Zero Waste Challenge Day 24: Bring Your Own Cup

We seem to toss about everything we use and buy these days. And in our fast-paced society, this throw-away culture seems like it's a good solution for adding more time and convenience into our hectic schedules. Right? Not exactly. Instead it has given us the worst headache of over consumerism, environmental problems, and it's unknowingly slowly emptying our pocketbooks.

More and more products (that used to be reusable) have now moved to a single-use disposable version. Everything from utensils, floss picks, food packaging, straws, plates, and snack bags. Disposables are everywhere! 

But there is one item that seems to rise above the rest of these single-use items.

The disposable cup.

From the biggest offender, the coffee cup, to the vast array of other single-use drinking containers, our consistent usage of these disposable drinking vessels has led to this...

1 million disposable cups end up in the landfill every minute.

Every minute! Many of these cups appear to be made of paper, but actually they are commonly lined with polyethylene and attached with polystyrene lids. Because of this very thin lining of plastic inside the cup, they can't be recycled. In past articles, we talked about how recycling is an aspirin to our over consumption, not a solution. 

The solution + challenge

The solution can be as simple as these two things.

1. Ask for your coffee or drink cup in a real cup (if you're staying and if the establishment even has them).

2. Bring your own cup for them to refill. Often establishments will give a small discount for bringing your own cup. And if an establishment doesn't let you bring your own cup. Let them know your concerns and don't go there anymore until they change. Remember consumer demand trumps all. 

Get yourself a durable reusable cup that means something to you! If it has value to you, then you won't easily lose it. 

Check out these options: 

Simply Straws

EcoJarz

Joco Cup

Keep Cup