5 Ways To Avoid Takeaway Coffee Cups

5 Ways To Avoid Takeaway Coffee Cups
Carly Jacobs

I really don’t want to be *that* person but I’ve been avoiding takeaway cups for years. I also discovered Amy Schumer and My Favorite Murder before you, but who’s counting? (Hint: Me. I am.) I bought my first Keep Cup when I moved to Melbourne in 2009 and used it up until a few years ago when the lid broke. I wasn’t too keen on replacing it with another plastic cup (although I bloody love those Frank Green ones) and when I was last looking at replacing it you couldn’t dishwash the new glass Keep Cups so I didn’t buy one. Everything must be dishwasher safe in my land. I don’t buy clothes that need ironing and I don’t buy kitchenware that requires hand washing.

It seems like a super simple thing but it’s quite hard to get used to and you do have to plan ahead. Ditching takeaway cups doesn’t happen by accident.

Bring an actual mug 

If you live or work walking distance from the cafe you most often go to, just take a ceramic mug with you. Lots of cafes are now hosting little mug libraries where you can take a mug from the library and then return it the next day. Isn’t that just the cutest idea? I have so many mugs in my cupboard I never use, if I could find a cafe with a mug library I’d donate them. This works really well in the work place too because you can load everyone up with their own mug on the way out the door. No excuses.

Buy a Keep Cup 

I’m weird about drinking warm milk out of plastic. Not because I think plastic is going to give us all cancer (although it might…) it’s because I don’t like the taste. This doesn’t give me a get of jail free card to get disposable takeaway cups everywhere I go though. If you don’t mind drinking coffee out of plastic (honestly hardly anyone does, I’m just a bit weird) I know lots of people who love their Frank Green and Keep Cups.

Use a glass jar 

I’ve had dozens of people ask me how I use a glass jar for a re-usable coffee mug (like heaps and heaps!) and it honestly couldn’t be simpler. You just hand it to the barista, they put coffee in it and then you drink out of it. There’s no fancy little hole for you to drink out of, you just use like you’d use a regular glass in your house. Sometimes people ask me how I stop the coffee from slopping out when I walk – I just walk carefully or put the lid on. I’ve never had any issues with it and it’s dishwasher safe. I’ve also used it to get gelato and I’ve drunk wine out of it at a picnic. Any time I’d use a paper cup, I use my jar instead. I even take it to conferences to make tea in. It’s so little, I just pop it in my bag and I’m good to go.

Sit down and have your coffee at the cafe 

Part of the awesomeness of the war on waste movement is that it coincides so nicely with the slow living thing. Cutting down waste usually takes up a little bit more of your time (like making your own almond milk or going to the farmers market instead of the supermarket down the road) but isn’t that what we’re all craving these days? If you can leave the house 20 minutes earlier and have your morning coffee actually sitting down at the cafe, how ace would that be?

Maybe don’t get a coffee 

If I forget to bring my jar with me when I leave the house or I go some where I didn’t expect to need it, I’ll often do without. I used to just buy a coffee in a disposable cup every now and then and not worry about it but it becomes habit forming. If I let it happen once, it starts to creep in every now and then and before I know it my Keep Cup sat unused on the shelf for a month. For example you have to take your own bags to the supermarket in Canberra or buy the awful ones they sell if you forgot. There are consequences if you forget your eco bags but in Melbourne, there are still plastic bags everywhere so I’m much more likely to forget my eco bags in Melbourne because there’s no consequence. If I keep letting myself buy coffees in disposable cups, I won’t learn. It’s not likely I’ll die without a coffee and if it was so important to me, I would have brought my jar with me.

Do you have a Keep Cup or something similar? Are you a little bit obsessed with the War on Waste?

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8 Comments

  1. nonnuclearmaven 3 weeks ago

    I’m with you on the whole coffee tastes gross out of plastic! I’m going to re-purpose my plastic keep cup as a porridge on the go cup, porridge is ok, but coffee is not?!?! I’m a weirdo.

  2. Brooke 3 weeks ago

    Great post Carly. I have 3 KeepCups (love em’) on the go (2 different sizes) and I only wish I’d made the switch sooner. I was lucky – I ordered my new ones just before the #waronwaste special aired so they arrived within days (even going from Melb to Rads).

    I published a post over the weekend about where you can buy a KeepCup in person around Adelaide. The more reusables I see around the place the better 🙂

    I’m a bit ashamed to admit it, but it’s taken the ABC shining a light on something I’m passionate about (coffee) to make me take action and reduce my footprint in all sorts of areas. My family are BIG plastic users, so now i’m all over that like a cheap suit too.

  3. Hayley 3 weeks ago

    I’m a little bit obsessed with the war on waste! I’ve made it a big thing at my workplace. Staff hide from me if they have a takeaway cup! We went to the green shed and stocked up on mugs and travel mugs so there are no excuses! I think I’m going to get a frank green cup. I only drink chai lattes so the plastic taste thing shouldn’t matter for me. We’re collecting plastic lids too! We have a huge tub in just a couple of weeks.

  4. KezUnprepared 3 weeks ago

    I will come out and say it – I am shithouse at winning the war on waste. However, I am trying to make small changes here and there. I buy less bottled water (and I’m hoping to get so clever I stop doing it at all). I think a lot more about the clothing/fashion items I purchase. I have started to think a little more about my addiction to zip loc bags. How I can reuse them more or forego them. Not perfect but it’s a start! I just ordered my hubby a beautiful glass keep cup for his birthday. He drinks takeaway coffee like there’s no tomorrow. His car is always littered with cups at the end of a day or two (gross haha). I figure, two birds one stone. His car will be tidier and his impact on the environment just a tiny bit smaller. I am actually really excited for him to receive it. Might even give it to him early (I have other stuff to get him to help him with his cycling obsession – another good thing for the environment)!

  5. MissyD 3 weeks ago

    I do have a glass keep cup and won’t buy takeaway coffee if I’ve left it on my desk at work or will sit down in the cafe with my book. I honestly miss Italy with it’s ‘drink your coffee at the bar and go’ style of cafe coffee drinking.

    I don’t love drinking out of plastic either, but you can actually just remove the lid from the keep cup. 😉 I like their cork holder so I don’t burn my hands.

    Another idea is just keep coffee in the office, I have a plunger and some real coffee in my desk so I can use that if I don’t feel like going out.

  6. Michaela 3 weeks ago

    I either make coffee at home before I leave in the morning or else I get coffee while I’m at work in the break room. My workplace eliminated disposable coffee cups, so we all have to use actual mugs now – I brought of of my own from home and honestly, it makes sipping coffee at my work station so much more enjoyable. 🙂

  7. Kathryn OHalloran 3 weeks ago

    It’s not something I think about that much because I rarely get takeaway coffee. If I go out for coffee, it’s to have the whole cafe experience. I guess that’s one advantage of working from home 🙂

  8. Kylie 2 weeks ago

    I never knew you couldn’t put a glass keepcup in the dishwasher. I’ve had one for a few years now. It has a shower I. The dishwasher every night!

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