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Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Challenge review: no disposable coffee cups

Coffee cup

Credit: Wikimedia Commons/hariadhi

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How are you going on the first challenge we did here at G Magazine, going without takeaway coffee in disposable cups? I've done pretty well, with only one takeaway coffee on a day I was doing overtime at work. Apart from that, I've been making my own coffee at work and avoiding buying it when out and about.

The problem with takeaway cups is that they're rarely recycled, and take up to 50 years to biodegrade! Given that in Australia, there are 500 million disposable cups being thrown away each year, that's pretty wasteful and I reckon we can do a lot better.

I haven't been game to ask a shop if they'll use my own mug, although I know a few people who do that regularly. But now that I've seen the KeepCup, I might get up the courage. It's a cute reusable cup with a lid, so you can have your coffee on the run. It's by a Melbourne business, run by people who used to work in hospitality.

My husband has been doing well too - his office, with 17 staff, got their own coffee machine, and since then none of them get takeaway coffee at all. They prefer making their own, just the way they like it, and all have their own mugs. If you think about it, that's maybe 10 coffees a day (not everyone has one every day) multiplied by 230 working days in a year, which comes to 2,300 cups each year that they've saved from landfill. I don't know how many trees they've saved, but I assume it's a lot!