Wednesday, July 28, 2010

No more disposable coffee cups (Day 13)

I hadn't realized how much waste goes into disposable coffee cups, until I was at my inlaws' this weekend.  My SIL and BIL enjoy their Tim Hortons' and often make at least one run a day to the coffee shop.  While we were there, DH and I consumed at least one a day ourselves, bringing the disposable coffee cup total to a minimum of 4 a day, plus carrying tray.  That was 16  for the weekend, not including the cups that DH and I consumed on the way down and way back.

It made me think about all the times I slip into the Tims' or Starbucks drive thru while running errands, between school bus pick-ups and on the way to work at the library.  How many of us do the same?

I always thought that paper cups were compostable or recyclable, but according to Environment Canada ( they are not, and should be tossed in the garbage.  This contributes 114.5 MILLION kilos of paper waste into the landfill each year!  That's a lot of garbage.

It certainly gets me thinking about how to change that statistic.  The most obvious way is to use the travel mug that I carry on road trips.  And ask for a refillable mug if I'm in a restaurant.  Make my own coffee and take it with me in a thermos.

And most importantly, not be afraid to ask for the server to pour my coffee in a travel mug when I'm in the drive thru.


  1. A related change you could consider is parking and going inside instead of going through the drive-thru. Here's some information about the effects of idling from Natural Resources Canada:

    Often, I find that the line-up inside is shorter than the drive-thru line-up anyway. And it's very easy to get them to pour your coffee in your travel mug when you're at the counter.

    Love your blog!

  2. Thanks for the info about idling, Susan, and thanks for loving my blog!

    I usually only go through the drive thru when I have the kids with me, because, as a general rule, it's a real pain to unbuckle seatbelts, haul everyone inside, wait in line, haul everyone outside, and then buckle up! :)

    However, I have been guilty of using the drive thru on my way to work, but plan to nip that in the bud with my filled-from-home travel mug!

  3. Rick and I just got this
    They're from Chapters (Your favourite store, I know!) and were around $20 each.
    They might be a little less practical for you, considering the break-ability, but there are tons of other options as well

  4. Also with this, many places offer a discount if you bring your own travel mug. Saving money and the enviroment in one shot :)


  5. Isn't it great? I've found that once I set my mind to it, it was really easy to get out of the disposable cup habit. In fact, it has become so second nature to me to use a travel mug or a ceramic mug in the coffee shop, that I was SHOCKED to discover the other day that Starbucks does not offer mugs for in-store use. I thought this was a company that prided itself on its eco-friendliness????