Drink Coffee, Kick Junk
I'mnot generally into making New Year's resolutions and, until now, I'venever actually kept one. Back in December 2007, I went to have a late nighttea with a friend. There was a Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf right there, sowe popped in for their last call. I didn't actually want the tea Iordered, I just wanted to talk with my friend and it seemed polite tohave a tea together. My mint tea came in not just one paper cup, buttwo, and a sleeve. These people really wanted to protect me from theheat of my luke warm tea. I'd been trying to cut down onexcess waste (plastic bags and all that), so I gave them back one ofthe cups. As I sat with my friend, sipping this tea I didn't reallywant to begin with, I just realized I can't do this anymore. I lookedat my friend and said, "This is my last paper cup."
Americans use and throw away 15,000,000,000 paper cups a year.The number is so massive, my calculator literally can't actuallydisplay it. We love our morning cup of joe on the go in The States, andapparently we prefer the kind of cup that we can throw "away." Well,rumor has it there's actually no such thing as "away." All our wastestays right here on Planet Earth with us, generally in landfills, whichare made up of 40-50% paper waste. So in essence, humans choptrees down to make things we use one time, and then bury them in theground. When it comes to trees, it's like we're psychokillernecrophiliacs. Weird.
Well, my New Year's resolution is holding up for once. I buy acoffee every single day and I've only used one paper cup in ‘08, whenmy barista didn't hear me say "For here, please." If I'm near my house,I just take a mug right from the cabinet and take it to the coffeeshop. They love that. I did recently find a near-perfect travel mugthat hermetically seals so it won't leek in my bag, which I was prettyexcited about. (Geek.) Though as one of my favorite bloggers No Impact Man points out, the best travel mug in the world is free and you probably already have one. It's called a glass jar.
Inspired to reduce paper cups, increase trees, and save some money?
- For coffee to go, remember to take your favorite ceramic mug to your local coffee shop
- If you're headed intothe car or any other precarious scenarios, use a sealable travel mug.Many coffee shops give 25-50 cents off for bringing your own cup. Ifyou don't have one yet, check out the great selection at ReusableBags.com
- If you are ready totrailblaze, throw a nice glass jar in your bag and take it with youwherever you go. It's great for water, coffee, and even leftovers
- For more waste reduction tips, check out Reduce.org