Reusable cups at Starbucks: Ethical consumption for coffeeholics

Starbucks Cold Cup TumblerStarbucks sells between 15 and 30 million cups of coffee per day worldwide, translating into about 6 billion paper cups of waste annually. For coffee lovers that are also trying to save the environment, these numbers can be shocking. Iced coffees can be a great way to chill out this summer, and now Starbucks is making it easier (and more stylish) to consume coffee ethically.

The Starbucks Cold Cup Tumbler looks just like the traditional iced coffee disposable cup, complete with green straw, but is made of durable, thick plastic, making the hot item reusable and machine-washable. Each time a customer brings in their own eco-friendly mug, they save one from being sent to the dump. They also knock 10 cents every time they bring it in, which can add up to a whopping $36.50 a year if used daily.

The discounted cups are offered through the Green Project, an initiative that Starbucks adopted in 1985 to encourage customers to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs. “One person can save trees, together we can save forests,” is the company’s philosophy on the mission.

Starbucks also participates in many other socially responsible projects, including (STARBUCKS) RED. Through their relationship with Product (RED), Starbucks makes a contribution to the Global Fund to help people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa each time a customer buys a (RED) product or uses a (RED) card.

Starbucks even offers their customers a commitment to do business with the environment and ethics in mind called Starbucks Shared Planet. They promise to only purchase the highest quality, ethically sourced and responsibly grown coffee, to reduce their own carbon footprint, and to give back to the communities they serve.

The Starbucks Cold Cup Tumbler is a great way for environment enthusiasts to support this green company. The tumbler gained huge popularity last summer, and has sold for anywhere between $15 and $100 dollars. Check out your local Starbucks to purchase yours today. Not only will you be helping a great cause, but your coffee will be happy to be sipped in style.