Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reusable coffee cups can help Mother Earth

    Consider a gentle reminder that taking a reusable cup to your local coffee house makes a huge impact on the earth—Starbucks accounts for 4 billion cups in the trash each year. Along with the space all those cups, lids, sleeves and straws consume, there is the bigger issue of the resources used to create a throw-away cup. Wood pulp, oil (to make the plastic lining) and electricity is spent in creating a cup that will be used one time and then thrown away.
    Additional resources and energy is required to package the disposable cups, lids, sleeves and straws for transporting. Additionally, the transport of these items requires energy and resources in the form of oil for fuel, rubber for tires, and the accompanying pollution associated with hauling goods hundreds of miles to local destinations.
    Starbucks sells a reusable cup for $1; when used, a 10 cent refund is applied to your drink. The cup comes with a lid and handles both hot and cold drinks. Many Starbucks stores have a display promoting the reusable cup/lid; the Ketchum Starbucks sells reusable cups—and so other retailers.
    A one-use cup is a terrible waste of energy, period. When you toss your coffee cup in the trash, it won’t be recycled (the plastic lining is the culprit). America is losing hundreds of landfills each year. Composting is an option, but the process generates greenhouse gases.
    And, isn’t it absurd to use a cup one time and toss it?
Jeani Ferrari
Wood River Valley

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