Sustainable living tip #1: Coffee jar

If you have gotten used to the urban lifestyle phenomenon of takeaway coffees, have you ever given a though to the amount of waste that creates?
According to The Guardian 18th of October 2011, 2.5bn takeaway cups are thrown away in the UK each year.

2,500,000,000 takeaway cups, now that’s a lot of waste.


A sustainable lifestyle is not about reducing, but about rethinking!

As a designer, I have a compulsion of coming up with little ideas and I’ll use this platform to share them.
Please try this at home and please tell me if it works for you. This is an idea from No Impact Man, that I have refined. Colin Beavan, the No Impact Man himself, reuses a jar for takeaway coffees. I began to do the same (my version depicted left) and endeavoured to convince my friends to do the same, when one of them said to me “but don’t you burn your hands?” And she was right, this solution offered no protection to the poor little hands clutched around a hot soothening drink. After trying to persuade her to just bear it out or wear gloves, I had to admit that there was rather something missing in the design of this product.

So here we are. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you: The insulated coffee jar!
To make an insulated coffee jar yourself, all you need is:
* a jar, use a jam jar, olive or gherkin glass or whichever you happen to have in the cupboard. Choose the size based on whether you’re an expresso or long-coffee-loads-of-milk type. After eating the yummy original contents, rinse it thoroughly. I also always peel off the labels, but that’s because I’m everso slightly pedantic and it does look better;
* netting for insulation, this is the kind that’s wrapped around fragile fruits under transport or that one might get for bottles at off licences or at the airport;
* a pair of scissors.

1. Trim the netting top and bottom to fit the height of the glass. Be careful to cut just outside the joints in the netting to avoid fringy edges.
2. Drag the netting over the jar and there you have it -your insulated coffeejar!
3. Hit the road. Stop piling up waste. But keep enjoying your coffee.


I don’t leave home without it and more often than not, it stirs up a friendly smile or a conversation either with the barista or amongst fellow coffee and tea drinkers.

If you want one of these, but are not the DIY type: Drop me a mail or tweet!

This entry was written by Alice Holmberg and published on August 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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