Reusable cups: easy on the wallet, environment

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Tom Nepomuceno and Tom Nepomuceno

This school year, the Union Starbucks has sold 300 more reusable cups than last year, possibly because people are trying to save money by changing the little things.

Starbucks has sold 1,998 reusable cups since the beginning of the year and last year they sold 1,628 cups, said Daria Blachowski-Dreyer, associate director for dining services. However, sales are dependent on the variety and the overall attractiveness of the product and the power of the brand, Dreyer said.

“The desire to be green could play into these numbers somewhat, but there is no concrete evidence indicating that it is the sole motivator,” she said.

In these times, saving money is a necessity.

“It’s all about saving money,” said senior Josh Matuska.

A frequent coffee drinker, Matuska prefers Columbian blends and drinks about three to four cups of coffee a day. Matuska stopped buying disposable paper cups and invested in a couple of travel cups, the first one from Starbucks.

Just because people own a travel cup, doesn’t mean that they have to use it just for coffee.

Junior Jaimee Moeller bought her three travel cups with the intention of saving money on water. Moeller estimated that she used to buy a 24-pack of water every two weeks. “I just got really annoyed with buying bottled water,” Moeller said.

If customers bring in their travel cups, Starbucks will dole out a 10-cent discount, on- and off-campus. The discount could be responsible for the increase in travel cup sales, said Jason Hines, off-campus Starbucks manager.

“If a customer buys [a mug], chances are they’ll use it here again,” Hines said.

Unlike the off-campus location, fewer customers take advantage of the discount.

“People come in here twice a day and they don’t bring their cup,” said Manager Karen Piotrowski.

Matuska said Starbucks is too expensive for his taste.

“You go to Starbucks for the atmosphere, not the coffee,” he said.

It’s not for lack of trying. Customers who buy a reusable cup are told about the 10-cent discount, but some continue to use the paper cups.

“There are a few people who religiously bring their cups, though,” Piotrowski said.