How can I reduce my use of single serving milk pots?

We’ve had an email from Leann:

I have to travel a lot to work and in a day can easily get through a dozen single serving milk pots – on the train, at meetings, at hotels etc. I’m not interested in recycling them, I want to stop needing to use them! Any ideas?

Good question and it is much better to reduce rather than recycle so hopefully we’ll be able to help you with some ideas.

You could take some of milk from home with you in a little bottle – depending on the temperature, that might only be good for the outward journey — it might be like adding butter to your drinks later in the day! In the winter it’ll last longer though – and if your room is without mini-bar/fridge, don’t forget the old student/frugaleer tricks of leaving bottles of milk in a sink filled with cold water or out on a window sill.

If it ripens too quickly like that, dried milk powder or “non-dairy creamer” (Coffee mate etc) may be an alternative since they won’t go off – some milk powders need reconstituting first though so that might be a bit of a faff on the train.

It might be easiest to find a type of tea/coffee that you can enjoy without milk – for example, a lighter black tea (Earl Grey for example) if you’re not into fruit/herbal teas — then that would avoid the milk question altogether. Carrying your own tea bags around is pretty easy since they’re small and lightweight – and it would probably look less odd in a meeting if you whipped out a preferred teabag rather than milk powder and a whisk.

Any other suggestions for Leann?

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5 Responses to “How can I reduce my use of single serving milk pots?”

  1. Linda says:

    Use a little Thermos flask for the day’s milk seems like the best option. It may look slightly strange to some but strange looks should be countered with saying ‘a little pick-me-up’ and winking (as if it’s alcohol), the look of shock will keep your mood high all day!!

  2. Alice says:

    Hmm, maybe it would be easy enough to take powdered milk with you plus a small bottle. You could then mix up enough powder and water for your next couple of brews in the bottle, and mix some more later in the day so that none of it is sitting around for too long at a time.

    Mixing it up in a bottle is quite handy ‘cos you can just shake the bottle with the lid on – much easier than trying to stir it enough to break the lumps up.

  3. anna says:

    Try with different coffees, and find a few that you can tolerate drinking black (with or without sugar).

    The only coffees I’d ever consider adding milk to are either filtered coffees (when I want to cover the taste of the paper filters), or those where the coffee tastes burned. But there are so many other coffees around, and so many ways of making them. For a nice, mild flavor that doesn’t need milk to improve the taste, I’d recommend Kenyan or Kona blend made with a French presso.

    Having an occasional latte or cappuccino wouldn’t reduce the amount of milk used, but at least that milk wouldn’t have to be in the tiniest single dose containers.

  4. bookstorebabe says:

    here’s a link to recipes for six different powdered flavored coffee creamers. Easy to stir in your coffee, no worrying about keeping fresh milk on hand, and who knows, you may find a new favorite! Anybody wonders why you’re doing this, just smile and say ‘I’m spoiled-I love my coffee with my own special flavor.’ Think of it as treating yourself. And good luck-it is difficult to avoid the waste when one travels/commutes.

  5. Melinda says:

    Perhaps I’ve trained myself, but I usually use powdered milk in my coffee (not the creamer stuff), even at home. I keep it in a small jar and my sugar in another jar. I don’t see why either of them woldnot be easily portable and able to be kept (without refridgeration!) at a desk or at work.

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