Monday, March 26, 2007

No Paper Cups For Me, Please!

A recent NYTimes article profiled the uber-environmentalist No Impact Couple, a husband and wife living in Manhattan who are trying to live as green-friendly a life as is possible in the Big Apple. This includes not driving, not taking the elevator, only eating food grown in a 250-mile radius of New York, and for that matter only using consumer products produced within that range.

Also, it means telling baristas they prefer to use mugs instead of paper (or Styrofoam) cups. This issue resonates particularly with me, as I've found a number of coffee shops that are very displeased when asked to provide mugs. It is particularly galling to be told that mugs are not available, especially when there are rows and rows of mugs lining the walls. I know at least one person who carries around a travel mug everywhere she goes, politely requesting that drinks be made in it, rather than in a disposable cup.

How common is this experience? Do other people want mugs instead of paper cups, only to be told they're unavailable? Are there any coffee shops committed to serving drinks in mugs?


Anonymous Tara said...

The paper cup thing is a big issue for me. I have a traveling job and I really love coffee. My solution has been to carry the travel mug. This works well, but I have found that many coffee shops will still make my drink in a paper cup and then transfer it to my travel mug of the exact same size. Whaaaa?? (Luckily, Starbucks, the lone choice at many a rest stop/airport, does not do this.)

1:02 PM  
Blogger Hedy De Vine said...

I get very frustrated when I stop at a coffee shop and they serve my drink in a to-go paper cups with one of those slip covers to protect your hand from the heat even though I'm planning to stay there to drink my coffee.

They rarely ask and by the time I realize they're preparing it in a to-go cup, it's too late and the waste has been done. I gotta start remembering to demand the mug when I place my order.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Julia said...

I am just back in the US after living nine year overseas in france and switzerland-- where the "to go" movement has not quite caught on yet. The waste involved in serving coffee in paper cups despite the fact that I (and my fellow coffee drinkers) are drinking my coffee in the cafe is a perfect example of short term, "Me-me" thinking. What can we do to change this short term thinking????

2:59 AM  

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