Today my resolution is to switch to a travel mug for all coffee purchases. If I forget the travel mug, then there will be no coffee. This is a big deal, since I love my coffee in the morning. Every morning before work I pick up a coffee. Every morning prior to today, I got that coffee in a non-recyclable cardboard cup, with a cardboard sleeve. Then, after I am done the coffee, every morning I toss that cup right into the garbage.
I was trying to think, how many cups have I thrown out in my lifetime? I have been working now for 12 years, 7 of those full-time, 2 on maternity leave and 3 part-time. Since I am a dutiful accountant, I thought I should actually calculate this thing out. The result is shocking:
When I first thought about it this morning, I thought I was probably in the few hundred coffee cup range. Nope. Turns out, I have thrown away over 2,500 coffee cups. What would 2,500 discarded coffee cups look like anyway? Could it fill my kitchen? I bet if you laid 2,500 coffee cups out all over my house, it would cover every surface, and act as a new, slightly gross, coffee cup carpet.
It is just so wasteful.
So my new love is my new green travel mug:
It is green, allowing others to see that I am making a green choice with my pretty green mug. It is also made of recycled materials, and is BPA free. I purchased this particular mug because I forgot. I told myself that I would never get another disposable coffee cup again. Old habits die hard, since the next day I found myself standing in line at Second Cup, with no travel mug in hand. So I just grabbed this travel mug off the shelf. So now I have three travel mugs, and no more excuses.
While walking to my local Starbucks on my coffee break today at work, I decided I would count the number of people carrying disposable cups. Keep in mind this is a very short walk, under 5 minutes. I counted 15 people carrying disposable cups, and another 5 within the store ordered in a disposable cup while I was there. 2 people in the store had travel mugs. One person on my walk back had a travel mug. So including me, that is 20 disposable cups vs. 4 travel mugs. I know my methods are very scientific and all, but I would hazard a guess that in reality, only 10% or so of people carry travel mugs every time, every day.
Heck I didn’t carry one, and I have been worried about the environment for years. But I was lazy. Give me your paper cup. That way I don’t have to remember mine, and don’t have to clean it either.
But starting today, things will be different. I will carry my green travel mug with pride, that I am doing something, and not being so wasteful.