RWTH Save the Cup Challenge Continues

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Reusable Cup

You don’t know what the save the cup challenge is. Well, I doubt anyone is keeping up yet, but if you are, then you know what the save the cup challenge is.  For the 99.95% of you that don’t, about two weeks ago I took that challenge to stop using disposable cups.

Living without disposable cups looks easier on paper than it is.  As a road warrior that used to have a severe Diet Coke addiction, I would easily go through three cups, lids and straws every day.  When I saw what happens when straws don’t make it to the recycling center, or if the city dumps their trash in the ocean (Yes many do), I decided to be part of the solution instead of the problem.

I grabbed a Reuse vacuum stainless mug at Costco.  In fact I grabbed a two pack for under fourteen bucks.  My wife already claimed one and the challenge was on.  Even though it has only been a couple of weeks since I started the save the cup challenge, I have learned a lot and a lot has changed.

Some Restaurants Get It, Some Don’t.

Right off the bat, I found that many fast food restaurants really don’t know how to handle your cup unless there is a self serve soda fountain.  The Chicago airport was the worst, refusing to take my cup even though they use paper straws and compatible lids for paper cups.  I tried to use my cup at the pizza place in Curry Village in Yosemite park to order a beer and they said no also.

Starbucks gets an A+ rating.  Every Starbucks has taken my cup, rinsed it and filled it with my favorite green tea or… and if you know me, this is a shocker… cold brew coffee.

Until this year, I have never consumed, liked or desired coffee.  A health issue, brought my Diet Coke habit to the attention of my regular doctor who simply said “stop drinking that stuff”.  The same week, my business partner, Dr. Goldberg left a bottle of Trader Joes Cold Brew at my house.  Without Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew in the morning for my caffeine boost, I became desperate.  

Cold Brew Coffee Discovered

I pinched my nose and poured about 2 ounces of the cold brew over ice and started sipping it.   By the end of the glass I found it tolerable and it was just enough caffeine to get me going.  By the end of the week, I was up to a full 8 oz of cold brew over ice.  Since the Trader Joe’s Cold brew came in a plastic bottle, I bought a crazy contraption to make my own Cold brew that is glass.  Part of the game is to reduce the use of plastic as much as possible.

Once I started making my own cold brew, I found the Cafe Du Monde coffee to be one cold brew I liked. 

Since the chickory mellowed out the bite of the coffee the cold brew was one step from Diet Coke delicious without any fake sweeteners.  While I am on the road, I can tolerate Starbucks Cold Brew if it isn’t at an airport location.  The cold brew in the airport is bitter like iced coffee. No thank you.

While I actually like the Cafe Du Monde cold brew, I also found out that I liked the Cold brew at the Forks Resort on Bass Lake.  Better yet, I found out that coffee can have some health benefits for the liver and kidneys.  It has been three weeks since I had any diet soda, and my health issue is significantly better.  I would say “who knew” but apparently everyone but me so I’ll let that go.

Cold Brew Needs Ice

One of the interesting things about the trip I took this week was that I didn’t have ice available.  We were road tripping it and not staying in hotels so ice was a luxury.  The ReDuce mug kept the ice good for two days of Cold Brew breakfast.  A double win.

Stainless Cups Save Plastic

As of today I have easily saved over fifty cups, lids and straws, so am getting pretty close to calling the challenge a success.  Are you ready to step up and stop using plastic and disposable cups?  Be a RWTH, stop the waste, show the way.

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