Monday, July 9, 2012

GreenPaxx Cool Caps and Straws - Eco-Friendly Reusable Drink Options

When I eat out, I hate drinking from the restaurant glasses, since I read somewhere that they don't wipe the rims, and I have actually received my water in a glass with lipstick still on it. And many restaurants don't offer bendy straws, so my shrimpy little kid has to either hold her glass below table level to drink, or tip it down so the straw can reach her mouth. And lots of the ethnic restaurants we tend to frequent don't really have kiddie cup options, so she doesn't even get a lid. Do you think that ever ends well? 
So I started packing my own cheap bendy straws in a travel toothbrush case. But it just feels soooo wasteful! Especially when she chews the end until she can no longer suck liquid through it, and makes me get her a fresh one!

Have you been looking for a more eco-friendly solution for all those disposable straws and lids? Or an easier way to transport and consume your beverage? (Or more importantly, a less-spilly one for your kid?) Me too. Until I heard about GreenPaxx and their new silicone Cool Cap lids and Cool Straws!*

*Didn't that totally sound like a commercial? Are you paying attention, potential corporate sponsors?

The Straw 
(Available in blue or pink!)
They have a great price-point, at only $9.95 for 4 straws!

First off, I was very excited at the concept of this straw. It's wide, so should not only be easier to clean, but it's easier to see inside to make sure! And being able to take it apart is just icing on the cake, as far as cleaning goes. It also makes it far more travel-able. Very easy to tuck into a pocket of a purse or diaper bag (or jeans!) to have on hand wherever you may need it. They should also fit into one of those travel toothbrush holders, or a tampon case, or something similar, if you wanted to have something washable to put it back into after it's been used.

I hated the waste of our plastic bendy straws, but there weren't a lot of re-usable options out there. The glass ones just frighten me. What if she broke one? No way am I getting those for my kids! I bought some stainless steel straws since they were the only other kind I had found. I hate them. I hate how they feel clanking against my teeth. And they get cold when my drink is cold, which also hurts my sensitive teeth. But I really got them for Z. She likes them okay. But they are so heavy, they knock over her lightweight little plastic kiddie cups at the drop of a feather. I can't tell you how much chocolate milk or water I've had to mop up off her desk and chair! And worst of all, even with the angled ones, they're too tall for the toothbrush travel case, and they don't bend, so I can't make them fit!
And the plastic novelty ones that we get at parties are impossible to clean (can YOU fit a pipe-cleaner through a heart-shaped curly straw? Didn't think so!) and often end up warping in the dishwasher anyway. There were some accordioned plastic ones from fancy drinks at the fair and the bring-back-for-free-refills cups at Chuck E Cheese, but after a while, they start splitting at the seams. Or gunk starts building up in the bellows folds.

So when I first heard about these silicone straws, I was literally jumping at the chance to try them out!

They were even better than I'd imagined. I have a straw-chewer, so all our "re-usable" straws out of mystery-plastic are split or crushed at one end. These? Still look like new after two months of chewing and biting! And they are lightweight enough that not even her flimsiest cup was tipped over.

And, as I surmised, their wide tube and ability to be taken apart into two shorter pieces makes them super easy to clean. My little bottle brush has no problems getting gunk out from inside [Ahem. Not that I would leave them lying around with milk or juice rotting in them or anything...] and I can just toss them into my bottle-parts-basket in the top rack (also a great solution for washing silicone cups and mini bento cutters, FYI,) or in with my utensils on the bottom rack of the dishwasher.


The Cool Cap Lid
  
Available in bluepink, or sealed!

This silicone lid is designed to fit most any glass or cup. It even has two "rings" that stretch to fit snugly. I tried every glass I own, and was only able to fit them on the smallest ring. I think the larger one must be for those medium or large-sized fast food cups, or maybe a small bowl.
You can keep some Cool Caps in the car, and when you get a to-go drink (ahem, Starbucks Frappuccino, anyone?) just ask for no lid or straw on their cup! At only $9.95 for two Cool Caps, what an easy and inexpensive way to help reduce waste! You can fold or bend them into a pocket or keep one in your cup holder! They should bounce right back into shape when you're ready to use!

On a "pint glass"
The down side: The lids don't fit on her IKEA tumblers, my 8-oz plastic Ball freezer jam jars (where I store Little-Z-sized servings of smoothie in the freezer,) or those freebie plastic kiddie cups from restaurants. So for her drinks, they aren't as useful, since those are my go-to cups for her, for the most part. She does have a few plastic cups we got as party favors that have a wider mouth that the lid fits on. But I can't see this as a "Oops! We're late! Grab your cup and let's get in the car!" drink solution. Not until she's old enough to trust with the real glasses, anyway!
On a $.99 party favor re-usable cup
The Up Side: While I can't see using the lid for her very often, I have already saved a ton of money and countless extra calories by using my Cool Cap. You see, I L-O-V-E McDonald's sweet tea. So I make up any excuse to swing by and grab one. Hey, it's only $1, right?
I did find some sweet tea in a jug at Trader Joe's that's sweetened with actual sugar (unlike the Arizona brand, that I think tastes funny with its high-fructose corn syrup,) but I don't want to put it in my water bottles, since they're hand-wash only, and I don't need to be getting mold all up in their parts because I forget to rinse it out regularly. So my only option is McDs, right?

Since I have the willpower of a cooked noodle, I go ahead and swing by a McDs to get a sweet tea whenever I'm not running late to something. And, well... I'm idling here in the drive-thru line already... I am a bit hungry. Yes, I was on my way home and could just make something there... But... I hate to use my debit card for just $1...
Aaaand $5 later, I'm the proud owner of some major GI issues later in the day a little bag full of empty calories and wrappers to throw out. And my large sweet tea.

On a Coke glass from McDonalds
But with this new lid that fits on any of my glasses, I can just pour myself a regular-sized glass of the Trader Joe's sweet tea and be on my way! No reason to stop at McDs. So I not only have a smaller amount of a healthier version of the sweet tea (TJs uses a less-processed sugar,) but I'm heading home and making myself something much healthier to eat as well!

Now, they're designed for smoothies, which isn't a huge selling point for us, since I really only started making smoothies to test the Cool Straws and Cool Caps as intended. And to use up some bento scraps and fruit and veggies that were on their last legs. But they work great. Not only did my not-so-smoothies (I call them "chunkies" - my immersion blender is garbage) have no blockages or problems being consumed through the straw, but used with the lid, my cups were highly spill-resistant! I had my smoothie just sitting on the passenger seat as I drove us around for our activities one morning, and it was tipping over at every stop. Not a drop spilled!

I'm also excited to try the Sealed Cool Caps. Just the other day I was wishing there was some product like those little plastic cat food can lids, but more versatile, for my spaghetti sauce and olive cans, and other canned goods I don't eat all in one go. Perfect! More air tight, and more likely to stay on if the can jumped out onto the floor (which happens a lot in my disorganized and over-stuffed fridge!)

Interested? I sure am! Just typing this up made me go back to their site and order myself some more! But for you guys, they're letting me do a giveaway!
Although if you just can't wait, their prices and shipping are very reasonable! And unless you have a small household that only uses straws once or twice a week (or does dishes daily! Gah!) they're awesome enough to want more anyway! And right now you can get 20% off with code SUMMER through the second week in September! (I'm assuming that means through 9/15 or 9/16/12!)

GIVEAWAY *ended*
(ends 9pm PST 7/14/12)

PRIZE: One box of 2 Cool Caps and one box of 4 Cool Straws (winner's choice - blue or pink!)  Retail value is $19.90.  


Multiple chances to WIN!



I would also love it if you wanted to follow me through the Google Friend Connect box on my left sidebar, or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram (@LudicrousMama,) but this giveaway isn't about me, and doing these won't earn you extra credit.

This giveaway is offered to US residents only.  Please do not enter this giveaway if you have received free products from GreenPaxx within the past 3 months. [Wait, does that mean *I* can't win either? Nuts!]


Disclaimer: I was provided with one Cool Cap and two Cool Straws to review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are 100%  my own.

5 comments:

  1. OMG.. I have been hoping someone would do a giveaway on these things! I have a notorious straw chewer too and would LOVE these for her (and me)!!

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  2. This sounds like a great idea! I hope I win!

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  3. Awesome post and giveaway... I look for your posts everyday, and am always so happy to see a new one. I bento for my kids all because of you!!!!

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  4. I'm so so sooo glad you found these! :D My 14 month old boy LOVES straws, he hated sippy cups. And I'm trying to purge plastics from our household. I thought stainless steal was our only option, but this is so much better, plus as you said, the straws are still chewable, so they take care of that as well. I'll definitely be getting some of these asap! :)

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  5. Katie (Penny) CulpepperJuly 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    So excited that I won, I found your email and sent you my info!!! THANKS to you and GreenPaxx!!!

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