Most people like to have a caffeine fix when they are on the go. I don’t drink coffee or tea, but my husband does. Which means that whenever we are hanging out, at some point of the day we make a stop at a cafe or coffeehouse chain. And no, he isn’t the only one. I notice people leaving the shop one after the other holding a disposable coffee cup with their name scribbled on it.
The cup carrying your favourite salted caramel mocha has a functional life of about 5-10 minutes (or for however long you take to complete the drink) and is disposed in a bin as soon as it’s empty. Think of all the disposable cups you have thrown away in a day. Then think about all the coffee-lovers doing the same. That’s a lot of waste, don’t you think? This ‘throw-away’ consumer culture is starting to hurt our environment, so why not think of a way to get your caffeine-fix without creating so much waste?
Reusable coffee cups or travel mugs
If you have the habit of drinking a hot beverage on the move and you make several trips to cafes, carrying a reusable coffee cup or travel mug can be useful in reducing your plastic footprint. To encourage this behaviour, a lot of cafes are offering discounts to customers who bring their own cup.
|| Social media tip: If you are worried that you may not be able to click a picture of your Starbucks cup for Instagram and show your followers how busy your schedule is, remember that an adult in 2019 has new ways to be trendy. Here’s a chance to brag about your stylish reusable mug and how eco-conscious you are! 😉 #SoWoke ||
‘But I order my coffee in a paper cup without a plastic lid!’
There’s a popular misconception that paper cups are eco-friendly alternatives to plastic cups. This is not always true. Even if you buy your hot beverage without a lid, the paper cup that you are served in has polyethylene plastic lining (this makes the cup water-proof). The lining is tightly bonded to the cup and this design makes recycling practically impossible. So no, the paper cups are not a solution.
Some cafes have come up with biodegradable or compostable alternatives. Unfortunately, it is still not the most sustainable option. If not disposed properly, the compostable cup will end up in the landfill where the conditions are not suitable for it to biodegrade.
Small changes can make a big difference
Like I always repeat in this blog, ‘reduce’ and ‘reuse’ before you think of recycling or composting. Start a habit of carrying your own coffee mug to the coffee machine in your office. And the next time you are outdoors, carry a reusable mug to your favourite coffeehouse and enjoy the discount they offer!
Throw-away culture is so yesterday.
Today, it’s all about choosing Reusables over Disposables.
It’s never to latte to start a new habit 🙂