Reducing single-use paper cups, and Greening Cafes
Did you know that you can divert 0.25 lbs of CO2 emissions (from manufacture and transport) each time you avoid a paper cup? Even though paper is recyclable, paper coffee cups are not because they have a plastic coating inside that forces their diversion to the landfill.
Some Dining cafes do currently provide compostable cups, but they don’t always end up in compost bins, so avoid those paper cups and pledge to Bring Your Own Mug! Most cafes on campus provide at least a 10 cent discount, and you can use those green Stamp Cards at all Dining-operated cafes that provide a FREE drink if you BYOM 7 times. If you have a smartphone, you can also download the app Gving to use at all the Perks locations.
The best way to always keep your mug handy is making it a routine to rinse it right after each use and then place it in your backpack or where you can easily find it. You can even personalize it, and there are a variety of styles of mugs available on campus and in the market to choose from. Find more cool tips and facts here: Carbon Rally and Sustainable Choices.
Zero Waste Event Commitment
Are you involved in a SOAR or any organization that holds events? Apart from saving money, you can make a big impact in reducing our campus waste stream by making a formal commitment to zero waste. Studies have revealed that 56% of people remember what they visually observed at large events (such as recycling and compost bins being used!), while only 18% remember the cold hard facts they've been taught. So imagine the difference it would make if the majority of campus events were zero waste! UCSC is already on the right track since one of its biggest events, the OPERS Festival, is a zero waste event.
Through our pilot project, we plan to recognize as well as increase zero waste practices at events, especially within the SOAR community and hope to have 2-3 committed organizations by the end of the year. If you're interested in participate, or already hold zero waste events, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about zero waste events, check out this guide!