The Refillable Water Filter That Will Cut Down on Your Brita Waste

Phox Water
Phox Water

If you’re not lucky enough to live in a city with great-tasting, safe-to-drink tap water, you probably go through your share of plastic water filters. But while filtration systems like Brita or PUR pitchers make your water tastier and healthier, those disposable filters aren't great for the environment. A new eco-friendly water filter aims to change that.

The Phox water filter features a reusable cartridge that you can refill with packets of filtration mixture once a month. The five-stage filter design—which you fill with the company’s coconut shell-based purification powder—softens hard water, improves taste, and removes chlorine, copper, lead, and mercury. The 1-liter pitcher takes roughly eight minutes to filter.

A woman pours a filtration packet into the Phox water filter cartridge
Phox Water

The purification packets come in two different mixture options. The Clean Pack removes contaminants, odors, and heavy minerals, but doesn’t add any flavors. It makes the pH of your water neutral or slightly acidic, perfect for water you're going to use for coffee or tea. The Electrolyte Option, meanwhile, removes all the same contaminants, but also adds in sodium, calcium, and magnesium. This makes the water alkaline, with a pH somewhere between 8.0 and 9.5. (There’s little scientific evidence to show that alkaline water provides any health benefits, but some athletes swear by drinking alkaline water to improve performance. Others just enjoy the taste all those minerals lend the water.)

A cardboard box and three Phox refill packs
Phox Water

The Glasgow-based Phox Water estimates that 100 million plastic water-filtration cartridges end up in landfills every year. To make a more environmentally responsible product, Phox’s pitcher and refillable cartridge are made out of recycled plastic, and its refill packets are shipped in cardboard and paper. Each filtration pack lasts approximately 45 days (or 44 gallons).

Buy it on Kickstarter for $59 and up, with shipping scheduled for August 2019. Refill packets will cost about $9 each for a 45-day supply.

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This Incredible Gadget Makes Changing the Toilet Paper Roll a One-Hand, One-Step Chore

Jay_Zynism/iStock via Getty Images
Jay_Zynism/iStock via Getty Images

Failing to swap out the empty roll of toilet paper for a new one would likely top the list of the most common roommate issues. While it’s far from the most time-consuming, disgusting, or aerobic chore, it still feels unnecessarily complicated and irksome.

Some clever engineers are hoping to change that with TP Sidekick, a set of two plastic mechanisms that you fasten to the arms of your toilet paper holder to make changing the roll a one-hand, one-step job. Ultra-strong double-sided adhesive foam keeps the pieces firmly in place on your holder, and all you have to do is push the new roll of toilet paper up through the bottom of your holder. That will push up the small plastic tabs, releasing the existing empty roll and locking the new one into place.

We recommend practicing a few times so you can see where the empty cardboard cylinder usually lands on the floor—then you can place a wastebasket to catch it (as long as you’re planning on recycling the contents of the basket). The TP Sidekick makes changing the roll more convenient for children, elderly people, and those with motor disabilities, and it’s also much more hygienic, considering you don’t have to touch the holder at all.

Before you decide to back the project on Kickstarter, make sure you have toilet paper dispensers that will work with the design: The TP Sidekick fits onto standard dispensers that have two extended, flat-surfaced arms that secure a spring tube in the middle. As seen in the video above, your holder doesn’t have to be totally flat—the arms can be slightly curved upward or inward, and the plastic pieces will still fit well.

One TP Sidekick costs only $11, and you can see more purchasing options from Kickstarter.

While we’re talking about toilet paper, find out if you’re wiping correctly here.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

Unlock Every Flavor Note in Your Morning Coffee With This Elegant Hand-Blown Glass

AVENSI
AVENSI

Even if you can’t match every single glass with the specific type of alcohol you’re supposed to drink out of it, you can probably at least spot the difference between a wine glass, martini glass, Champagne flute, and beer stein. Why, then, in a society so enamored with coffee, do we not afford the same level of care toward our coffee cups?

The inventors behind the AVENSI coffee glassware line want to prove to you that drinking your morning bean juice out of any old mug or paper cup is drastically affecting the taste, aroma, and overall experience of coffee, though you might not realize it.

Avensi coffee glass
AVENSI

They’ve adjusted glass shape, wall curvature, thickness, lip flare, rim diameter, bowl-to-rim ratio, and volume to devise the ultimate hand-blown glass for enhancing coffee’s diverse flavor properties, which you can further unlock by swirling the coffee around your glass to aerate and oxidize it—just like you would with a nice pinot noir. The ultra-thin rim is 60 percent thinner than a regular coffee cup, so each sip will flow across your palate like a gentle wave, and the hybrid thermal wall will keep coffee at your desired temperature for much longer than your regular paper or porcelain container without burning your hands.

The AVENSI glasses were developed and tested by an impressive array of world champion coffee experts, scientists, roasters, shop owners, and sensory experts across more than 30 countries. But you definitely don’t have to have an extensive background in the art and science of coffee to appreciate the subtleties of drinking it; the AVENSI glass delivers the perfect experience, and all you need to do is trust your senses.

There are three versions of the 14-ounce glass—Vida, Senti, and Alto—each slightly varied in shape and pairing recommendations. The tulip-shaped Vida goes well with sweet, well-rounded, and chocolatey coffee, the Senti has a wide diameter that maximizes aroma and pairs best with nutty, earthy, and caramel beans, and the hourglass Alto is ideal for fruity light roasts.

You can start with two Vida glasses for $45 on Kickstarter, or check out other buying options here.

If you’re wondering what else you should be doing to maximize your coffee experience, don't drink it as soon as you wake up, and invest in a good grinder.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we choose all products independently and only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!

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