by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Many people think that carrying and using a reusable coffee mug or cup won't matter. But the truth is rather staggering for it does.
Americans use 25 billion, that's 25 with an awful lot of zeros behind and I don't even know how many, paper cups each year and that adds up to 363 million pounds of waste and the “loss” of more than 9 million trees. And that is just Americans. Add to that Brits, Germans, Australians, etc., and you really come up with an even more staggering sum.
Yes, I do put the word loss in inverted commas and that simply because loss, in this instance, is a disputable term as most trees that are grown for paper production are, well, grown for that purpose and would not be grown were it not for the paper use.
However, those “paper” cups are not all paper and thus are, in fact, non recyclable and here is where the bigger problem lies.
The fact that those cups are, whatever we are often being told, non- recyclable is the biggest problem for they then end up in landfill and with over 360 million pounds of that waste alone in the USA it makes for a huge heap.
Now add to that the non-paper cups, whether plastic or expanded Polystyrene and you have a problem that is potentially even much bigger.
The bottom line, thus, is that every little cup adds up. Do your part to reduce pollution and minimize waste by bringing using reusable mug – and, while you are at it, also don't forget your reusable water bottle.
When it comes to reusable mugs (and water bottles) there are good ones, not so good ones and outright stupid ones. The biggest problem is that many reusable mugs do not fit under the coffee bar machines and thus you still end up with waste as the barista will, generally, first put the coffee into a throwaway cup and then into your mug. Which means that we still end up with the same problem regarding waste as if you would actually take the disposable cup in the first place.
Chose carefully when you look for a reusable cup. There are only a few that, in fact, fit under the machines (and not, I am not getting paid for this) KeepCup is the best, in my opinion, option here.