Summer is here which means it’s iced coffee/lemonade/horchata season (at least for me). Iced drinks are a double whammy when it comes to waste because they usually come in plastic containers with a disposable straw. We're not focusing on straws today because I believe in baby steps. I’ll talk about straws in another post. For now, let's just focus on bringing our own cups.
Finding information on how many disposable plastic cups are used and tossed in the US is way more difficult than it should be, but let's all picture the line at Starbucks during frappacino happy hour, then think about how many Starbucks locations there are. We can kind of get a sense of the crazy amount of plastic cups that we go through in an hour, let alone a year.
One stat I did find suggests that even if we buy just one drink a day in a disposable cup, we can easily wind up making 23 lbs of trash a year. I know it's tempting to think our personal actions don't add up but the truth is, they do.
The cool news is, we can all divert at least 23 lbs of trash a year by bringing our own cups!
The other cool news is there are lot of options for bringing our own cup. Lots of zero wasters swear by the mason jar and I have to agree with them. They're easily found in thrift stores, grocery stores, or craft stores plus they have lids which make them super easy to toss in a purse or tote while on the go.
If you buy pasta sauce like I do, you can easily skip out on buying a new jar by washing out your empty pasta sauce jars. Remove the label (a little soap, baking soda, hot water, and elbow grease should do the trick!) and reuse it. Super simple!
My other, lighter weight method is to bring my Kleen Canteen pint with a sippy lid.
Ok, so maybe they're not actually called sippy lids, but you get what I'm trying to say.
I bought my pints last year before going to a music festival and they’ve served me well from camping and hiking to grabbing coffee before grocery shopping. They’re lightweight and easy to stick in my bag or car.
The pints I bought weren't insulated like these are. Just remember that metal transfers temperature, so if you opt for the single-walled pints, make sure to use a cozy or sleeve if you're drinking a hot drink...these suckers can get hot!
I encourage you to bring your own jar or pint next time you head out to grab an iced coffee (or tea, I always forget about tea). I've linked the pints I have plus a few similar items below for you! I've got my eye on that jar sippy top.