Planting Your Coffee Cup: A Smart Way to Help the Planet

If you are out, start to feel sluggish, and happen to have a coffee on the go, what do you do with the cup? You probably recycle it, right? While this is a good option, it turns out there may be something we can do with our disposable cups that may be even better for the environment… planting them!

San Luis Obispo, California is home to an innovative company known as Reduce. Reuse. Grow. This company has developed a coffee cup with seeds native to the region housed inside the walls, so that coffee lovers can plant their empty cups. This is remarkable in that it makes the disposal of this disposable cup an ecologically beneficial move.

If coffee drinkers do not wish to plant the cups themselves, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. accepts them back and plants them. According to the company, the cups are, “to be used for reforestation in your local communities,” and they are willing to help in this mission. The company’s website, which is in development, is set to include a section on optimal places to plant the cups.

On their Kickstarter website, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. writes:

“We have developed a post consumer paper based cup which will be able to extract over 1 ton of CO2 out of the atmosphere annually once planted. We have taken those fibers from local recycling centers, which would usually be too rough to implement back into a packaging product, and created a cup that we are happy to truly name the most eco friendly disposable coffee cup.”

The website continues:

coffee cups“The cup is compost certified and will be able to biodegrade within 180 days leaving the seeds and cup itself to turn into nutrients for other plants to enjoy!”

If you’re thinking that hot coffee may lead to the destruction of delicate seeds housed within the cup’s walls, designer Alex Henige states, “we have done testing with only a handful of native seeds here in California as related to coffee heat. We have had no problem with their germination due to the fact that they are not coming in direct contact with the coffee itself.” So, while more seed types need to be tested, so far, so good.

This project has just surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal – it was seeking 10,000 dollars, and excitingly, raised just over 21,000. On the future of the plantable coffee cup, Henige asserts, “this is a product I stand behind fully and I look forward to seeing where and how it develops within the next couple months!”

We’re curious to see how it develops too! If all disposable coffee cups were biodegradable and came complete with seeds, we may have a lot less waste… and a lot more trees.

-The Alternative Daily


Recommended Articles