Friday, March 18, 2016

Rebuild Forests with Plantable Coffee Cup


We all love coffee. Period.

What we don’t like is the fact that each coffee cup we use contributes to the pile of waste in landfills. Americans are the leading coffee drinkers worldwide, consuming up to 400 million cups daily (or 146 billion cups annually).

Buying a coffee contained in a disposable cup means contributing to about 23 lbs. of waste every year. Not to mention, Styrofoam is not an entirely recyclable material it’ll be in the landfills for over 500 years.

Sure, merchants can introduce recyclable cups. But, are these enough? Will these be able to reduce the amount of Styro cups in the landfills? No, more so since recyclable cups can only be used three times before they end up in wastelands as well.

Here comes the good news – plantable coffee cups!

A Kickstarter project, spearheaded by an eco-startup in San Luis Obispo, aims to turn your coffee cups into trees. Dubbed as ‘The World’s First Plantable Coffee Cup,’ Reduce. Reuse. Grow., the brains behind the project, wants to manufacture paper cups embedded with native seeds. You simply need to soak the cup in water for 5 minutes and plant it afterward.

The best part is, the cup may contain seeds that are native to a particular region, avoiding the existence of invasive plants in the process. You need not attend a tree planting Philippines event to know how to plant the cups. Instructions on how to plant the paper are detailed at the bottom of the cup, too.

Coffee drinkers may plant the cups themselves in their backyards or a local park. They may also place them on Reduce. Reuse. Grow.-marked trash bins, which will be then transferred to specific reforestation locations.

Alternatively, a third-party organization may collect the cups and plant them for local reforestation initiatives; a more appropriate move since producing these containers involves mowing down of trees. Don’t worry if the cups are thrown away because they are 100% biodegradable; these can be completely biodegraded in just 180 days.

The coffee cups are currently in the prototype form. The project will come to fruition once it reached the $10,000 goal. As of this writing, nonetheless, the project had already garnered more than $21,000. The cups will be delivered to local coffee shops. Each cup will cost about $.02 per cup.

Plantable is not such a new idea. In fact, there are plantable wedding invitations, plantable greeting cards, and plantable gift wrappers. There are also plantable pencils, courtesy of Sprout.

Apparently, this project is a perfect way to tackle the problem that haunts the worldwide coffee industry while breathing new life to trees. And the compostable coffee cup is just the starting point as there are many other seed-filling opportunities.

Let’s drink to that!

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