menu

Coffee Cup Exchange Program Creates A Waste-Free Sharing Economy

Coffee Cup Exchange Program Creates A Waste-Free Sharing Economy
Retail

New Yorkers share everything, so why not their coffee cups?

Rachel Pincus
  • 28 april 2014

Despite New York’s penchant for being ahead of the curve, one thing hasn’t changed at least since the advent of Starbucks: the paper coffee cup as both handwarmer and membership card for the haute too-busy-to-sit-down club. If you want to avoid using the paper cups, you either have to go to a sit-down restaurant or carry a bulky mug around with you (one that will inevitably start to smell funny after a while). And this is a problem, not only for the environment but for doing efficient business. Even municipal authorities, with their obligation to take out the trash, suffer. As Fast Company points out, “If you zoom out to take a look at the giant churning ant farm that is the city, those plastic-lined paper cups turn into a millions-strong waste stream, most of which gets trucked into landfill in other states.

What if the problem could remedied in a way that increases brand loyalty as well? Enter the DO School‘s ‘Good To Go’ coffee cup-sharing program with the Brooklyn Roasting Company in DUMBO. The 10-week international social good program collaborated with the local business to produce 500 ceramic mugs (reminiscent of the blue used by another ‘share’ program, Citibike). Those who bring the mugs back get a 25-cent discount on their morning joe. However, even though the mugs are thoroughly sterilized after being returned and are comparable to the plates and cutlery in restaurants, customers still expressed concerns about hygiene. “We’re very used to sharing plates and cups in restaurants, but not so much for our to go items,” DO School CEO Katherin Kirschenmann told FastCo. “On the positive end, one of the major lessons that surprised us is how aware people are of the problem, and how open they were to participate in it. We got a lot of thank yous.”

goodtogo2.jpeg

The problem is mostly psychological, and as the reusable takeout containers known as BizeeBoxes demonstrate, many other companies are equally eager to address it. Another option for those who don’t want to share: disposable terra cotta cups known as kulhar have been a traditional vessel for hot beverages in India for thousands of years. At any rate, drinking out of a ceramic container is always a more formidable experience than paper. As the Brooklyn Roasting Company continues to explore the pilot program with different cup sizes and the DO School seeks to woo private sponsors, urbanites may soon have a new warm companion in their hands.

DO School // Brooklyn Roasting Company
[h/t] Fast Company

Retail
Trending

Volvo's Self-Driving Trucks Will Soon Be Put To Work In An Underground Mine

Automotive
Op-Ed Today

The Future Of The American Workforce Requires Unbundling College Education

President of JetBlue Technology Ventures: developing corporate education programs for non-traditional students

Retail Today

Gilt’s Pop-Up House Is The Kind Of Store You’ll Want To Live In

The New York City townhouse plays host to the latest in retail inspiration, curation, and lifestyle activation (and some libations, too)

Mobile Today

Registering To Vote Is Now Just A Text Away

A new bot aims to mobilize underrepresented groups this election season through SMS and Facebook Messenger

Related Expert

Nondini Naqui

Millennial Personal Finance

Africa Today

Virtual Reality Game Gives Lessons About Emergency Birth Care

LIFE is a serious tool that takes advantage of new technology to help save lives

Luxury Today

Shoe Repair Has Moved Onto Your Phone

Cobbler Concierge is an on-demand service to get your footwear fixed online

Work Today

Microsoft Wants To Help Workers Better Communicate With Their Coworkers

Project Sonoma is a new app designed to help employees chat and coordinate shifts with their associates

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed september 28, 2016

Energy Expert: How American Consumers Are Taking Control Of Their Power Use

Jennifer Tuohy, green tech expert at The Home Depot, discusses green home technologies and developments for renewable technologies in US homes

PSFK Labs Yesterday

The 10 Steps To Discover, Hire, Develop Your Next Leader

PSFK's Future of Work report outlines key steps in the employee development path to empower next-gen leaders

Advertising Today

Real-Time Data Used To Calculate The Brand Power Of Athletes

Brandtix has develope a digital platform with a complex algorithm that combines social media variables with player performance to predict the next A-list pros

Automotive Yesterday

Toyota Is Using Sewage To Power Its New Electric Car

A new hydrogen-fueled vehicle is driven by what we flush away

Culture Yesterday

Catch A Concert On This Small Floating Island

A man-made archipelago in Italy is hosting music and art performances

Design & Architecture Yesterday

DIY Kit Lets You Build Your Own Wooden Bike, Boat Or Caravan

Woodenwidget says its detailed guides are suitable for beginners and experienced woodworkers alike

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Design Yesterday

Crash-Friendly Drone Made From LEGOs Is Completely Rebuildable

The clever device offers games, education and the uniquely rewarding experience of destroying your high-flying airship

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Free Sneakers Given Out To Motivated Marathon Runners

Strava will give the shoes to athletes who run the second half of their race faster than the first

Culture Yesterday

Someone Invented A Robot Just To Serve Trays Of Beef Jerky

Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz, in partnership with Chef's Cut Real Jerky, creates an automated snack delivery system

No search results found.