Using reusable cups and glasses
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In a bid to reduce landfill waste and save finite resources, we’ve been asked to only use reusable mugs and glasses for our “Change the World Wednesday” challenge.
For one week we have to refuse anything that isn’t reusable.
I have to confess I’m a bit ahead of the league on this one as I do this anyway. I couldn’t think of anything worse than taking a disposable cup; I haven’t done so for around 18 months; somehow, it just seems wrong to me.
I can’t bear waste or the thought that something we use for a few minutes will spend the next few hundred years in landfill. Disposable plates, mugs, cutlery are terrible things designed only with convenience in mind.
And what of the long term effects of not having to rinse something under the tap, or the amount of resources used or the fact that these disposable items litter our beautiful world, harming wildlife in the process?
Here’s a question for you: How long do you think it takes us to get through 1 million disposable coffee cups?
A couple of days? A day? half a day?
Well apparently, 1 million disposable cups is the amount used just by airline flights in the US every six hours.
According to the paper industry, Americans will consume an estimated 23 billion paper coffee cups this year alone.
To manufacture these23 billion cups we need 14 millions tonnes of wood, gathered from 9.4 million trees and the industry requires 5.7 billion gallons of water to make them.
I could think of a better use of those precious resources, couldn’t you? If every person brought a reusable cup to Starbucks for just one day then we could save 1,181,600 tons of wood, 2,040,061,237 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 4,441,093,624 gallons of water!
So this is a great challenge for anyone who uses a coffee shop, vending machines, buys bottles of drink after a gym session or uses take out restaurants. It only takes a tiny amount of planning to use a reusable cup; just make sure you have a suitable receptacle with you and after all, we should all be carrying around a bottle of water with us anyway, to keep us hydrated and healthy throughout the day!
This challenge could save you money too – Starbucks offer a discount if you take your own cup.
Are you up for it? Could you ditch the disposable habit for a week?
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