In our Christchurch office we have one of those new Council plastic bags to take the recycling out each week. Because it’s transparent, you get a good idea of how much rubbish you’re producing.
Now ok, it is being recycled rather than thrown away … but too many people think that they’re doing the world a favour by simply recycling. We had a temp here who would buy a large plastic bottle of Evian spring water every day. She thought she was a proper eco-saint because she was recycling. At the end of each week, the recycling bag was fit to burst with these bloody huge plastic bottles.
What many people don’t realise is the amount of economic waste that is generated through the recycling process as recycling is not 100% efficient.
There’s one key ‘R’ that is far more effective than recycling and that is to RE-USE.
This brings us nicely to the subject of me. I’m no eco-warrior but I like to think that I’m better than most. But at the end of one month, I had quite a mountain of used takeaway coffee cups.
To be fair, I had started to get my coffee from the Coffee Laboratory in Shades Arcade. James at the Coffee Lab uses BioCups that are biodegradable. A definite step in the right direction but the lids were still naughty old plastic.
Then one of our graphic designers, Abbie, showed me the KeepCup. The KeepCup is a trendy product that’s really taking off in Austrraaylya.
Introducing the KeepCup
Developed in Melborne, Australia, it’s simply a re-usable coffee cup that comes in some funky colours. You simply gives this cup to the coffee-maker-people each time you get a take-away coffee. The baristas don’t mind it at all as it saves them money on coffee cups plus a lot of baristas are pretty switched on when it comes to the environment.
The manufacturer’s website itself is one of the best I’ve seen for showing off a product and understanding how it works. Using their calculator, I worked out that, for my 5 takeaway coffees a week, over the four year life time of the KeepCup I would help the environment by saving 1040 paper cups and 3kg of plastic lids.
The KeepCup has also built up a bit of a cult fan base. Plus a mention from me on Twitter quickly brought five or six people into the conversation and produced a flurry of visits to the KeepCup website and at least one sale in just a few minutes.
Where can I buy a KeepCup in New Zealand?
A bit of research shows that the KeepCup can also be branded. Check out People’s Coffee in Newtown. These guys sell a People’s Coffee branded KeepCup from their cafe and fill it with your first coffee for free.
Elsewhere in New Zealand, you can also buy the KeepCup online from CoffeeSupreme.com for $15 plus $3.50 for delivery, or in Wellington and Christchurch you can visit the Starfish stores to purchase one in person for $18 for the smaller model and $22 for the larger model. I’ve just bought one myself. A fetching charcoal grey with a red tab.
If you’re after a cool coffee cup but the KeepCup isn’t quite doing it for you, try these alternative mugs from Mighty Ape.