Make A Change, Help The Planet: Keep Cups

What can we do to help the climate crisis? In this series, GCN gives examples of achievable things that can have huge knock on effects.

Caroline Sleiman-Purdy and Karl Purdy standing at the entrance to their Coffeeangel business

While the fight against climate change can seem overwhelming, making a relatively small change in your life can have an effect. GCN speaks to people who give examples of achievable changes we can make in order to make our planet a better place. In this article, we talk about keep cups – reusable cups for take away coffees and teas.

Karl Purdy and Caroline Sleiman-Purdy are the fine folk behind Coffeeangel, an independent specialty coffee business based in Dublin. Talking about the introduction of their own keep cup scheme – Your Cup Our Future, Karl mentioned some incredible figures which should be a great incentive for people to take part.

“Coffeeangel has been going for 15 years, so we have a pretty good insight into how much coffee we sell and how many cups we go through on a daily basis. We have long been aware of the issue of single use paper cups. We’re not going to solve the problem but we would like to feel we’re doing something tangible to help.

“All the cups we were using, even before coming up with the idea for the Your Cup Our Future campaign, are recycleable. The plastic tops are also recycleable. The real challenge is that the infrastructure isn’t always there to recycle them. On the city streets there aren’t dedicated bins for recycleables.

“We wanted to promote the use of reusable cups – keep cups. And what we felt was important was that rather than give discounts for the use of keep cups, we would donate 20 cent to Friends Of The Earth Ireland every time a customer uses one. This is in an effort to help Friends Of The Earth to affect environmental policy change at a government level.

“The response has been incredible. We have a little button on our till which we hit anytime someone comes in with a reusable cup. We started this campaign just at the end of 2017 and so far we’ve kept 31,000 cups out of landfill. We’ve also donated over €6,200. We look at this as our customers having donated that money.

“The numbers are growing every month as people become more aware.”

Mayday: The Fight To Save Our World, an evening of information, conversation and action -a collaboration between GCN and Extinction Rebellion Ireland will take place in Project Arts Centre, Dublin on May 1. Tickets for the event are available here.

This story originally appeared on GCN’s May 2019 issue. Read the full issue here.

© 2019 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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