Coffee chain ditching cups in 2020, customers must "rent" or bring their own

Blue Bottle Coffee customers will need to bring their own containers, or put a deposit down on one, to get a beverage at the high-end chain in the new year. In an ambitious zero waste effort, they are removing plastic and paper cups (and bags) from all of their cafes in the United States.

From a statement Monday by its CEO Bryan Meehan (bolding mine):

"...we’re not afraid to admit that we’re part of the problem. We recently woke up to the fact that our beautiful bioplastic cups and straws were not being composted even though they were 100 percent compostable. Too many ended up in landfills, where they couldn’t break down at all. So we switched to paper straws and sugarcane-paper cups. But that’s still not enough. We still go through on average 15,000 disposable single-use cups per cafe per month in the US alone, which adds up to 12 million cups per year. We want to show our guests and the world that we can eliminate disposable cups as we serve our delicious coffee.

We are proud to announce an experiment that may not work, that may cost us money, and that may make your life a little more complicated.

By the end of 2020, all of our US cafes will be zero waste, which according to Zero Waste International Alliance, means at least 90 percent of our waste is diverted from landfill. To help us go even further, we will test our first zero-single-use-cup program in the San Francisco Bay Area. Read the rest

Here are a few different way to use pencils to the very end

Design website Core77 has an article about different ways to use a wooden pencil to the very end. First, though, take a look at this parsimonious person's pencil, which represents the cheapest and arguably easiest way to extend the life of a pencil:


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A post shared by Elizabeth Ingram (@lonestarclassroom) on Sep 5, 2019 at 4:55pm PDT

If you can't deal with a pencil this small, the article has other suggestions: pencil extenders (I can vouch for them), gluing a sub onto a new pencil, and using a remarkable Japanese pencil-joining tool call the Tsunago:

Read the rest

This town in Japan produces almost no trash

If you go to Japan, one thing you'll notice is a lack of garbage cans. This was frustrating for me the first few times I went, but now when I'm there I carry a plastic bag and keep it in my backpack. The village of Kamikatsu in Japan, which I've never visited, is the most extreme anti-trash place in the country. The town of 1500 recycles its trash into 45 different categories.

From Great Big Story:

While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent. After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instated the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020.

Read the rest

Could you make zero trash for 30 days?

As BuzzFeed transitions from internet strip mine to legit news and information, they now to put out occasional gems like Auri Jackson's project "I tried to make zero trash for 30 days." Read the rest