There are small activities in our daily lives that bring excitement to an otherwise mundane day. In the western world we can all agree that one of these things is coffee! I love this culture because there are so many ways to delight in this beverage. Whether it's an intimate conversation, a date, a quick pick me up, or a morning pattern; coffee has wiggled its way into the lives of all of us in one way or another. We get our cup, have our conversation, and get rid of that cup and carry on with our lives. But as much as you'd like to think that the conversation/bond between the person you shared your cup with was the most permanent thing to happen from this outing, you can guess again. That cup you had a month ago that you drank for maybe 20 minutes and pitched is still in the landfill. That cup you had 10 years ago when you had your very first date is also still in the landfill. There is no hope of it disappearing either. Now multiply it by how many you've had in a year. Then multiply that by millions of people in the states each year who have a cup every day, maybe even twice a day. Is that not astounding? This is where the culture has gone wrong. It is not just a distant statistic where we can sigh, shrug our shoulders, and continue hoping that something will be done. WE are the culture. In a year, 14.4 billion coffee cups are used and thrown away. That is 900 million pounds of cups a year, just forever here on the earth.
What can you do? Grab a bell jar or mug in your cabinet! We all have one. If not, there are plenty of amazing old school mugs and bell jars at thrift stores so you can make your carbon footprint even less. If this picture doesn't make you want to never buy plastic or non recyclable paper cups again, I don't know what will. I took this photo after the beach at this beautiful plant/coffee shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I spy with my eye an iced early grey tea with honey.
So make it a rule : No mug, no coffee. That way there is incentive behind it. Being sustainable is all about being prepared for the things we get offered in our every day lives for convenience (paper cups, plastic everything, straws, etc…) , and to decline it, and change it. Be the different system. Not because you are trying to live an "alternative" lifestyle, but because you believe that everything you give and are given, should be utilized and sustainable for the well being of the planet.