Friday, 30 December 2011

Coffee cup challenge

Surfing the net and drinking coffee at home on a rainy summer's day, I came across The great coffee cup recycling challenge. Now, I'm not usually someone who jumps on their environmental high horse, but this really got me thinking. Using reusable takeaway coffee cups is not rocket science; it's just plain common sense. So why don't more people do it?

As a coffee lover, I'm one of those five-coffee-a-week habiters mentioned in the article. Last year, I bought a reusable coffee cup from Coffee Creation and use it daily at work. To me, it made good economic as well as environmental sense as I am charged 50c less for coffee when I use my own cup, which meant it paid for itself in no time at all. It's not big bucks but it all adds up. As colleagues' disposable cups pile up in bins several times a day, a quick rinse of my cup leaves it ready to go for next time and I just throw it into the dishwasher at home in weekends. Easy!

I chose this style over the increasingly popular Keep Cup as I prefer to drink from ceramic rather than plastic, but the concept is the same. Much like using reusable supermarket bags, it is an easy habit to adopt and makes more sense than consuming endless packaging destined for landfills. Actual recycling of these disposable products rarely occurs and is both a difficult and costly process.

At weekends, I will either make a stovetop espresso at home or drink coffee at a local café. Occasionally I'll buy coffee to take away if I'm on the move but this doesn't happen very often. I've got to say that in all my frequenting of cafés, I don't recall any that advertise different prices for takeaway coffee served in your own cup. The wonderful Celcius Café in Petone uses biodegradable takeaway cups and the rest of their coffee production is totally sustainable, too. There may be others, but none instantly come to mind. Perhaps if the financial incentives were spelt out in black and white with two prices side by side then bringing your own takeaway cup would become a more attractive option, benefitting the environment at the same time?

How about you? Do you use reusable takeaway coffee cups? What do you think is the best way to encourage coffee drinkers to adopt reusable cups?


sharlene said...

I'm not too much of a takeout coffee drinker but I love the reusable cups that BP Connect have. I think they have a small discount on reusing one of their cups plus they have a discount card for their Bean chain. So many will get you a free coffee. I'm all for this! I like your cup too :)

LatteJunkie said...

I have been looking for just the right one for ages, but am still looking so I think I may have to just bite the bullet and get one and decorate it myself :)