For four years, I commuted daily by train to my teaching job. I’d leave my home early, wishing I was still in bed, and think about how just getting to work seemed like a job onto itself. But once I was settle in with my book in one hand and my cup of tea in the other, I actually enjoyed the quiet ride.
That cup of tea was what truly made the trip so relaxing. For all of those years, my daily morning routine was heading to the same coffee shop in the train station to buy my medium cup. I would often be given two cups because the tea was so hot and I accepted them because I didn’t want to burn my hands, but it bothered me. How wasteful, I’d think, as I sipped away. I’d do things differently now though.
The Environmental Defense Fund’s Papercalculator estimates that the United States throws out over 16 billion paper cups a year, which works out to 6.57 million trees. These numbers really are not surprising – think of how many people you see on the go with a disposable cup in their hands.
If you are someone who drinks coffee or tea on a regular basis when you’re on the go, strongly consider buying a reusable insulated mug to use instead. If you purchase coffee even just 3 times per week, it would mean not using 156 cups per year. Remember, small changes over time can amount to measurable differences.