Yesterday JT at Smile with Your Heart started a new simple brilliant campaign on her blog – Bring your Damn Cup! I immediately signed up to join.
Concept – Bring your own to-go cup with you when visiting your local coffee shop
Timeframe – 1 year
Consequences – No t0-go cup. No coffee.
Simple. Brilliant. One small act to better our planet and ourselves.
Because I’m a numbers gal, I wanted to know some fun facts about disposable throw-away cups. Based on Starbucks Annual Report, it is estimated that Starbucks sold nearly 4 BILLION cups of coffee worldwide in 2010 (source). There is no telling how many people actually bring with them their own cup. If 1/2 of Starbucks customers would bring in their own coffee cup, 2 BILLION cups will be saved from a landfill. 2 billion less cups would be produced in factories causing over use of power and water. 2 billion less cups would be produced in factories reducing air pollution and factory waste.
I know some will argue that they recycle their coffee cup. While the cups are still be produced in mass quantities, they aren’t ending up in landfills. I have found very little to support that disposable coffee cups are being recycled in cities across America. Starbucks hot coffee disposable cups are made of both paper and plastic (source). Most cities across American aren’t set up to support the recycling of products made from paper and plastic. While you may be tossing your hot coffee to-go cup in the recycle bin, there is a good chance that it is being sorted out and being sent to the landfill. Starbucks is making moves to have cup recycling programs in stores and compostable cups by 2015. (You can read more here if you’d like). The iced coffee cups are made of plastic, and they are recycled.
While Starbucks is doing their part to make changes in the next 4 years, we as citizens who live on this planet should do our part to help save and preserve the planet that is our host. It’s simple. Want a coffee? Bring your own cup. Our desire to fuel our bodies with caffeine shouldn’t impede on nature’s ability to maintain itself.
Bringing your own cup, even just once, is doing something to save our planet. Join JT’s campaign. Bring your Damn Cup. Commit to doing it for a year. Go to her blog and sign up.
While I’m not a big coffee drinker, I do love my occasional iced coffee in the summer (decaffeinated while I’m pregnant!). I also love their Chai Tea in the winter. I will be bringing my own cup from now own. Christian, a coffee drinker, is also up for the challenge. And Cole is too. He is a sucker for their vanilla milks. No to-go cup. No Coffee. And if we do walk out of there with a coffee, we will spend 1 hour of our time cleaning up trash in local parks or beaches. Take something – Give something back.
While the campaign is only requesting you bring your own cup for coffee, I think we can do better. Start somewhere. Start with coffee. But let if overflow into the rest of your life. Christian and I haven’t bought bottled water in over 6 months (and will never again – unless we are stranded in the desert and a 7-11 appears selling bottled water). Watch “Tapped” if you want to know why. Bring your own bags to the grocery store.
Do something today to make our planet a little better. Stop taking for a minute and give something back. And head on over to Smile with your Heart and sign up for this simple but brilliant campaign.
(and of course this applies to all coffee shops – not just starbucks!)