If you are a coffee addict like I am, you might find yourself waiting in line at the Village Café or Starbucks more often than you like to admit. We need our coffee — it’s warm, delicious, and can turn your 8 A.M. from unbearable to manageable.
However, your coffee addiction could have you cringing at how much waste each latte or tea creates.
According to the University of Washington (a college with 42 thousand students), they threw away an estimated 5,000 paper coffee cups a day. While UCSC has a smaller student population (around 16,000), one student buying one coffee a day will add up to a total of 23 pounds of waste and 87.6 pounds of CO2 in one year.
On a national level it is estimated that Americans will throw away 16 billion paper coffee cups a year.
According to the Choose to Reuse campaign at Daytona State College, to produce that many cups it takes 6.5 million tress and four billion gallons of water per year.
Coffee shops on campus give a discount for bringing your own mug. Even Starbucks gives a ten cent discount for bringing your in your own mug. So why aren’t we all using reusable coffee mugs?
Personally I know the two biggest reasons why: I don’t always know when I am going to buy a coffee, so I don’t always have my mug on hand. Sometimes I just walk into McHenry and smell the inviting aroma of a warm coffee and need to buy one.
A good tip for remembering to bring your mug is to plan ahead on what days you will buy coffee. This way you can pack your mug in advance on days you plan on buying a drink and save space in your bag on days you know you won’t.
The other main reason I don’t always use a reusable mug is that I don’t want to carry around a mug all day after I use it. I know that sounds lazy, but on days when I have to carry my laptop, books, and everything else I need my bag gets crowded fast.
However, after stopping and thinking about how wasteful my coffee habits are I realize how important taking the extra effort to bring a reusable mug is. Using a reusable mug will save you money, ten cents every Starbucks trip.
Just imagine what you can do with that kind of savings!
It will also reduce water, CO2 emissions and waste.
So send us a picture of your favorite mug next time you are in line for a coffee.