still, it's a good start!

  2. that is awesome, i didn't know they made a coffee version...i've been using my old plastic coffee people reusable mug (CP was a great local chain until, guess who, bought them out) for so long, this sounds like a great treat :) keep giving the stank's an idea: when you are in a cafe, and people are sitting IN the cafe with disposable cups, remember to say to them 'you know if you ask, they'll give you coffee in a mug instead of a disposable cup...' :)

  3. Cool! I don't drink many hot beverages on the go, but I'll keep this in mind for the winter! (Loved your story about Andrew and the "sperm cup!")

  4. I'm curious where Kleen Kanteen is made? Also an althernative, more mug-shaped: Termos Nissan makes a mug that has a stainless steel interior. The lid, though is plastic. It is made in Malaysia.

    I, too, get serious pangs about buying coffee or tea, including iced, in a disposable cup. I make my own in the morning but if in the middle of the day I "must" have more caffeine, and am not in my office (where I have several ceramic mugs and glass drinking glasses), my "deal" with myself is that I can go out for coffee or tea if I sit in the cafe and drink it. I have found that this bit of "forced relaxation" makes me enjoy the coffee/tea/whatever much more and I feel good about not contributing to my local landfill.

  5. So glad that you are loving it too! We still love ours to pieces. I will tell you that it's helpful to have a little brush to scrub around the inside rim of the cap at times. It's perfect for ice water too as 24 hours later the water inside will still be cool! And to be honest I have no idea where the post on ours are either. ;) Hope you've been well gal :) And there was a great article about more of the health benefits of coffee the other day on Yahoo.....did you see it? If not, I'll send it your way.


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