Sipping Sustainability: Coffee Cups on UVIC Campus
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At UVIC, over 3000 paper coffee cups are thrown out every day. That is the equivalent of one average sized tree here on Vancouver Island. So we made a statement by taking all the coffee cups that would have previously gone into the landfill, and we dumped it on my head.
If you like trees, hate garbage, or just like signing petitions, please add your voice to our campaign to get the University of Victoria to provide alternatives to disposable coffee cups.
So what's wrong with disposable coffee cups? Beyond deforestation, our campus' cup waste is contributing to climate change. When you throw your paper cup in the garbage, it won't just compost in the landfill. As compostable materials break down in a landfill they decompose anaerobically and release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
Coffee cups are also not obviously compostable. There are many eco-friendly ways to dispose of these cups, but it isn't clear for the average student to know what those are. The paper cups sold on campus are compostable and recyclable, but due to a lack of education and clear signage, most of these cups end up in the garbage.
Our goal with this project is to get the University to provide alternatives to the current sole option, disposable cups. Here are some solutions we have thought of:
1) A campus wide cup share program similar to those being trialled at universities around Canada. These systems provide reusable cups for people to use when they forget their own, and can then be returned for a deposit.
2) Mugs in the cafes around campus so that people can sip their coffees to stay. This will not only make campus more personal but will help keep cups out of the trash.
3) Subsidized travel mugs available at the cafes around campus to encourage people to bring their own mugs from home.
And there are many other options! Sign the petition, share the video, and give us your ideas for a cup-free future on campus.
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