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HUB Starbucks Offering Free, Reusable Cups As Part Of ‘Kill The Cup’ Challenge

Penn State Eco Action is partnering with the Sustainability Institute and Starbucks in the HUB to participate in the 2015 University “Kill the Cup” Challenge. This competition is taking place Monday through Friday, October 5 to October 30. To draw attention to this movement, Starbucks in the HUB gave away 2,000 free reusable coffee cups yesterday and will give today to any customer who orders a hot beverage.

Penn State will be competing against 15 other schools, including Michigan and Illinois, to see who can rally the most number of students to use reusable coffee cups at their local coffee shops. If Penn State wins, Eco Action is eligible to win up to $2500 toward a sustainability project on campus. There are two aspects to the competition and two ways to win:

1. Waste Reduction

Data will be collected from Starbucks in the HUB to compare the number of drinks sold each day to the number of drinks that are sold in reusable cups. Each school participating must choose one coffee shop for which to calculate these statistics — we have chosen the large Starbucks in the HUB on the ground level. The school with the highest percentage of product sold in reusable cups will receive a monetary grant.

2. Social Awareness

This competition aspect involves downloading the Kill the Cup app! Anyone with a psu.edu email address, including administrators and faculty members, can download the app and register! All you have to do is post a selfie of yourself with a reusable coffee cup at a coffee shop on campus or downtown.

There will be prizes awarded EACH week for individuals at EACH school! The more selfies you post, the better your chances!

You are allowed to post pictures of the reusable cup alone, but it doesn’t get you as many “raffle points” to win the prizes as selfies with you and the cup do. Prizes include iPads, giftcards, and hiking backpacks

Some suggestions for coffee shops to visit include Starbucks, Panera, Irvings, Saints, Dunkin Donuts, Aba Java, and Sheetz. Some may even also offer a discount! Additionally, the school with the most number of selfies is eligible to win $500.

Remember, anyone with a Penn State email address is eligible to participate in the Social Awareness campaign, as long as you register on the app with that psu.edu email address.

Only sales data from the main Starbucks in the HUB will be collected, BUT pictures can be accepted from any coffee shop. Coffee selfies can be taken anywhere with any type of coffee, tea, or mug (water bottles won’t count)!

It is very important to create a movement at Penn State where waste reduction matters to prove that being sustainable can be fun too. I would like to share with you an excerpt from the KTC website:

Did you know that 58 billion paper cups get used in America each year? That’s a serious problem not just because of the landfill waste at the end of the life cycle, but also because of the CO2 emissions that are generated during the manufacturing and transportation process. For decades, coffee shops have awarded discounts to customers that bring a reusable cup (Starbucks started their 10-cent discount in the 1980s). However, we have yet to see a change in behavior. In 2014, less than 2 percent of Starbucks drinks were served in reusable cups. Here are the results from last year’s campaign: From its start on October 6, 2014 to its conclusion on October 31, the percentage of coffee drinks served in reusable cups at participating locations rose by 65.4 percent from 1.72 percent to 2.84 percent resulting in the following environmental impact:

  • 15,400 disposable cups saved

  • 244 pounds of waste diverted from landfills

  • 3,860 gallons of water saved

  • 1.93 tons of CO2 emissions saved from being released into the atmosphere.

To learn more about the campaign, visit the challenge’s website. In addition, please RSVP to our event on Facebook and invite your friends!

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