Alternatives to Disposable Coffee Cups and Water Bottles
Many people in the US have a coffee shop habit which results in mountains of trash every year, including plastic or plastic-coated cups, plastic lids, plastic stirrers and straws, and more. Half a billion plastic straws are discarded every day in the US alone; imagine what this could add up to on a global scale.
In terms of health, most of us now know that it is important for us to stay hydrated. The recommended guidelines suggest 8 eight-ounce glasses of fresh water per day. That is the equivalent of four bottles of water per day.
The Need to Recycle
Not everyone is careful about how they dispose of their trash. And not everyone takes the trouble to recycle. Others will reuse the same bottle, refilling it from the tap or from a filtered water jug. Even assuming some people take time and trouble over their trash, can you imagine the amount of plastic bottles polluting our landfills and oceans?
The Dangers of Plastic
Plastics are a particular threat to marine life. The huge trash slick in the Pacific Ocean sits in warm water, exposed to the sun every day. Chemicals of various kinds leach from the plastic. The plastic also increases the temperature and acidity of the water, having a major impact on this delicate eco-system. Plastic has even been found to contaminate the waters around Antarctica despite there being no human habitation there.
The plastic also leaches into our drinking water. The resulting contamination interferes with endocrine function (thyroid issues, diabetes) and with our sex hormones, potentially leading to difficulty conceiving, low sperm counts, and more.
Alternatives to Plastic Water Bottles
There are a number of alternatives to plastic water bottles. One is stainless steel. Most models have a clip on the top of the bottles so you can take them with you anywhere. They are very durable and will last for years.
Glass bottles are another alterative to many European brands of mineral water are found in glass bottles. They are reusable and recyclable.
The Hydro Flask is reusable and insulated as well, so it is good for both hot and cold drinks. The models vary in terms of openings at the top, such as wide-mouth, suitable for a straw, and so on.
Or you might wish to try the Lifefactory glass water bottle, which is durable, leak-proof and comes in a range of colors.
Coffee Cup Chaos
It’s easy to cut down on coffee cup chaos. It is just a question of how frugal you want to be. The cheapest solution is to make coffee yourself at home using a traditional coffee maker with a reusable stainless steel filter to avoid on paper filter waste. Buy a travel mug and take your coffee with you everywhere.
If you just can’t stay out of Dunkin or Starbucks, bring your travel mug with you and ask them to place your drink in the mug.
Contigo offers a range of travel mugs in a variety of colors. All are stainless steel and therefore incredibly durable.
Ecoffee offers some gorgeous alternatives to paper coffee cups in their range of reusable bamboo cups. They’re lightweight and many are attractive enough to be a work of art.