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Help Save the Planet, Keep Your Coffee Cup
Green Technology Featured Articles
December 16, 2011

Help Save the Planet, Keep Your Coffee Cup

By Stefania Viscusi
Assignment Desk Editor

What’s worse than a cold cup of coffee? While some of you java addicts may think nothing, there is a giant planet we live on that’s on its way to a very harsh future because we are not doing enough to protect it.

So what do coffee and saving the planet have to do with one another? Disposable cups. While these items are convenient, offer easy clean up, and keep your coffee warm as you run around completing your daily tasks, most of them are not recyclable. Meaning they can sit in trash heaps for 50 years or more just to biodegrade.

As we all become more conscious of the planet and what we will be leaving behind for our future generations, there has become a drastic focus on green products and greater personal responsibility for how we are treating the environment.

Now, one company is offering just the thing you need to start doing your part while still enjoying your hot “cup of Joe.”

The solution, “KeepCup,” is a barista - standard reusable cup perfect for “sustainable coffee consumption” that, company officials say, includes the plastic of 28 disposable cups and lids to make just one KeepCup.

Not only are the cups a lightweight plastic, but they have low embodied energy when manufactured and are BPA-free and non-toxic.

The idea behind their design versus other “on-the-go” coffee mugs in the market is they have been created to fit right under the heads of most espresso machines so coffee can be made right in the cup and are dishwasher and microwave safe.

Also, an insulating band on the cup gives users a place to etch their personal coffee preferences for baristas.

An independent Life Cycle Assessment study comparing the KeepCup with disposables was conducted over the course of one year by The Centre for Design at RMIT and included on KeepCup’s website. The results found half the carbon, one third of water use, and half the energy use was needed with the KeepCup compared with disposables.

While the company said its already gained success in the U.K. and Australia, it’s pushing the product to the U.S. market now in a bid to prove that even the smallest Green practices can have a far reaching and positive impact on the environment.

Earlier this week, pharmacy retailer Rite Aid announced it is now taking a bigger step in helping the environment also as a partnership with Ecova, a total energy and sustainability management company will allow them to track and reduce the carbon footprint created by its 4,700 pharmacies nationwide.

As per the partnership, Ecova will be supplying Rite Aid with rate monitoring and optimization services that evaluate and recommend energy options that ensure they are paying the lowest cost available.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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