KEEP IT (C)UP is a Green Initiatives campaign that aims to cut the environmental waste generated by disposable cups, a large contributor to our waste and landfill problems.
Every cup makes a difference!
THINK BEFORE YOU DRINK. WHY CREATE WASTE WHEN IT CAN BE AVOIDED?!
Global economic development has created new consumer trends; most notably, ‘use-and-throw’ is becoming a growing consumption habit. The combination of busy lifestyles and the mass production of cheap, readily available, and disposable products is generating unprecedented amounts of waste.
While there is little doubt about the convenience of a ‘to-go’ disposable cup, have we ever wondered about the enormous amount of waste created as a result of this ‘convenience’? Have we noticed that beverages are commonly served to us in ‘to-go’ disposable cups, regardless of whether we plan on staying or leaving a cafe?
Disposable cup production and consumption is not a sustainable growth model. Disposable cups use finite resources, create an enormous amount of waste, and hurt our environment.
According to a study conducted by Starbucks and the Alliance for the Environmental Innovation in April 2000, manufacturing a single paper cup creates 0.11 kg of CO2 emissions.
To make matters worse, developing countries’ waste sorting, recycling, and disposal programs are still in infancy stages, which prevents a huge amount of waste from being receiving optimum ‘treatment’.
Every year, approximately 7.5 billion disposable paper cups are used and thrown away in China. This is equivalent to more than approximately 750 million kilograms of CO2 generated, 670 million kWh consumed, and 7 billion liters of water wasted.
What Makes Disposable Cups So Bad?
Disposable paper cups for warm beverages are laminated with a plastic resin called polyethylene. The plastic helps keep beverages warm and prevents the paper from absorbing the liquid and leaking. Unfortunately, this also causes the paper cup that we use for only 5 minutes to decompose in a landfill for over 50 years!
Our solution is to this problem is to save disposable cups and decrease unnecessary, preventable waste from being dumped out into the environment. We can do this by using reusable cups instead which can be washed and used again.
Our original target for the campaign was saving a modest 1000 cups in two months, which we achieved in under 2 days of launching the campaign.
We have now updated our target and are aiming to collect 500 pledges in two months (Nov - Dec 2016), which roughly equals about 4500 disposable cups. This means that we would be actually saving:
- 450 kg of CO2 = produced by a mid-size car that has traveled over 3300km
- 4140 liters of water = 65-70 showers
- 405 kWh of energy = a study lamp running continuously for 279 days
- 135 kg of waste into landfills & incinerator = 75 medium bowls of rice
The numbers reinforce Green Initiatives’ belief that every cup makes a difference, that together we can all make a meaningful and measurable impact. Our action campaigns are created to make an immediate impact on a small, local scale. Each campaign, implemented on a global scale and/or over an extended period, is capable of creating enormous impact.
How to Participate
Participating in the campaign is simple and fun. Being sustainable can only be sustainable if the actions are easy and convenient to engage in.
1: Pledge to the KEEP IT (C)UP Campaign by scanning the below QR code or visiting this link. Completing this short survey will tell Green Initiatives about your consumption habits, allowing us to track impact metrics to ensure that we can meet, and possibly exceed our goal!
2: Get 3 friends to pledge to the KEEP IT (C)UP Campaign. Sharing is caring, please tell your friends to do the same!
3: ASK for a re-usable, non-disposable cup each time you purchase a beverage that comes in a disposable cup. Make sure to ask for the re-usable cup before you make the payment!
4: Try to get your own re-usable mug and use it each time you purchase a beverage, eliminating the use of disposable cups, and thus, waste!
** Remember, we are not only trying to change consumers’ behaviors, but also discouraging vendors’ from providing disposable cups as an easy option.**
More Ways to Participate
A. Participate in KEEP IT (C)UP on social media and share your photos/inspiration:
- WeChat: Join the KEEP IT (C)UP discussion group (send friend request to: 'greenimpact'), and share the campaign on your personal moments!
- Instagram: Follow 'Green_Initatives' and tag #KeepitCUP
- Facebook: Like Us, and tag #KeepitCUP
B. Join the KEEP IT (C)UP campaign team to give your feedback and improve the campaign, and also help us find more ways to reach out to a larger community.
Write to our campaign coordinator, Anna Meda, if you would like to join the group or have any further feedback.
C. Please support our campaign by visiting the page or scanning the QR code below.
Coffee Shops in Shanghai Offering Discounts on Carrying Your Own Mugs
Click on the image for real-time Google map (requires VPN).
If you would like to add other coffee shops that offer discounts or are interested in partnering on the campaign please write to us.
Articles related to disposable cup waste:
Even though the camaign had ended, you can still pledge using the survey , even after the first three weeks have been completed. Head to the survey link to continue pledging to"Keep It Cup".
We hope that each campaign can serve as a starting point to create change, to inspire the community to change contribute to making our planet greener, which many often believe can only be brought about by corporate and government intervention.