We all love it… well the majority of us do anyway.
Coffee has stealthily infiltrated our lives and become a staple for most of us. You could almost say we’ve got a coffee culture going on, with quite a few people swearing that they can’t function without their morning cup of joe.
What’s more is that with our go go go lifestyle more and more people have less and less time to sit down and enjoy their coffee. So what happens? They take it to go in those cute little disposable cups which are oh so handy!
Now hold on, here we are talking about coffee… on an environmental blog. What’s going on?
No, we’re not here to tell you stop drinking the stuff (dear lord no!)
But we are here to pick at your conscience.
So whether you’re into cappuccinos, lattes, or an espresso lungo macchiato with low fat milk no dairy, we’ve got a very important message for you.
Stop using disposable cups.
There, we said it.
When you buy a coffee and take it to go, in that oh so innocent looking disposable cup, you’re generating waste. You use the cup once, and then you throw it away.
How many coffees do you have in a day while on campus? Let’s say… 3. That’s 3 cups for approximately 240 days of attending uni per year… That brings the figure to a lovely 720 cups per year.
Now go ahead and multiply that by the number of students on campus and you’ve got yourself a whole pile of waste just sitting there.
2. They can’t be recycled
That’s right. Those cups can’t be recycled because of the lining used to make them heat proof and water proof. This means that they could spend anything from 50 -500 years on a landfill.
Ouch. We might end up being buried in them some day!
3. They’re unsightly
We’ve all seen them, abandoned on the picnic tables in the quadrangle. Squashed and wedged into a bench.
People don’t dispose of their cups and leave them lying around, creating an unsightly mess, and even more damage should the cups end up in the soil.
4. Producing them generates waste.
Can you imagine how many cups are made each year? All of that machinery and equipment used in the Disposable Cup-Making Factory will surely give off CO2 emissions (poor penguins!) along with all of the water used to run the process.
5. The Earth is yours
Plain and simple.
Mankind is the only species to act in a way which is detrimental to itself. We might have landed a probe on a meteor but we still seem to find it difficult to grasp the concept that each time we work in a way which counteracts the safeguarding of the environment, each time we litter, and each time we act in a manner which isn’t sustainable, we are biting the hand that feeds. Think about that the next time you’re looking at a not so innocent disposable cup!
So… what can you do?
It’s actually really simple.
Carry a travel mug.
It will keep your coffee warmer for longer, it acts as an extension of your personality (there are loads of ridiculously awesome travel mugs to choose from), and they’re totally guilt free! Because although to make the travel mug initially requires more energy than making a disposable cup, in the long run it’s much more cost effective!
Now we know what you’re thinking, “I’m just one person, how will my actions change anything?”
Our answer? Supply and demand.
So we urge you to lead by example. Reduce the demand on disposable cups. If there’s less demand, then there’ll be less need for a supply!
Y4TE’s #OneLessCup initiative is a part of the European Week for Waste Reduction Campaign. Join the initiative: upload a photo of your travel mug to our Facebook page and tag it with #OneLessCup!