Abe Lincoln, Hankies, and A Travel Mug – No Impact Week

Abe Lincoln Beard & Zero Waste Hankie

We have been using toilet paper instead of official tissues for our tears and runny noses for years, but I was motivated to kick that habit this week. One of my zero waste local heroes mentioned the other day that she had just cut up a t-shirt to make herself a soft handkerchief to help deal with her head cold…As soon as I hung up the phone, my kids and I rummaged around to find our own suitable t-shirt, which we cut up with a dull pair of old pinking shears from a garage sale. Voila, new black hankies for each of us, enough for multiple pockets and backpacks and under our pillows. Also, as shown here by A, they double nicely as beards whenever you want to become Abe Lincoln:

Miss M the Rabbit and her hot chocolate jar

This morning, I needed to join a meeting in town and since M is out of preschool for the day, she got to come along for the ride. I usually sweeten the deal by buying her a cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, something she never gets at home (whipped cream would only make her dairy-free sister painfully envious). I have my own metal to-go mug that I haul around town, but we don’t have any kid sized travel mugs. What to do, what to do…M selected a marmalade jar that felt good in her hands and I made a cover for it from the sleeve of a felted wool sweater. This was easier than it might sound thanks to the bag of felted wool scraps I got from someone more crafty than myself via my local Freecycle network. I cut the end of a sleeve off, slid it over the jar, and we were ready to give it a try.

We had one near miss when the jar almost slipped out of its wool protector, but we managed to get home without leaving a trail of broken glass and lukewarm chocolate milk behind us. I need to work out the kinks on this, but I think I can find a way to make some sturdy travel mugs for my kids using what I’ve got on hand at home. Major bonus: The lid for the marmalade jar screws on tightly, so we had zero spills on the trip from coffee shop to car to house. It’s not at all No Impact to get hot chocolate from a coffee shop that I’ve driven my car to, but at least we didn’t use a “disposable” cup or generate any new plastic waste.

6 comments on “Abe Lincoln, Hankies, and A Travel Mug – No Impact Week

  1. 1. Thanks for answering my question of “how to become Abe Lincoln.”
    2. Whoever doles out the whipped cream for the hot chocolate has got to be the most generous person on BI!!

    Love your daily experiments, Rebecca. You are inspirational!

  2. Thanks, Jeanie 🙂
    I’ll pass your thanks along to A, the creator of all things Abe Lincoln-related in our house…She’s a big fan of Abe’s.
    Can you believe the amount of whipped cream?! I was very impressed with our barista – He didn’t bat an eye when I handed him the wooly jar, and he must have felt compelled to fill the jar to the brim with whip to celebrate the unique mug. M was in heaven.

  3. And what a fantastically gorgeous jar she chose. She must have her mama’s eye for these things…

  4. We all love those marmalade jars! We buy King Kelly marmalade half for the jar and half because it’s the least expensive at T&C…A happy coincidence of price & aesthetics, no?

    • Indeed! And might I add…score!

      On an unrelated note I found Tzatziki at a Walmart in Indiana today. I am both heartened and dismayed by the globalization of the foods of other cultures. Does that make any sense? Still, I am too lazy and/or unskilled to make my own, so I am eating it now…

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