10:13 AM EDT, April 9, 2012
Recently, I have been feeling bad about my impact on the environment through my take out consumption. I try to buy groceries and eat from home because it creates less waste, costs less and is better for me. But there are times when I don’t have time to go home or for some reason I need something convenient and quick.
One thing I do frequently is fill up a cup of something to drink at a local gas station while I’m on my way somewhere. It’s very convenient and going home for a drink isn’t usually an option, but I was still using a new styrofoam cup every time I got a drink, which felt wasteful.
I didn’t like the fact that because I needed something convenient, I was going to use a styrofoam cup — which will be around for the rest of my lifetime and beyond — one time and then throw it away.
For me, it isn’t that I don’t want to bring my own drink, it’s that I don’t want to slosh my drink out of my open cup all over my car while I’m driving. I’ve found a pair of solutions for my problem.
Solution number one to my problem was a gift to me from my friends recently for my birthday. They got me a pair of reusable plastic cups complete with screw-on lids and reusable straws. They look basically like to-go cups you would get from a fast food restaurant, just without the “eco-guilt.”
I can fill these cups before I leave home without worrying about spills or contributing to the landfill. Plus, if I need a to-go drink but I’ve already got a full tank of gas, I don’t have to make an extra stop at the gas station and slow my trip down.
Solution number two is my gigantic, 64-ounce travel mug I bought recently from the gas station where I get my drinks.
Once you buy the mug, you pay a cheaper price each time for a refill and you don’t use up a styrofoam or plastic cup. You do wind up with a whole lot of drink, but I haven’t decided yet if this is a downside. This option comes into play when I’m already out and about and can’t go home to fill up my new reusable cups.
One thing I like about my travel mug is that it definitely gets noticed. Whenever someone comments on how large my mug is, I can tell them I am helping to save the environment by reducing my use of plastic and styrofoam cups.
It really is the little changes you make that can add up to a big difference and I think these two small changes I’ve made are really going to have a positive impact on the environment that I can feel good about.
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