‘Green’ Coffee Cups Campaign Launched

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A green campaign to use fewer disposable coffee cups will be launched today at the University of Guelph.

Organized by students and supported by U of G’s Hospitality Services department, the campaign aims to encourage the use of reusable coffee mugs through customer incentives and an advertising campaign to reduce single-use cups.

About 25,000 cups of coffee are sold each day at U of G, mostly in disposable cups.

“This is problematic due to the resources required to manufacture and transport these single-use products, and their significant contribution to landfill waste,” said Alison Tindall, a student co-leader of the campaign.

Cup Warrior_Marion_Icecaps

Marion Davies

The launch will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. in the University Centre courtyard.

Tindall and students Tasia Wong, Monique Chan and Marion Davies partnered with the Feeding 9 Billion program begun by geography professor Evan Fraser. That program aims to improve environmental sustainability and food security locally and globally.

“We worked with faculty in several programs and in Feeding 9 Billion to create a multidimensional campaign, and with Hospitality Services to implement our strategies effectively,” said Davies.

The campaign includes:

  • a new stamp-card program rewarding purchases of hot drinks in reusable mugs;
  • convenient public sinks for washing mugs;
  • posters explaining the environmental effects of consumers’ choices and savings from reusable mugs (Hospitality Services charges any hot drink as a “small” if purchased in a reusable mug, which saves $150 a year for the average customer); and
  • cashiers’ verbal recognition of reusable mugs.

Hospitality Services plans to integrate mugs into U of G’s existing “iamreusable” program, which allows patrons to borrow reusable dishes for meals to-go.

“This campaign will draw on the University of Guelph’s commitment to environmental sustainability, and to inspiring long-term, pro-environmental behaviour in its students and staff,” said Ed Townsley, executive director of Hospitality Services.