About a month ago, I blogged about plastic water bottles and mentioned how wasteful disposable coffee cups are.
Nicholas Fusso runs the Seattle-based organization Sustainability is Sexy, which focuses on eco-ideas for coffee, and he left me a comment about the polyethylene coating on disposable cups, which leaves them sitting in landfills.
His organization, Sustainability is Sexy, started as an eco-project at the University of Washington. Fusso told me in an e-mail that using disposable coffee cups is a big environmental no-no. But reusabe coffee cups, he said, can help you go “green” in more ways than one.
“They impact our planet’s ecosystem in a positive way by conserving natural resources and greenhouse gas emissions,” Fusso said. “Reusable cups also save businesses money, and can often save you money too.”
Plus, he said, reusable cups help preserve the temperature and flavor of your beverage.
SIS sells biodegradable cups made out of corn-based plastic, which Fusso said is more environmentally friendly than most reusable cups.
“The cup is compostable, which eliminates the tiny amount of garbage created by when other reusable cups are finally thrown away,” he said. “The cup is made using corn – a much lighter eco-footprint than stainless steel or plastic.”
Fusso sent me one of the SIS cups to try. Though the colors reminded me a little of John Deere, I like them. They’re bold, and they they definitely convey the message about going green. And here’s an added bonus–it’s really hard to misplace your bright green coffee cup somewhere.
Anyway, the cup is lightweight, which makes it easy to carry, yet much stronger than a flimsy disposable cup. When I handed it to a Starbucks barista to fill up, she said, “Ooh I love it!” Looks like the message is one that people definitely identify with.
(Side note, Starbucks is selling a line of travel coffee cups that they say are eco-friendly because they use “less plastic.” That may be true, but I like knowing that when mine is thrown away years and years from now, it won’t wreak havoc on the environment.)
Fusso also blogs about politics, economics, and the environment at Smart Sense.