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08 May 2013

Cups of Ice

I love to recycle. My Beloved loves ice. By using  disposable cups to make ice I  can recycle and  keep Beloved cool!
The other day I had visitors. My sister-in-law and the twins came over for a quick visit. It was a hot day, so as a good host, I offered them something to drink. I quickly made up some juice but then I was hit with a dilemma that I am sure that any young person in the motions of setting up house keeping on a limited budget: I was not sure what cups to serve the Citrus Valley Squash. See, I was blessed with many wedding presents. Many of them were beautiful glass cups. Unfortunately it is not a very good idea to serve juice to a pair of busy almost-five year olds. Trust me, it just isn't.

So I gave the boys theirs in the huge orange tumblers that I have had for a long time. I love these tumblers because they are huge (the hold a quart of liquid). Because my nephews little guys, and they were not staying long, I did not fill the cups. (trust me, giving two almost five year olds a quart of juice each is not a good idea, worse then giving them a glass cup).

I shouldn't need a the bachelors degree I am currently pursuing to tell where I went wrong. How would I feel if my strange new aunt gave me some nice cold juice on a hot day? I would feel good. But how would I feel if she gave me half of a big cup? I would probably feel cheated. Especially if I was in the pre-operational stage of cognitive development and I had a limited understanding of conservation. Half a cup, even if it is a BIG cup, would seem small. Even if I was well behaved, I would be disappointed.

Because I love my nephews, and because I love applying psychology to every day life, the next time I was in a store I was looking out for some small kid friendly cups. I really couldn't find anything that looked like what I wanted within my price range, so I did something my environmentally friendly self rarely does. I buy a pack of cheap clear plastic disposable cups. At the moment I figured that I could figure out a way to reuse the cups later, but having a stash of cups for my thirsty little friends. Most of the people who would stop by my house (I don't entertain as much as I would life) has children anyway...

The opportunity presented itself to use some of my stash soon afterwards. Sparing the details, I when my visitors left, they were very happy about the refreshments I offered. Mother, father and child had a nice visit. While wish the dishes I was presented with problem that has haunted me all my life.... what to do with the used disposable cup? Recycling is not practice in Belize. If it is I am not aware of it.

After a moment or two I had a brilliant idea. I know that washed and reused disposables are not always attractive, they get filmy and break. They don't look nice after awhile. They begin to taste like soap. Tiny pieces of food and juice colouring get stuck in the crevices (they always have crevices.... maybe it is a conspiracy). Ugh I hate it. I hate it that the companies that make these things make it so easy to throw them away, without regard, and use another one.

But in this hot weather what a better way to use your pre-used disposable cups to make ice! I washed them out, dried them, then filled them about two thirds the way up with drinking water. The cups fit nicely in the door shelf in my freezer so they are out of the way. They are cheaply made and very flexible so they do not creak when the ice expanse. One cup of ice is a great serving size for a mug (or a pitcher, whatever you call it). The best thing about it that filling them is easy, no spills or tipping ice trays!

I have had a couple visitors since my discovery. Not only do I have plenty of ice to make tons of cold Citrus Valley Fruit Punch, but I also know  I am making the world a bit of a better place by recycling in my own way. Plus freezer door is lined with more cups of water to make ice!

So readers what do you think? How has the preoperational stage of development effect you and the children you love? Do you have any recycling breakthroughs? What do you do with used disposable cups?


Krysta Skaar said...

Lampshades, A hammer, phones on a wire...

Beth said...

Great stuff. When I need a lampshade I will make one. Maybe I can make a phone on wire all the way to California?