Can you believe that’s one month of the year gone already? How bonkers! I hope your New Years Resolutions are still holding true, but if not then don’t worry. It’s never too late to start making a difference. Now, if you’ve watched any of the Blue Planet series you will have some sort of grasp about the scale of damage us humans are causing to our very delicate planet. If you are like me then you would have helplessly cried about 7 times every episode and wailed to the TV “BUT WHAT CAN I DO DAVID?!”… Just me? So you’ve already swapped the plastic bags in for a cool tote bag that reads something like ‘Save the Planet – It’s the only one with chocolate’, you only buy veggies without packaging and you’ve stopped buying meat in black packaging because some local recycling centres can’t recycle it.. What?!
But what’s the next step?
Coffee cups my friend.
Starbucks’ own website states that they account for “approximately 4 billion cups globally each year” – that’s around about 10,958,904 cups of coffee a day (and that’s just Starbucks alone!). Now, I know what you’re thinking “I’m not part of the problem – I always recycle my coffee cups” – Well, I thought so too – So I’m going to talk you through this in a way I wish someone had talked me through it.
A recent report by the Independent said:
“Perhaps the biggest issue with disposable coffee cups is the disconnect between their alleged recyclability and the rate at which they are actually recycled. Cups are technically recyclable, something that some coffee companies actively promote on their packaging. However, due to the complicated way in which they are produced, the vast majority of coffee cups do not end up being recycled.
Disposable coffee cups – in numbers
- UK throws away 2.5 billion disposable coffee cups every year
- Less than 1 per cent of coffee cups are recycled
- Half a million cups are littered every day
- Packaging producers only pay for 10 per cent of the cost of packaging disposal and recycling”
Though they are made largely of paper, disposable coffee cups are lined with plastic polyethylene, which is tightly bonded to the paper making the cups waterproof and therefore able to contain liquid. In addition, the difficulty of recycling coffee cups is increased by the fact they are contaminated with drink. This means cups cannot be recycled at standard recycling plants, and must instead be taken to special facilities – only three of which exist in the UK. The reality is that less than 1 percent of coffee cups ever end being recycled… Isn’t that bonkers? 1 measly percent?!
I love coffee just as much as the next guy. I love it even more if I don’t have to make it; but I had to stop hiding my head in the sand and take responsibility for my waste. So I composed a list (I love lists) of 5 rad reusable coffee cups to take with you on your travels (now is a good time to point out that some places actually offer a bit of money off their coffees if you bring in your own cup, so you will have paid off your reusable cup in no time!).
1. Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Wide Flask – For the ones who like it hot
This little stainless steel vacuum insulated flask keeps drinks hot for an incredible 10 hours and insulates iced drinks for up to 30 hours. It’s leak proof – so you can pop it in the side pocket of your backpack on your way to work, or when you’re out walking and not have to worry about getting coffee over everything. It also comes in a couple of different sizes/colours, depending on your preference. If that hasn’t convinced you enough, then have a closer look at Klean Kanteen themselves. They are responsible for the Bring Your Own project, which is aimed at inspiring people all over the world to kick their single-use habits and choose healthy, sustainable products that are better for them and the Earth. Their short films are incredibly inspiring (head over to their site and watch them all if you want to feel like you can change the world) and on top of that they’ve contributed more than $2 million directly to environmental organizations dedicated to preserving and restoring wild places. Just WOW! Plus, their flasks come with a lifetime guarantee. So what’s your excuse now?
2. Lifeventure Thermal Mug – For the ones who ‘Really prefer Tea anyway’
This clever little chicken has a sneaky compartment under the lid that alleviates the pressure (more important when storing hot drinks) meaning the lid won’t tighten up. This little compartment also happens to double up as the perfect tea bag/biscuit storage space. The thermal induced vacuum between the steel walls keeps liquids hot for hours – so you can have the perfect brew wherever you are. This little flask is also super tough – Lifeventure boast that it’s virtually ‘indestructible’ – but I have yet to truly put that statement to the test!
3. Primus Commuter Mug – For the ones who just… drop everything.
This little sleek number is pretty impressive. It keeps your drinks hot (and cold) for hours by using a double wall insulated construction. It’s silicone sealed lid means it’s totally leak proof and due to its very clever tapered shape, fits into most cup holders. It’s then powder coated on the outside to provide extra grip (it really comes into its element when you have cold hands, or you’re wearing gloves).
4. Camelbak Kickbak Flask – For the ones with a long commute
These super sleek travel flasks hold a very generous 600ml, fit most cup holders and keep hot drinks hot for up to 4 hours – but that’s not the coolest feature on these little beauties. The lids were actually the thing that blew me away – they’re splash-proof and have TWO separate drinking holes. Yup. Two. One smaller one for sipping hot drinks, and a larger hole for guzzling cold drinks. The tumblers are also made out of a super tough, dishwasher safe stainless steel that’s naturally free from BPA and BPS. The biggest bonus to these? You can get your whole hand in them which makes washing them a WHOLE lot easier!
5. 2 Minute Beach Clean Reuseable Mug – For the ones who want to donate to a really good cause.
2 minute Beach Clean are a non-profit organisation who are dedicated to highlighting the importance of removing plastic from the marine environment. They have beach clean stations all over and even have a clever little app that tells you where your closest one is. The app also enables you to record your beach clean finds and enables you to post directly to instagram and twitter. Millions of people worldwide have joined the movement and are using the hashtag #2minutebeachclean to document their contributions.
And whilst you’re on this adventure of becoming a better human being for our damn planet have a look at some steel straws (like the ones by the cool humans at Klean Kanteen) – They come in packs of four, so buy some (and feel fuzzy cus you’re doing a good thing for the planet), keep one for yourself and then distribute the other 3 to your friends/family. Then spread the love! Tag Klean Kanteen in your photos on your social media with the hashtag #BringYourOwn and get people talking about the epic things we can do when we start giving a sh*t!
Do it for the Oceans – they need us.
See you next week guys! All the love,
Facebook : The Feral Lady
Instagram : @theferallady
One thought on “5 Rad Alternatives to Disposable Coffee Cups”