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 I'm always washing my reusable coffee cup and drying with paper towels. Are we sure that's better for for the environment than tossing paper cups?

Posted on Thursday, Apr. 1, 2010

Water is part of a cycle. The water cycle is a natural process, rain flows to rivers, rivers flow to bays, water is evaporated and forms precipitation as rain, etc. We manipulate the system with our municipal utilities (like using tap water) but, used (or wasted) water ultimately goes down the drain and out into the bay, and back into the water cycle. Yes, it's good to conserve water use. But when comparing to other wasteful practices, it's important to consider the larger system/cycle.

Paper cups aren't part of a cycle. When you're done with them, they get hauled to a landfill where they sit forever. Things never breakdown in a landfill. So using a one-use cup is not cyclical... Even if it's a compostable cup, it's still going to sit in a landfill. Unless you can compost. That's a whole can of worms (literally, ha).

I'd recommend to keep on keeping on with your reusable cup and minimize the washing/drying if you can. Otherwise, you're better off continuing with what you're currently doing (but try a reusable towel)!

Tags: Food/Drink

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