Switching to Reusable Cups

If you are a coffee drinker, there is a high chance you drink at least one coffee a day. If you are purchasing your coffee at your local cafe the amount of disposable cups used are incredibly high. For many coffee drinkers, the total is more than 300 cups and around 23lb of waste yearly. These 300+ cups will most likely end up in a landfill where it could take years to biodegrade, even longer for the plastic lid.

The production of single-use plastic cups has led to large amounts of adverse environmental impacts, global warming, and pollution. A lot of disposable coffee cups are made with plastics that do not break down, which damages the environment. Per year 20 million trees are cut down to produce these single-use cups. Besides water bottles, single-use coffee cups are the highest contributor to litter waste in North America. The main way that disposable coffee cups impact the environment is by adding more garbage to landfills, adding plastic pollution to oceans, and using up paper resources. The USA alone uses approximately 108 billion disposable cups per year.

Having said that, there is a way we can enjoy our daily coffee without hurting the environment. There is, and it comes from reusable cups. As mentioned previously, a person throwing away one coffee cup a day adds up to around 23lbs of waste per year. If just one person makes the switch to a reusable cup, they can eliminate that 23lbs of waste per year. If they continue to use reusable cups for 10 years, that's 230lbs of waste eliminated.

Another huge reason to switch to reusable cups is the savings. Most coffee shops have an incentive for you to bring your own cup. From what I have experienced, the main incentive is a monetary saving if you bring your own cup. Personally, I save 15 cents every time I bring my own cup to my local coffee shop. I do not buy a coffee every single morning, but I was to get a coffee every day for 1 year at this specific coffee shop I would be saving $54.75 a year, which might not seem like a lot, but that paired with the 23lbs of waste I am saving from the landfill, which to me sounds AMAZING. 

When I made the switch to reusable cups, I found that the reusable cup market was basic. There were two options of cups to buy. First, you had solid colour stainless steel cups. Companies like Yeti, Hyrdroflask, and Manna capitalized on these. They made the best in the business and everyone, including myself, ate these up. I have at least 1 of each of these cups in my cupboard still. Second, you have plastic cups made from recycled materials. Companies like Starbucks and Tim Horton's produce these cups and design them to look similar to their single-use cups. Just like the stainless steel cups, I have tons of these plastic cups in my cupboards.

When I first bought my Cricut, cups were not at the forefront of my mind. It wasn't until I was in line at Starbucks one early morning before work when I saw a woman with the same cup as me. The only difference between our cups was that hers had a banner around the mermaid logo and a Disney character on the side. At first, I thought the character was printed on the cup, but after doing a quick Google search of where she may have got her cup, I realized, it was a vinyl decal. That night I did some more research and found out I could easily be customizing my cups. I started with my own plastic cups and decorated them with 90s characters. After a lot of trial and error, I started to make cups for friends, and then I started my first online shop. To this day, I still use the first cups I ever made ( Nightmare Before Coffee Jack Skellington Cup and Jurassic Coffee Cup). These cups are durable and last in my experience over 2 years- and counting. I am so happy with my choice to make the switch to reusable cups as I get to have customized character cups and I am doing my part to save the environment.