Sustainability Column: Coffee Break

Matt Froelich

I want you to take a second and think about your morning routine – if you’re not a coffee drinker then I apologize because this will not be directly relatable. Most mornings, I make my way up the hill and stop in the Coop for a large cup of coffee. Kathy swipes my ‘Gate card and I go over to the coffee and pour myself a boiling hot cup. I gulp the coffee down and then I head to class – stopping only to throw my cup out. Looking around my classes and at the library, I can tell that this is the daily routine for most of us on this campus, as well as all over the world. It is convenient and easy to simply use a disposable cup, and frankly once it is in the trash it is out of our minds. I am just as guilty of contributing to this problem. However, my goal this semester is to do my best to stop. Not stop drinking coffee, because it would be impossible for me to be functioning in the morning or to finish a paper at 2 a.m. without it. Instead, I would like to reduce my own part in the making of this unnecessary waste. In fact, according to Recycling Advocates’ website, if a person buys one cup of coffee or tea every day and drinks it out of a disposable cup, they would create around 23 pounds of waste in one year alone. If we all reduced our use of these cups, imagine the amount of trash that would be saved every year.

I believe that this is a very achievable goal for us as a campus. While it might not always be convenient to carry a reusable cup around and to wash it constantly, the amount of waste and energy that could be saved is worth it. And if you are not a coffee drinker, it can still be an aim goal to use a reusable water bottle instead of taking to-go cups from the Coop or plastic water bottles. These are small goals that we hopefully can strive to complete in an effort to better our environment. On top of that, I hear that there is even a small discount given at the Hieber Café if you bring your own mug. What’s there to lose?

Contact Matt Froelich

at [email protected].