Field of Science

Nominations for least green product/appliance of the year

It's the time of year when lots of useless products are marketed, and you wonder who buys all these things?  Sometimes it's not immediately obvious that some of these products are not only largely unneeded, but some are down right awful in terms of cost and ecology.  Now nobody like coffee any more than the Phactor, and without his morning latte he can get mighty grouchy.  This particular season ads of all sorts have been deluging us with Q-rigged coffee makers that make individual cups of coffee from little individual refills of coffee and what all.  First off, you've got a lot of packaging.  Each and every cup of coffee generates a foil and plastic throwaway, bought by the box full, and you should know, if you don't, the more packaging, the more expensive.  Think of the waste this generates for starters.  Think of the cost.  Now that's a bit difficult because when things are packaged differently, it's hard to compare cost.  If Q-rigged coffee refills were sold by the pound and sat their next to pounds of whole bean coffee, it might give you some pause on you way the refined convenience so smoothly being marketed.  No one is going to tell you how much your cup of Q-rig coffee costs.  You have to figure it out yourself.  Try $1/cup (18 refills at $17.99).  Now if a pound of coffee for your coffee machine costs about $12 it should make about 32 eight oz. cups of coffee, which comes to $0.375 a cup.  To calculate the cost another way, those 18 Q-rig cup refills represent 7.1 ounces, so that coffee costs you $40.54 per pound.  Oh yeah!  Put that sign up next to the product and let's see how it does.  So TPP is giving Q-rig coffee makers and their very expensive coffee refills a big thumbs down!  Any other new products out there that should be dumped on?  Let's have some fun!