This is an exciting time to be in coffee, because there’s so much good being done within the industry. We’re privileged to work with companies that promote development in developing countries, encourage sustainable farming practices and do good for the environment, and we’re always excited to hear about new companies that are pursuing these goals. There’s one company, in particular, that has captured our attention recently: Reduce Reuse Grow.
The Problem: Disposable Coffee Cups
Reduce Reuse Grow has found an innovative way to address a common issue at coffee shops. Every day, Americans drink 400 million cups of coffee. Over the course of a year, this consumption accounts for 146 billion discarded coffee cups.
Reduce Reuse Grow is not the first company to tackle this issue. Many coffee shops recycle their paper cups, but cups can only be recycled two to three times (as Reduce Reuse Grow points out). After a few recyclings, the cups’ fibers are too weak to be reused. Another common solution is to promote reusable cups, but as much as we try – how many people remember to bring their travel mug with them to the cafe every day?
The Solution: A Coffee Cup You Can Plant
Reduce Reuse Grow’s solution is an innovative coffee cup that you can plant. Made from recycled fibers, their cups have seeds embedded in them. The cardboard will decompose within 180 days of being planted, and it has been engineered to provide nutrients for the seeds in it to sprout. A few months after enjoying your coffee, the only thing that will remain of your cup will be a little dirt and some flowers (or trees).
Thus far, Reduce Reuse Grow is targeting the San Francisco and Boulder, Colorado areas (Come to Brooklyn!!). They’re hoping to partner with cafes and other businesses in these cities partly because they are using seeds of plants local to those regions.
(For people who don’t have a green thumb, Reduce Reuse Grow is planning to set up a program where cups can be left at a cafe and picked up by a third party that will plant the cups.)
The Company: Reduce Reuse Grow
We wanted to share this with you, because we’ve never seen an idea like this. We’d love to know more about how Reduce Reuse Grow is hoping to partner with third-party companies to plant the cups, and we want to make sure the fibers don’t interfere with a coffee’s flavors.
This is an idea and company that we’re really excited about, and we had to pass their vision along. They’re running a Kickstarter campaign right now if you’re interested in learning more.
(At Driftaway Coffee we don’t gain anything by promoting Reduce Reuse Grow’s campaign, and we’re not officially affiliated with the company.)