With fall in full swing, have you ever wondered what happens to your coffee cup after you finish sipping your favorite Pumpkin Spice Latte?
Starting on Oct. 5, The University of Florida will compete against 15 other universities in the nation’s largest reusable cup contest.
This four-week challenge, entitled “Kill the Cup,” will run from Oct. 5 to Oct. 30. It encourages students to promote reusable coffee cups and reduce disposable cup usage.
“It’s a competition based off which university can increase their reusable cup percentage the most,” said Allison Vitt, Outreach Coordinator for the UF office of Sustainability.
Many people are unaware that coffee cups are not recyclable due to the necessary lining for hot coffee. Therefore, the cups end up at landfills, Vitt said.
Small changes, such as bringing a reusable cup to your favorite coffee shop, can make a big difference.
“People don’t understand the magnitude of difference one small change can make,” said Amy Mahler, Director of Operations for Greeks Going Green.
Nationwide, Starbucks’ reusable cup rate is only about 1.8 percent. The company is aiming to reach a 5 percent reusable cup rate. However, the UF campus currently has a reusable cup rate of about 3.2 percent, Vitt said.
At UF, the Starbucks in Library West is the location that will participate in the Kill the Cup Challenge. Each time a student brings in the reusable cup, he or she will get 25-cents off of the beverage.
Student organizations such as Gators Going Green and Greeks Going Green are spearheading this initiative, aiming to spread awareness and knowledge.
“We really want to not only get people recycling, but also to use more sustainable resources daily,” Mahler said.
Dakota Woll, Executive Director for the Student Government Association, Greeks Going Green, explained that the goal is to simply get students involved by reducing the amount of cups used.
“Sustainability is becoming increasingly important in the world today and initiatives like this can help make both a tangible and everlasting impact on the University of Florida campus,” Woll said.
This campaign is an excellent way to get involved on campus by doing something as simple as bringing your own reusable coffee cup with you.
Vitt encouraged students to get involved in something that they are passionate about and make the most of whatever that may be.
“Find something in your time here that really turns the light bulb on for you,” Vitt said.