Step 2: Say no to “To Go” cups

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Cutting out my daily trip to Starbucks has been quite difficult so far.  On a normal day, I will stop in Skillman library and order a venti iced coffee and make my way to my first class.  However, I have found that it’s not impossible to cut back on this.  Using my keurig instead of starbucks is actually easier because I do not have to go out of my way for coffee, however it is just not as good and there are not as many options of flavors.  So I have come to the conclusion that not only do I get Starbucks or wawa coffee as frequently as every day because it tastes good, but also because of the assortment of flavors and types of drinks that I crave. I think that I can learn to avoid these types of drinks at these places if I can make a variety of them in my dorm room and still get the caffeine that I truly need to get on with my day.

The reason that I make few trips a day to Starbucks is because of the caffeine in the drinks.  I am a caffeine addict- I need it every day to wake me up and motivate me.  Without it, I feel like curling back into bed every day after class and ignoring all of my school work.  Reflecting on my caffeine intake and amount of coffee I drink every day also gives me insight into the fact that I should probably be getting a bit more sleep than I normally do.

Few studies have been done that analyze the difference between reusable cups and ones that can be purchased from coffee venders. In this particular study, they scientifically measured the different environmental impacts that the two different types of cups produce.  According to their study, using a reusable cup one time compared to a one-time-use cup is more harmful to the environment because of the dishwashing process that follows using a reusable cup (Garrido 2007).  This study shows that using a reusable cup and washing it is equivalent to using 10 one-time-use cups that you could purchase from a place like starbucks because the amount of energy and water that is used to do one dishwashing cycle.  However, because I am not at home and do not have a washing machine, I will not be using a dishwasher to clean my reusable cup.  Instead I will be hand washing with a small amount of dish soap.  I think overall I will be helping the environment while breaking my bad behavior.

Garrido N, Castillo D. Environmental evaluation of single use and reusable cups. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 2007, Volume 12, Number 4, Page 252

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