Monday, September 24, 2012

Green Tip #6: Reusable Mugs

Most of us have them lying around, stashed in a drawer, or stuffed in a box. It's time to get those suckers out and begin filling them with delicious coffee and teas. Yes, I'm talking about reusable mugs, a great way to reduce waste, particularly if you're a caffeine addict who visits Perk Bars and other on-campus cafes a little too often. What college student doesn't drink coffee for at least a quarter of their time here? And staff, we know you drink coffee, too.

The biggest obstacle to using reusable mugs, of course, is forgetting to bring them with you. Get into the habit of returning them to your purse or backpack after they're empty, wash them when you get home if you feel the need, and return them to your purse or backpack immediately. Some people don't like how coffee tastes coming out of a reusable mug, and to that I suggest you try getting a ceramic reusable mug or using a glass mason jar for your drinks. These don't have the metallic or plasticy taste that some other mugs have. Whichever kind you use, never leave the house without it, and you'll be set the next time you're in line in the Stevenson Coffee House.

Oh, what's that? The Stevenson Coffee House now has reusable mugs for folks who plan on sitting for awhile? That's right--if you go into the Stevenson Coffee House and plan on sitting there to enjoy your coffee or tea, you can ask for a "for here" glass mug and you will not have to waste a cup even if you forgot your own mug! Genius! Let's give a round of applause to the Stevenson Coffee House, Path to a Greener Stevenson, and the Zero Waste Team in the Sustainability Office.
Some PTAGS students tabling at the Stevenson Resource Fair. Monica, on the far left, is holding up one of the Stevenson Coffee House reusable mugs.
Obviously this tip follows the same logic as the reusable water bottle logic--you just have to remember to bring it with you wherever you go, and pay attention when you see water spigots around campus or in food places on campus. If you're outside a dining hall, but don't have a meal plan, you could ask a friendly looking student to fill it up for you while you wait. I was once asked to fill up someone's water bottle after I swiped my card, and I was more than happy to help the girl reduce her plastic waste by encouraging her reusable water bottle habit.

If you often have trouble remembering to bring your mug, was this tip helpful? If you are a pro at remembering your mug, what do you do to remember it? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

No comments: