Collapse Your Waste
Every year the United States throws away more than 58 billion paper cups (The Beta Cup) and the environmental impact of these cups is scary. Think about all of that wasted energy! 12 billion gallons of water is used in order to grow the more than 20 million trees that are cut down each year as part of the manufacturing process. To make matters worse, these cups have to be created using virgin materials, which means new trees must be killed with the production of every new cup. Not to mention the greenhouse gases that are used to fuel this process, which increases the negative environmental impact of paper cups even more.
Paper cups are easily recycled, right?
Wrong. Paper cups are commonly thought to be more environmentally friendly than plastic ones, however most paper cups are lined with polyethylene plastic. Derived from fossil fuels, polyethylene is used in order to prevent the cup from turning to mush while enjoying your favorite beverage. While this lining is great for keeping the cup intact, it prevents the cup from being easily recycled. If all paper cups were recycled, 645,000 tons of waste would be diverted from landfills every year, which would be the equivalent to removing 450,000 passenger cars from the road (Global Green USA)
So what can you do, you ask?
It’s important to be aware of your disposable cup consumption. The average office worker mindlessly disposes of over 500 cups a year while on the job alone (Carry Your Cup). Consider keeping a reusable cup in your backpack, car, or at the office for easy access. The best cup or mug, will always be a reusable one. In fact, many coffee shops offer a discount for bringing your own. Fun fact: Starbucks has been offering a 10 cent discount for years - guess your new “oh, BTW” mug will pay for itself!