If you haven’t already heard this month has been Plastic Free July! This initiative was created as a way to increase awareness of the single use plastics in our lives by choosing to refuse as much of these products as possible. There couldn’t be a better time of year to do this sort of thing because as you know summer has a tendency to be wasteful. While opportunities to create waste are abound, it’s actually quite easy to avoid much of it with just a little thought and planning. For instance, instead of plasticware you can carry around metal forks and spoons from your kitchen, swap out the single use water bottles for one that is reusable filled with water from the tap (or a large jug should you live where the supply isn’t safe) & bring your own bags to the grocery store!
Those are some of the more obvious swaps but what do you do about your waterside cocktail? Using a glass isn’t the safest bet since it can easily break which is not a great feature when there are bare piggies running around. Many pools and beaches actually prohibit glass for this very reason. Typically the first thought is to reach for a single use plastic cup but these utilize a lot of resources to make and then are tossed within hours of using. If they are recyclable/are recycled they are only downcycled, which means their components are used to make a lower quality product that’s then destined for the landfill at the end of it’s life where it will likely outlast us. The worst is if these plastics end up in our environment. Because they don’t degrade and only break down into smaller pieces of themselves plastic simply becomes a hazard to animal (particularly marine) life and has even shown up in the stomach of fish and zooplankton.
Sure, you could use a plastic reusable cup but the above issues remain and truth is plastic negatively impacts more than just environment. Additives used in plastic production (ie. BPA, phalates) have been shown to have considerable health effects in animal studies such hormone disruption, reproductive disorders and cancer. No, thank you!
So, what’s the alternative? You could put a silicone sleeve around your glass but that doesn’t make it 100% shatterproof. The other alternative is stainless steel. We have several stainless steel cups in our home when we need something durable but don’t want to subject ourselves to the dangers of plastic. All of them are insulated which provides the benefit of keeping whatever beverage it contains cold or warm without affecting the temperature to the outside of the cup. We have large ones primarily meant for coffee that we’ve found also to be great for drinking water poolside since they keep water cold even when under the hot sun but what if I want to have a glass of wine poolside or at the beach?
I was excited when U-Konserve wanted to send me one of their 8oz insulated stemless tumblers and a stainless mini straw to review! It couldn’t have come at a better time, as I knew I’d be soaking in every bit fun that summer has to offer while also trying to dodge plastic waste.
I’d been eyeballing their tumblers for quite some time as they are the only one’s I’ve seen with a subtle color block on the cup. Most I’ve seen have color or pattern covering the entire cup. I don’t know about you but I like the sleek look of stainless steel so enjoy having that make up the majority of the cup while also having a little pop of color at the bottom. There are actually several colors available to choose from including pink and lime (which is my other favorite besides marine blue option I currently have) as well as plain stainless if you just want to keep things simple. There is a 12oz option available if it doesn’t seem like 8oz will suit your needs. For me I was looking for something smaller that mimics a standard sized wine glass and would be easy to bring along with all my other reusables on my summertime adventures. And that they did as my new cup and straw joined me this month at the pool, river and beach!!
At the pool we attend, their first choice is to reach for single use plastic cups for wine and draft beer. Knowing they encourage patrons to use their branded stainless tumblers and have put several smoothies in my own cup, I was hoping they’d be open to this one for wine. The bartender was but wanted to measure it out into the plastic cup they use first. I explained that the point of me using the cup was to avoid plastic waste and he went ahead and poured directly into the wine glass. The cup size is 8oz so really it shouldn’t be too hard for bartenders to eyeball at least a 6oz pour. I’d say that having measurements on the inside of stainless cups might help with this challenge but I’ve run into this same problem with a mason jar that very clearly has ounces and mL measurements along the side of the cup so I don’t know if it would really matter. I think instead the solution would be for bars to have their own measuring cup for when patrons come with their own cups. Anyway, I gave the guy a good tip as thanks, hoping to set a positive tone for future pours whether for me or someone else.
This being my first metal straw (we’ve been using silicone since they are more toddler friendly) it was a little different getting used to but I still like it! I’ve never been a big straw person to begin with but there come times when a straw just feels right. Like in the case of a mixed drink or smoothie. If you’ve never used a reusable straw before they are very easy to clean out. All you need is a small brush to get anything that might be stuck on the inside. My general rule of thumb is to at least rinse my straws out and quickly as possible after use. This helps to make it easier when it comes time to actually clean them.
At the river I loved the option of having a lid. When trying to carry a drink, book, chair, life vest and help my toddler down onto the beach the lid kept me from losing half my drink in the process (#momlife). The lid came in handy in more than one place but that was a noticeable benefit and I was trying to juggle everything while also walking down a set of stairs.
While visiting the beach with family, I brought my cup to enjoy a cool bevvie ocean side. Of course this wasn’t the only thing I was drinking as we had our reusable bottles full of water but it was nice to have something adult-ish to sip on. 😉 The plus side of having a durable cup with a lid? Less sand was able to sneak its way into my drink!
Cold drinks weren’t the only thing going into this cup as it also was great for taking my coffee with me as the family took a sunrise walk on the beach. Just like with any insulated cup, you don’t have to worry about fingers getting hot on the outside which is always a pro for these types of reusables. Now just so we’re clear, I’m not big on getting stuff just to get it but I do like having an array of reusables that can cover me in various situations. Having this small tumbler for waterside drinking is one of them and I know it will be in my life for a long, long time. I will say that I preferred the smaller size since we have larger sized insulated cups already, but after having used it if you know you like a heavy pour or want 8oz of a drink at a time then you may want to try out the 12oz option.
If you’re interested in getting one for yourself, use the code WASTEFREE25 to get 25% off at U-Konserve!
Linked Up With: Pumps & Push-Ups
*U-Konserve gifted me this cup and straw set but all opinions shared in this post are 100% mine!
Andrady, A.L. The plastic in microplastics: A review. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 2017; 119 (1): 12–22
Gall, S.C., Thompson, R.C. The impact of debris on marine life. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 2015; 92 (1): 170-179
Geyer, R., Jambeck, J.R., Law, K.L. Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Science Adv. 2017
Hand, L. Plastics: Danger where we least expect it. Harvard School Of Public Health. 2010.