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Coffee with a RE-Purpose

The following post is from Selena Moffitt of 1 Mom’s Mission:

repurposing paper coffee cups
source: 1 Mom's Mission

The morning staple, the American standard, the image of busy executives and soccer moms.  Yes, I’m talking about the To-Go coffee cup.  What image pops into your head?  The white cup with the green logo.  Alas, there are also tons of others out there.  Some find it comforting to tote around this cup and beverage, and I am no exception.  But what about a reusable cup? Does it feel the same?  Does it give you the same satisfaction as the logo covered paper cup?

“Something about that white cup makes me so happy.” – quote from a friend.

Would you be so happy if you realized how many paper cups are thrown away every day?  Starbucks alone disposes of 4 million billion paper and plastic cups yearly. That is a lot of coffee.

“Well, I recycle them,” you say.  Sorry.  Wrong answer.  Those little cups are not recyclable in most areas.  Paper cups that hold hot drinks are not just paper.  They are lined with plastic.  Very few recycling centers have the ability to recycle this mixed material.  The plastic cold drink cups and plastic lids are recyclable in most areas. You will have to take them home to recycle.

“What about composting?” you ask.  I’m pretty sure you don’t want to add plastic and its associated chemicals into your compost pile that goes into the soil either.  It takes a very select company to compost those cups.

repurposing paper coffee cups
source: 1 Mom's Mission

A Cup-O-Snacks

You can repurpose these cups very easily.  Give them a few extra uses before they hit the landfill.

I have a stack of reusable cups from various restaurants and coffee places that I use as snack holders for my boys.  This allows us to have unpackaged snacks contained and much less mess in the car.

Other Cup-tastic Uses

  • Capture small toys that end up all over the backseat.
  • Use as a shovel or “digger” for dirt and barkdust when at the park.
  • If you have a kitchen playset, reuse the cups as they are!  The tea/coffee party will be bigger and better with more beverages.

The Best Option

As we teach our children to be great stewards of this planet, we need to model ecofriendly behavior.  Do your best to remember your travel mug as you head out the door.  Maybe keep an extra one in the car.

And, just a word of warning:  when you order at the drive thru, tell them you have your own mug and — this is very important — ask them to not make your drink until you hand them your mug.  Otherwise, they will make your drink in a paper cup and then pour it into yours.  Insane, I know.  What a waste.  The funniest part is, the Barista once told me, “They are just paper cups.  Aren’t they recyclable?”

How about your ideas?  What amazing ways do you reuse old coffee/drink cups?

Selena is a mom on a mission to make our world a better place, one person at a time. Her blog 1momsmission, aims to motivate change, invigorate people, and radiate joy! Her business — Radiant Life Health Counseling — helps busy women focus on Real Food, for Real Life, to exude Real Radiance! She spends most days teaching her 2 young boys how to love food, love each other, and love Jesus.