Quantcast

World's First Plantable Coffee Cup to Replenish Forests

Business

Unless you bring your own thermos or mug, paper cups are the de facto option for on-the-go coffee. But as we all know, producing these simple items mow down forests of trees and contributes to mountains of landfill waste. In fact, Starbucks alone goes through 4 billion paper cups a year globally and most of these plastic-lined menaces are never recycled.

Reduce. Reuse. Grow. is tackling the coffee industry's behemoth paper cup problem by giving single-use beverage holders a further purpose: reforestation.

 

But a noble project from Reduce. Reuse. Grow. is tackling the coffee industry's behemoth paper cup problem by giving these single-use beverage holders a further purpose: reforestation.

A San Luis Obispo, California startup claims to have developed "The World's First Plantable Coffee Cup." The prototype 12-ouncer has seeds from local nurseries and landscapes embedded within its post-consumer, paper-based material. That means after you're done with the cup, you can unravel it, soak it in water for a few minutes, bury it and let nature take over.

To prevent the spread of invasive plants, the bottom of the cup details the seed variety and also includes instructions on how to plant it either in the northern or central coast of California. (So if you got the cup, you wouldn't want to plant it outside of specific regions). For those who don't want to get their hands dirty, the cup can be tossed into a designated Reduce. Reuse. Grow. bin where it'll eventually be taken to a reforestation location.

The cup is currently in prototype phase, and the company is crowdsource funding in order to take it into commercial production and target coffee shops to stock the cups.

Even though there are already recyclable cups on the market, as Reduce. Reuse. Grow. points out on their Kickstarter page, those cups can only be recycled a few times before it's trashed, whereas their cups are compost certified and can biodegrade within 180 days.

"Even when we think we are recycling and doing a good deed, the paper itself within these products can only be reused [two to three times] before the fibers are unusable and discarded into local landfills without consumer's knowing," the page reads.

Seed-filled everyday items aren't exactly a new concept. There are already plantable greeting cards and even memorial tree urns, as well as a similar paper seed cup that someone tried to market a few years back.

Still, it's clear that something needs to be done about the country's 146 billion paper cup a year problem. Reduce. Reuse. Grow. began as a senior project by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo landscape architecture student Alex Henige, who wrote on his bio page, "The thought of 'throwing away' items which would later be sent into local landfills always seemed like a strange concept and ultimately a huge design flaw within or current consumption day to day actions."

We'll drink to that.

Watch here as Henige shares his concerns about consumerism and the work of Reduce. Reuse. Grow.:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

3 Young Entrepreneurs Find Revolutionary Way to Cut Out Food Waste

Charge Your Smart Phone With 3D-Printed Solar Tree

What to Consider When Buying a Can of Tuna

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be both good and bad.

On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Pexels

By Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD

Medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil and coconut oil are fats that have risen in popularity alongside the ketogenic, or keto, diet.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Bijal Trivedi

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.

Read More Show Less
Rool Paap / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be good or bad depending on the situation.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

By Joe Vukovich

Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.

Read More Show Less

By Emily Moran

If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."

Read More Show Less

By Catherine Davidson

Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.

Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.

Read More Show Less