Crackle and Fizz

There is always a fine line between saving the planet and living efficiently.

The latest quest was to descale the coffee machine. Not that this was a driven thought, no in amongst its many, many communications with mankind before it is prepared to make a cup of coffee lies the abrupt read-out “descale”.

It pops up with alarming regularity. OK it’s linked to the hardnes of the the water supply and we live in area where you can shovel water, but it still seems to be obsessed with having it bits, pieces and tubing flushed of anything to do with calcium carbonate.

Whereas fill water tank, empty grinds, fill beans (it’s a bean to cup thingy) can be taken in one’s stride, unless it’s the better half who believes the damn thing can sense her presence and demands attention like an errant child devoid of affection. The descale process, however, requires a fair bit of time input.

Selecting an environmental friendly descaling agent inevitably sold at a premium, unless you buy citrus acid trading as lemon juice which does the same. Mixing the descaler with water and pressing all the right buttons , in the right sequence of course, damn multi function buttons – the curse of modern living, the mixture is dutifully pumped through your precious coffee machine entrails.

This is not the time for the faint hearted. You must accept deep down that the pumping noises, squirting water and fizzing that goes on is good for you. It takes ages and requires a little ingenuity as to how to get a large enough receptical to catch the effluent under the outlet nozzle without overbalancing as it fills.

Then a new thought strikes home. The effluent from the coffee machine must still have some active ingredient. Wouldn’t it be good to the world to use this liquor to descale the kettle, and then the iron and the shower rose. And whilst we are in descale mode isn’t it time to do battle with the dishwasher and washing machine. Hell yes we are eliminating the world of calcium carbonate big time. The house is gently fizzing as the calcium carbonate reacts with citric acid to produce – carbon dioxide. Bugger. Now I’ve got to find a carbon exchange facility to offload the greenhouse gas produced. And coffee plantations are involved in deforestation, and producing billions of little aluminium pots that the other coffee machine use. So we need to switch to tea except they have eroded wild life habitat, so it’s soft drinks now but they are stuffed full of sugar, so onto hot water, which is about as boring as life can get. And you can’t drink beer all day as the NHS jump on your back assuming you haven’t already fallen over.

The only answer seems to be move house to area that is served by distilled water. Let the fizzing stop.


Alistair Owens

The meandering thoughts of someone with too much time on his hands. Tending to see the obscure and irrelevant in most events I have been forced to record this by family members as a means of diverting attention away from them. But I see their plan.

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