My place of employment recently launched a new effort to curb waste. Instead of a trash bin at your desk, you now have to walk a few feet over to a waste station that contains three bins. One for regular waste, another for recycling, and a third for compost. Some people complained a little bit about having to walk to the bin, but overall it’s gone over pretty well.
One the items that they highlighted when describing the program is that coffee cups from places like Starbucks and Caribou are not recyclable due to the film that coats them. They encouraged all of us to start using a reusable mug for our coffee to help cut down on waste. Therefore, that’s what I’ve started doing, and after 3 solid weeks I realized I haven’t had a disposable cup of coffee during the work-week since. I picked up a nice insulated 16oz cup from Starbucks and I’ve been using it ever since. It fits perfectly into my car door cupholder, and so I’ve been just leaving it in my car at the end of the day, and it’s ready for me each morning.
I’ve also noticed that by using an insulated cup, that keeps the coffee much warmer, that I’m not drinking it nearly as fast. Some mornings I would have back-to-back cups of coffee, and now I sometimes can nurse my brew until close to lunchtime. This isn’t just better for the environment, but also my pocketbook. It’s also nice that most shops give you a discount if you bring your own cup.
If you haven’t made the leap to using a re-usable cup I highly recommend it. It cuts down on waste, keeps your coffee warmer, and is all around a way to be a good steward of our resources.