Your daily Starbucks habit isn’t just bad for your health and your wallet. It’s also contributing to a negative impact on the environment by adding tremendous amounts of waste to the landfill. According to their website, Starbucks’ cups account for about 4 billion cups globally per year. How many of those cups are actually recycled? Not many.
Starbucks claims to be “on track” for their goal of having made 100 percent of their cups either reusable or recyclable by 2015. But that doesn’t mean the cups will actually be reused or recycled. To help solve this dilemma, the company also strives to serve 5 percent of beverages in personal reusable tumblers. This is where you come in.
Since 1985, Starbucks has given a 10 cent discount each time a customer brings in their own cup for their coffee. The company sells a wide variety of stylish tumblers and mugs for customers to purchase, and even offers a cup that only costs $1.
However, as you may have noticed, the idea hasn’t quite caught on. It’s not very often that you see anyone drinking their latte or frappuccino out of their own personal cup. In fact, in all of the Starbucks I have been to, I have not seen any noticeable signs even promoting the 10 cent discount.
That being said, it may seem a little awkward or annoying to ask the barista to put your drink in a cup you brought from home. But one of our contributors had an overall fairly positive experience when she brought her mason jar to Starbucks every day for a week.
You can also help kickstart the bring-your-own-cup trend. Purchase a cup that suits each type of beverage you order, and make it a habit to bring it with you each time you’re making your morning or afternoon coffee run. It will be challenging at first, but if you are able to keep it up, you’ll not only be saving money (10 cents doesn’t seem like much, but if you’re a Starbucks addict, it’ll add up), you’ll also be reducing your own personal impact on the environment.
For Those Who Like It Hot
The Struggle is Real Travel Mug from Francesca’s, $20
These double-walled, dishwasher and microwave-safe ceramic mugs are built to last. This one will fit a tall chai tea latte – or whatever you’re feeling in the AM.
Ban.do But First Coffee Mug from Forever 21, $14
This wildly popular acrylic cup, which holds 16 oz, is perfect for a grande latte.
Pineapple Coffee Tumbler from Nordstrom Rack, $9.97
This fun tropical cup, which holds a tall drink, is made of durable plastic and is dishwasher-safe.
For Those Prefer it Iced, Iced Baby
Eat Cake for Breakfast Insulated Tumbler from Kate Spade, $18
Admit it, you might be at Starbucks doing exactly what this insulated tumbler says. Perfect for a Venti iced coffee, this cup received rave reviews.
Personalized Starbucks Tumbler from Etsy, $10
With these personalized cups, the barista will always get your name right.
Mason Traveler Tumbler from Walmart, $9.38
Trendy and easy to carry, this mason jar is one of the few options large enough to keep even Trenta-sized drinks cold.
Be Brave Milk Bottle with Straw from Bed, Bath, & Beyond, $3.99
Go retro with this adorable milk bottle. All your grande-sized drinks will taste even better in glass.
For Those Who Need Their Frozen Frappuccino Fix
Purple Frappuccino Cold Cup from Starbucks, $14.95
Whipped cream-accommodating cups with lids can be tough to find, but luckily Starbucks has you covered.
Pusheen Dome Lid Travel Cup from Hot Topic, $18.90
Outside of Starbucks, you can find a few other options for your frappuccino, like this adorable grande-sized Pusheen cup.