An e-zine for happenings of local culture in Milwaukee and elsewhere

Archive for December, 2011

Obnoxiously Responsible, Organic Coffee Filter

Over the past 10 years, many ways surfaced to express concern for your body and your environment. None have arrived quite like the Organic Coffee Filter. A simple idea, kind of obnoxious, but oh so practical, yet so heavily packaged; a bundle of savings and contradictions all in one humble product.

If you’ve been to Outpost to dine on a nice lunch they remind you to take the “1 napkin challenge”. According to a gentle sign by the garbage can, 80% of landfill waste is paper products (or something like that). Anyway, I have some repenting to do. I was the nap-king (well that too)… the napkin-king in high school. I’d ball up at least 20 napkins in one sitting.

Now I can make amends with this thoughtful product. Basically, someone invested a few pieces of thread, some light hempen like fabric, and sacrificed their ethical code on some combo plastic-paper packaging and brought us the organic coffee filter. These days, I can go through a package of 200 bleached paper filters in a month.

Now I don’t have to feel guilty for wasting paper if I make that ritual pot of coffee that I don’t even drink. Although I’m not sure how “Organic” it is, (poor organic you used to have meaning, now you’re just another abused word) I bought one and it’s certainly reusable.

How to use an Organic Coffee Filter:

The instructions say run a pot through it to “condition” the filter, then use it like a regular coffee filter. I did that and as expected the filter turned brown. Great, now I’ll always have linen fiber aged coffee, sort like a wine barrel for coffee. Before disposing of the spent grounds, wait for the grounds to dry and empty the decomposable coffee grounds into your garbage, or compost “for the truly hardcore”.

To care for the Organic Coffee Filter, the owner can boil the filter with a solution of water and baking soda periodically, which is basically never for me because I figure my coffee brew is hot enough and strong enough to kill any microbe. What did our ancestors ever do without hand sanitizer!?

Tip: You have to find the sweet spot to wedge the filter between the cone filter holder and the top of the coffee maker. One thing the organic coffee filter doesn’t do is hold its shape. Until you get the hang of it you may have to deal with a few coffee grounds in your cup.

Overall, this is a great purchase that will save me at least $20 bucks a year. I found mine at Whole Foods. Do yourself, or an overly socially concerned and conscious friend a favor and get these, you will sleep much easier whenever you chose to sleep, which is probably never because you drink coffee at 9 o’clock at night.

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Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center

Over the weekend Art vs. Craft happened. Art, Craft, some might say who gives a damn. Could you just boil it down to that? This event is in its 8th year and it keeps growing. Well, you could do some boiling and you would probably be shopping regularly at Bay Shore Mall Towne Mall and Mall too.

Founder of Art vs. Craft Faythe Levine is the patron saint of Milwaukee’s DIY fervor, and gets a big high-five-oops-miss-ha-ha for nurturing the movement here. A couple of winters ago, she and Amy Heimerl released a global view documentary about making stuff called Handmade Nation (actually one of the first happenings I ever blogged was a write-up of the film premier in Milwaukee).

So after missing Art vs. Craft last year and the years before that, I finally got a chance to go. The full listing of vendors is here on Art vs. Craft’s website. All of Art vs. Craft‘s vendors were personally invited to participate. It’s mostly comes down to taste, and everyone had something good to offer. Here are a few that I really enjoyed.

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds


Kristopher Pollard, Art vs Craft 2011

Hip-hop, oh hip-hop, how is it to be the talk of the town and yet so passe, like garage rock turned to disco, some still did it true. This phase too, shall pass. Not trying to go Shakespeare, on the other hand I will say Kristopher Pollard makes fun of the hip-hop while ironically maintaining the point of the aesthetic. Who does that!!

Click Pict for K Polly’s webspace…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great illustrations of urbanesque people post-millennial (spell millennial!). Do what you will, just give K Polly some credit for keeping it sketchy-anthropological. Plenty of portraits inspired by ubiquitous personas and yeah Mr. T is lounging or something. You tell me why you like these prints!!!

 

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds


Megan Lee Designs, Art vs Craft 2011

Megan Lee is not from Milwaukee, then again who is these days (it’s not like it’s a bad thing). Most of all I like her regional outlook. You can be cool in Iowa wearing a shirt with Ohio, Wisconsin or a mini-boxer pug dog on it. Megan Lee’s designs are hand illustrated with sharp and round corners, with multiple sizes for all shapes! St. Nick… getting it!? (Although I think the guy in the Ohio shirt is getting stung by a bee, and liking it)

Click Pict for Megan’s store… and her story, super cool!!!

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds


Delia Sophia Cutting Boards, Art vs Craft 2011

Kitchens are for cutting tasty eats. I asked personally if you could cut meat on Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards and the answer is yes. Just make sure you clean it thoroughly like anything else worthy of thorough cleaning.

Click pict for more from Delia…

Why @LocalTrolley Checked-Out:
Art vs Craft 2011, MSOE Wehr Center
Kristopher Pollard Illustrations and Portraits
Megan Lee Designs
Delia Sophia’s Handmade Cutting Boards
Speakeasy Pens and Gifts
Bureau of Print Research and Design
Just Seeds