i like getting coffee. i used to be a starbucks gal who recently switched to peets, and am trying even harder to hit up my local mom & pop cafe/bakery as much as i can. my (pretty much daily) coffee. it's something i think very hard about giving up, only to reconsider a moment later. i'm stuck here wondering why that is, and why i can't just do without. i'd save money--a lot of money. $3 per day = nearly $1100 over the course of a year. i'd save calories--a lot of calories. 147,450, to be exact. but this isn't a budgeting blog, and it's not a dieting blog either. so i suppose i should focus on the cups. here's what i found on the subject:
“In 2005, Americans used and discarded 14.4 billion disposable paper cups for hot beverages. If put end-to-end, those cups would circle the earth 55 times. Based on anticipated growth of specialty coffees, that number will grow to 23 billion by 2010—enough to circle the globe 88 times. Based on hot cup usage in 2005, the petrochemicals used in the manufacture of those cups could have heated 8,300 homes for one year.”
"but," says i, "i forgo the little plastic lid, and i take my cup and i throw it into my compost bin at home, where it turns into lovely dirt for my garden. doesn't that kind of help offset the fact that i am indulging in serious disposability?"
the answer is not in my favor:
"Today, there is no way to compost or recycle the billions of disposable coffee cups used in the U.S. each year. It’s all due to a simple fact: the cups are lined with a petroleum-based plastic (polyethylene) to prevent leaking."
are you serious?
anyway, further research led me to cups lined with corn, instead of plastic. not widely used, and certainly not used at any of the big chains. plus, once a little light has been shed on just how much energy is needed to produce a mass amount of coffee cups, corn-lined or otherwise, it's hard not to feel more than a bit guilty. (starbucks cups are made of 10% post-consumer recycled cardboard. the other 90%, i guess, is brand-spanking new). let's not even get started on fair trade issues. i just really want my coffee, and i don't want to make it at home because it's never the same. i guess i could start bringing my own container but i'm not even sure how this works if you're going through the drive through... though trips through the drive through are rare these days, as both places i frequent the most often don't have them. so maybe i should give it a try.
sigh. can anyone recommend a travel mug?