6 Reasons to Use a Reusable Coffee Cup

10.02.12 6 Reasons to Use a Reusable Coffee Cup

It's not much of a stretch to assume that most people frequent the local cafe. Maybe this is part of your daily routine or maybe just a weekend tradition. Either way, it's easy for people to fall into a pattern of ordering a coffee drink and throwing out the disposable cup. Let's face it, habits are hard to break. When we're presented with options that feel easy in the moment, it can certainly feel hard to make a change.

So why consider the alternative? Here are 6 reasons that using a reusable coffee mug/tumbler/cup make the effort well worth it.

1. Styrofoam: According to the EPA, 25 billion styrofoam cups are thrown away each year in the US and have the potential to stay in the landfill for a good 500 years. Styrofoam is made from polystyrene, a petroleum derived material. In addition to the harm done to the planet, styrene is also considered carcinogenic and has been shown to leach from polystyrene, especially when the inside liquid was hot.

2. Paper: Even though paper may seem like a better choice than styrofoam, paper cups are lined with a

type of plastic called polyethylene so the cup won't just turn to mush. Unfortunately, the glue used to hold those paper cups together partially dissolves when the coffee is poured into the cup, releasing trace amounts of toxins, such as melamine, into the coffee. And unlike newspaper and cardboard boxes, disposable paper cups are not recyclable because of the combination of materials. Not to mention the 20 million trees that are cut down each year for coffee cups.

3. Plastic lid: Coffee cup lids are made of plastic #6, also known as polystyrene and known to leach styrene, the newest member on the US List of Carcinogens. A better alternative is using a silicone or BPA-free lid that can be used repeatedly.

4. Cardboard sleeve: Since most cardboard sleeves are thrown out along with the non-recyclable disposable cup, there is even more waste. Of course there is no need for a protective sleeve when using a double wall reusable coffee cup because the heat stays on the inside!

5. Plastic cups for iced beverages: The plastic cups used for to-go iced beverages are made from #5 polypropylene plastic. Although they are technically recyclable, most curbside programs won't accept this type of plastic. However, the company Preserve (they make toothbrushes and razors from recycled yogurt cups) has a program called Gimme 5 that collects #5 plastic in participating Whole Foods stores. Or, you could use a reusable insulated tumbler for long-lasting iced coffee.

6. Taste: Drinking coffee from a ceramic or stainless steel tumbler just tastes better! High quality 18/8 stainless steel ensures that your reusable mug won't rust. And double-walled mugs provide the insulation (hot and cold) for a civilized and comforting beverage that can linger for hours.

It can be hard to remember to bring your own mug along to the cafe. Start by getting in the habit of leaving your reusable mug where you'll most use it. Just like the transition from plastic bags to reusable shopping bags, sometimes it's easier to have more than one to make the new healthy habit stick.

At MightyNest, we look for well-made, well-designed and safe-to-use products. We enjoy our trips to the local cafe and the pleasure of drinking from a toxic-free cup that we can use over and over again. We believe that investing in a reusable coffee cup should have a significant return by providing years of use.

Click here to view our reusable coffee tumblers.

What do you look for when selecting a reusable coffee mug?

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