A new website, The Point, allows anyone to start a boycott or similar campaign against a company or organization. One of the more popular one’s is against Starbuck’s use of unsustainable disposable to-go cups. P. Zelchenko, who started this action, is hoping it “will embarrass Starbucks into truly embracing the environmental ideals that it claims to espouse.”

The idea starts with 102,950 people joining this campaign after which time they will begin writing their names on each paper cup they are served for “in store” use. If Starbucks does not comply they will “insist that they remain on a shelf, to be reused the next time we return to the store.”

The Point

Another campaign of interest involves Pepsi’s use of unsustainable plastic in bottling their Aquafina Brand water. “When we reach our goal of recruiting 50,000 Aquafina drinkers, we will stop drinking Aquafina water, causing PepsiCo an abrupt drop in profits, amounting to approximately $20 million annually in gross profit.” They demand they find a bio-plastic alternative to existing bottles or suffer the consequences of a sizable boycott and likely a lot of bad press. Cheers to the campaign organizers and everyone at The Point for an interesting approach to social change.

We all know that using any sort of cup that is washable is far superior to disposable versions. It’s better for the planet, uses less land fill space, no trees get cut down, and more…

GreenHome.com offers suggestions for eco-friendly alternatives to popular earth-nasty products. Included in their offerings is a travel mug made from corn-starch. This sustainable and renewable organic compound looks and feels like plastic but under years of hot and moist conditions, will biodegrade . I don’t think you can put it in the dishwasher, buy hey, your christmas shopping just got a whole lot easier!

Cornstarch Coffee Travel Mug

You can choose from 3 different designs printed with vegetable derived inks.

Not all cups are created equal. According the Institute of Lifecycle Environmental Assessment
a reusable cup must be used a certain number of times to make up for the energy used to create it.

Reusable vs. Disposable Cups

The chart shows how you must use a ceramic mug 39 times to make it more efficient than a paper disposable cup. Read a full article about this at Make Magazine online.

This chart though doesn’t address things like these vessel’s impact on the planet once they break or are thrown away. The disposable cups take up more space in landfills and cannot be recycled like the reusable cups. I find myself using my steel and plastic reusable mugs at more than coffee shops. I get some strange looks at restaurants where they automatically just give you a disposable cup. I use it as an opportunity to say, “No thanks I don’t want a disposable cup because they come from trees/oil.”