The Green Alternative to Disposable Cups

Making the Green choice when it come to your Coffee

In the united states, people consume coffee around the clock, for most working people having coffee is an almost as necessary as breathing air.

In fact, the US is one of top coffee importing countries in the world and one of the leaders in setting the trends in coffee culture worldwide. But, to paraphrase Spiderman, with great consumption comes great responsibility.

The informed decisions people in the states make about their coffee culture have to impact all over the globe. In a series of posts, we will cover various topics in the coffee culture that actually do make a difference on our environment, our society, and our health.

Is your coffee to go? The ecological impacts of disposable cups

Most cafes around the US use disposable cups to serve their coffee. This adds to dozens of millions of paper and styrofoam disposable cups every day and billions of cups ever year. In Starbucks alone, over 2.3 billion cups were used in 2006. You can only imagine that now, almost over ten years from that study, disposable cup consumption at the Starbucks chain has likely soared.

Although the use of styrofoam cups is diminishing every year, the use of paper cups in vastly increasing. Yet despite wide-speared belief, paper cups are not really green and are still harmful to the environment.

The harm arises mainly from to the energy required during the manufacturing process the energy required to ship the products around and the energy required to discard the trash adequately (most paper cups never make it to the compost sites).

Bring your own cup, green and cheap

Bringing your own coffee mug is the greenest way to consume your daily cup of joe. The math behind it is easy – if you’re a heavy drinker you’ll be saving dozens of disposable cups every month. Even a light drinker (5 cups a week) will save over 250 cups every year. These number quickly mount up with every friend that follows your green choice.

In fact, this policy is actually encouraged by all the major coffee shop chains and by many of the independent cafes around the US. Take Starbucks for example, any store will deduct 10 cents from the coffee price every time you bring your own mug.

Many of the smaller stores came up with creative ways to encourage such similar environmental informed decisions often by charging you for a smaller coffee size than you are actually buying. Bringing your tumbler is a fantastic way to both save some extra change and help the planet with your at it.