Tuesday, June 22, 2010

caffeine goes green

As a coffee drinker and someone who attempts to be "green," I find my Starbucks experience leaving much to be desired in terms of environmental responsibility.

Then I stumbled across this article on Mashable, one of my new favorite blogs. The article outlines a contest, The Betacup Challenge, created by social production group, Colaboratorie Mutopo. The contest was an attempt to take a stab at the enormous amount of coffee cup waste accumulation each year.

"Every year, 58 billion paper cups are thrown away, rather than recycled. 20 million trees and 12 billion gallons of water are used to make these paper cups — enough energy to power 53,000 homes, according to the Environmental Defense Fund. That doesn’t even include the resources involved in the coffee itself, which are enormous."

These figures were staggering to me! As a "bucks" addict, I am guilty of running in, grabbing my latte and getting the heck out of dodge, without a second thought. It's easy. It's quick.

However, most things worth doing are never easy or quick. I own three or four of those reusable travel mugs and countless ceramic mugs, but do they make it with me to my local Starbucks each trip? Not a chance. And that's my fault. I need motivation, human-conditioning! And that's why the Betacup Challenge winner's idea is beyond brilliant!

"The Karma Cup" is simple, human-conditioning with guilt thrown into the mix! Check out the winning concept here:

Starbucks sponsored the contest with $20,000 in prizes. Will they adopt the Karma Cup concept in their 11,000+ stores in the United States? Imagine the impact! For those of us who sit on the fence between understanding the need to be "green" and acting on that understanding - this type of encouragement could be just what we need!

I think the investment is enough to at least give it a trial run. What do you think?


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