Did you know Australians throw out 2.7 million single-use or disposable coffee cups every single day. This adds up to 1 billion coffee cups thrown out every year. Source: Sustainability Victoria. Switching to an alternative that won’t cost the earth, makes environmental sense.
It’s a hik_cup and how can it reduce waste?
At Eco Organiser® our personal favorite is a DYI reusable cup which we call a hik_cup, it’s a way of repurposing our waste, not buying more stuff. Put simply it is a repurposed jar of no particular material- plastic or glass with a few elastic bands placed around the middle. to ensure you don’t burn your fingers once filled with your favorite hot beverage.
Before delving into how a hik_cup can help reduce waste, let’s look at the material makeup of the single use disposal cup, so you can make an informed decision to use a single use cup or make your own hik_cup.
According to NSW EPA
- Cup- Most cups are made from virgin wood fibre.
- Cup lining – The inside of paperboard cups are coated with a polymer lining to provide a waterproof barrier and structural integrity. It is estimated that up to 98% of the disposable coffee cups used in Australia are lined with Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE).
Please note this definition does not include the lid and the jury is out if they can be recycled or not.
In short a hik_cup reuses our waste, there is no need to buy a reusable plastic cup or a ceramic reusable cup, but let’s look at some alternatives to single use.
7 top tips to reduce single use coffee cups
- Sit in and enjoy
For those not living under strict lock-down rules, take time to sit in your favorite café and really enjoy your coffee from a reusable cup.
- Slow brew
One of our personal favorites is making our coffee at home. Bring out your special cups and slow the process down from a grab and go to a slow brew. The added bonus, the coffee grounds get recycled in the garden to feed some plants and neutralise the soil.
3. Contactless Coffee
With Covid19 ravaging the world it is still possible to enjoy a take away coffee from your favourite barista, check out this great idea I first saw from City to Sea in the UK
- Make a hik_cup
Any jar will do, select a glass or plastic jar that best reflects the size of coffee you usually order. Add a few elastic bands around the middle of the jar, this way you are less likely to burn your fingers when hot.
Elastic bands can be sourced from bunches of vegetables- asparagus, spinach, silverbeet etc, no need to buy anything, this is truly how to become mates with waste.
- Save Money
Many cafes will offer a discount if you take your own reusable coffee cup, so you can save while getting your coffee fix. Find a Responsible Cafe near you.
- Know what can and can’t recycle
With so much confusion around recycling of single use coffee cups, it’s much easier to refuse them all together and try one of these alternatives. With growing trend to buy ceramic reusable cups, it is important to know that when they are chipped and broken (like any ceramics) they cannot be recycled and must go to landfill. Save yourself the $20-$40 you would pay for a ceramic cup and make yourself a #hik_cup
Better still, why buy another ceramic cup if your cupboard is full of cups rarely used?
- Use what you have
With my Keep Cup over 15 years old, even with the best cleaning practices it is starting to look a bit grungy and stained, for this reason I keep it for travel purposes only, having traveled around the world with me several times, it makes for more light weight travel.
For more ways to live well and waste less visit Eco Organiser Useful Links.
Australian waste coach, motivational speaker, Tanya Lewis aka The Eco Organiser® and author of STUFF OFF! & Ethically Declutter Your Home in 30 Days educates people on the benefits of ethically decluttering and living well and wasting less.
Tanya love’s being invited into communities, corporations, universities and businesses to share her passion and simple actions to reduce waste and move towards a sustainable lifestyle.
For further information or to book Tanya at your next event:
Phone: 0448 877 902