How many cups of coffee do you drink every day? In fact, the average American drinks more than three cups a day, which makes it 400 million cups for the whole population per day! Can you imagine how much trash is being produced in the country from the disposable coffee cups only?
Of course, cardboard coffee cups are neutral to the environment as they can be recycled a few times. But what about the styrofoam ones? According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, 25 billion styrofoam cups are thrown out in the US every year, and it will take more than 500 years for this waste to decompose.
Now, a new start-up based in California has come up with an awesome idea for coffee lovers which could help solve two environmental issues at the same time – the problems of excessive waste and deforestation.
The company called Reduce. Reuse. Grow. has created a biodegradable coffee cup which can be buried in the ground after being used and will then plant the seeds embedded in its fibers. Moreover, the seeds embedded in the cup are native to the area where it is bought! Till now, these are only California seeds, but the company plans to expand its activity to other states if its campaign on KickStarter goes well.
The environmentally friendly coffee cup decomposes in 180 days and sprouts at least one tree. Thus, by using such cups, not only do you contribute to sustainable recycling and reduce the waste being generated in the country, but you also help grow more trees on our planet!
All you have to is to unravel the used cup and soak it in water for five minutes, after which you can plant it anywhere you like, even in your garden!
The seeds will sprout and grow into a tree which can live for 40 years and more, extracting 1 ton of CO2 from the environment during this period. For those who are too busy or lazy to replant their cups, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. will provide special garbage cans, where the used coffee cups will be collected and then planted by the company’s staff.
The company also envisions using the same extracting process to make other products and materials biodegradable. Thus, such packaging products as corrugated boxes or to-go containers could be used to help the environment, instead of polluting it with excessive waste!
“We aim to change the lives of groups of people with the same material in which they deal with on an everyday basis,” the company’s designers write on their website.
According to the same source, more than 140,000 of these cups have been already planted in California. We hope that more initiatives like this will arise in the future and will inspire people to make a difference to the environment with their everyday actions.