Where would you be without your morning coffee(s)? If your answer is either: 1. Still in bed or 2. Curled in a little ball under your desk, then chances are a day rarely goes by when you skip your morning cup. This is the case for most people in the U.S., however, according to the folks behind Reduce. Reuse. Grow., our collective coffee habit leaves around 146 billion coffee cups in landfills annually. Ouch.
Although some eco-conscious coffee consumers have taken the initiative and started bringing refillable mugs to their favorite local cafe, this is not yet the norm. And, to be honest, when faced with a debilitating caffeine headache or grabbing a disposable to-go cup, most of us would choose the latter. Luckily, there might be an end to this particular dilemma soon thanks to Reduce. Reuse, Grow.’s plantable coffee cup.
Rather than sending used paper cups to recycling facilities (where they can only be used up to three times pending if they are coated with plastic), landscape and architecture student Alex Henige wanted to find a way to remove coffee cups from the waste stream entirely. To do this, he began to consider plantable packaging, a completely sustainable way to dispose of waste. By using a compost certified paper cup impregnated with seeds, the cup will not only become part of the soil, but also result in the growth of native plants.
Pretty genius, huh?
When the consumer is finished with their coffee, all they have to do is soak the cup in water for five minutes and plant it in the ground. If they don’t take the cup with them, they can dispose of it in a designated bin in the coffee shop and it will be planted by Reduce. Reuse. Grow or another third-party affiliate as part of a local reforestation initiative.
So, you can have your coffee and drink and plant it too! What a concept.
To make this cup a reality, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. has launched a Kickstarter campaign. They have already surpassed their initial goal of $10,000 and there are still four days left to contribute – so it looks like we may get to see some commercially manufactured cups soon!
All image source: Reduce. Reuse. Grow