Be My Reusable Mug Valentine

Valentine Pug

Source: Cheezburger

It’s Valentine’s Weekend on the University of Rochester campus, and Team Green would like to wish everyone a super yummy Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Hillside has been stocked with Organic Sea Salt Truffles, Ben & Jerry’s Ice-Cream (but not the vegan one….yet…hopefully, one day…maybe we’ll get it), and Sparkling Apple Cider. All the ingredients for some relatively guilt-free indulgence, whether you’re sharing with a special someone, a group of friends, or basking in self-love. Valentine’s Weekend is also a time for coffee dates, whether you’re in a sorority and shopping around for a potential big/little or meeting up with someone you met on Tindr/in class/in the tunnels/caught out in this horrible Winter wind. For example, this week I have been on 5 Big/Little coffee dates and two “Let’s Catch Up” dates.

Watching myself throw away a paper cup and plastic lid every single day to just go into a landfill really did break my heart, no Valentine’s pun intended. If you’re not an avid coffee drinker, throwing away one disposable cup once a month is easy to pass off as not that big of a deal. But if you’re a normal college student who wakes up early, exercises regularly, manages to stay awake in classes, works a campus job, attends all social meetings, and gets homework done a minute before the deadline, then you drink coffee everyday. If not coffee, then at least a cup of tea.

Imagine that, 7 days a week, 30 days in a month, approximately 12 months in school, and you’re throwing away a cup every single one of those days. With 5,000+ undergrad students on this campus and hundreds of faculty and staff, that adds up to our very own University of Rochester landfill. As Ryan Gosling would say around this time of the year:

Ryan Gosling "Hey Girl"

Source: Rookie

So, this Valentine’s Day, I bought myself a reusable mug. Even wrapped it up and wrote myself a greeting card (I’m that cool, *cough* pathetic *cough*). It was only $16.99, and now every time I get a cup of hot coffee or tea (or an iced drink if I had a cold cup), it’s only $1.39. That translates to spending only $9.73 that week, instead of $13.23. Those savings add up, especially for freshmen with low declining and upper class-men who need their declining for real food too (or upper class-men who chronically snack, *cough* me *cough*). More importantly, that’s 7 cups less sitting on my conscience and my own carbon footprint.

Happy Cat

Source: MemesVault

Some ideas to turn that mug into a gift:

  • Fill a mug with candy/chocolates/your person’s favorite snacks.
  • Turn the mug into a vase and fill it with a bouquet of flowers.
  • Write a bunch of mini Valentine notes (poems, reasons why you love them, memories, song lyrics), fold them up (maybe try origami hearts?), and put them in the cup for your lovely person to discover.
  • Leave a lipstick stain on the rim of the mug, as a little “kiss”.
  • Write a note in marker on the outside.

So, here’s to coffee dates, getting work done, comfy Starbucks chairs, coffeehouse music, and saving the world.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!! Love yourself, love each other, love the world.


Author: Jackie Ibragimov


How to Properly Recycle Starbucks Drinks

Let’s see how much you really know about Starbucks:

  1. Are Starbucks cold cups recyclable?
  2. How about their warm cups?
  3. Can you refill your reusable mug with tea or coffee for just $1.39?

The answer to Q1 is yes, all cold cups are recyclable! Just make sure you dump out the ice and any leftover iced coffee. By recycling cold cups, waste is diverted from landfills, which prevents more land from being converted into waste facilities. Don’t forget the straw! (They’re recyclable too.)

Q2 is somewhat of a trick; half of the cup is recyclable. Any plastic lid used on a warm beverage is recyclable but the paper cup is not. So if you have been throwing out the lids on your coffee, start recycling them! (However, you can recycle the paper sleeve.)

The answer to Q3 is: absolutely! If you bring your reusable mug into Starbucks, you can get coffee or tea refilled for only a 1.39!

So why do we care about how much goes to landfills? The more trash we deposit, the more energy and oil we have to use for transportation and proper disposal of waste. The more we can recycle and compost, the more resources we can conserve.

So next time you get Starbucks, remember to recycle!


Author: Gabryella Pulsinelli