High-Plastic Areas: Coffee Cups

For the last two months I’ve been attempting to take on personal challenges to locate and erase the high-plastic areas of my life. Right now I’m considering my coffee cups. I live in Florida so I don’t exactly down a lot of hot coffee but I do enjoy it iced. (Just sadly with no sugar these days!) Unfortunately practically everyone – from Dunkin Donuts, to Starbucks, to Barney’s – puts those iced delicious drinks in plastic cups.

Here’s the rub: I dont want to give up the good things in life to get around this plastic conundrum but I do want to live in the way that is the blue-st possible. I can’t exactly stand in front of crowds of students everyday and talk about the Pacific gyres and the garbage patches if I’m significantly adding to the problem. My coffee love isn’t quite the destructive habit my love of soda was, so I’m not looking to give it up wholesale. And really, ascetism isn’t what being green is all about.

Barney’s down here sells a fun ceramic not-a-plastic-cup coffee cup with a plastic lid that is definitely reuseable. Starbucks also recently launched a line of tumblers, made from a percentage of recycled plastic even, that can be reused to enjoy their beverages. Last week I finally made an investment in one of those green tumblers. And at first, I felt pretty awesome about the choice.

Then I found myself at a Starbucks today definitely wanting an iced coffee with no tumbler at hand. Hmm. This is the same issue many of us have with those reuseable grocery bags. I bought quite a few Publix ones, and even have a few from conservation groups, but the problem isnt using them its remembering to put them back in the car! And alas.. the tumbler has also fallen into this category. The necessity of pre-planning in order to live “green” (or blue) is something I’m going to have to get used too.

Of course I also pondered this with my friend Ashley: If I have my tumbler in my car, and I just rinse it out with water, but it still looks a little dirty, will I be too embarassed to have it filled up? Or will I have to learn to risk just a bit of embarassment for the sake of a plastic-cup-saved?

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2 Comments to “High-Plastic Areas: Coffee Cups”

  1. Many thanks to you Jason for the interesting read!