We know how frustrating it can be to drink a delicious cup of coffee and then have it go cold before you can finish.
There are many reasons to love travel mugs. Not only do they keep your coffee warm on long commutes, but they also help you avoid spills in the car. Plus, they come in a variety of fun and stylish designs!
- Travel mugs are a great way to keep your coffee hot (or cold) on the go, and they come in a variety of fun and stylish designs.
- Travel mugs are also eco-friendly, as they can be reused over and over again.
- Some travel mugs even come with built-in coffee filters, so you can make your coffee on the go!
Why Use Travel Mugs?
Today, many coffee shops and cafés are charging customers more to use disposable coffee cups. They are doing this to actively encourage the use of reusable travel mugs. But what are the reasons for this move towards reusable travel mugs rather than plastic throwaways?
One of the reasons for this shift is the effect disposable cups are having on the environment. Plastic cups are a go-to for iced beverages. But even though they are recyclable, most programs will not accept cups that are made of polypropylene.
Because of this, the plastic cups are dumped at landfill which can take up to 1000 years to decompose. This pollutes land and water and is harmful to terrestrial and aquatic animals. The animals can ingest the plastic, suffocate or get caught up in the plastic waste. Using a reusable coffee mug helps elevate plastic pollution and the harm it’s doing to our planet.
How long does a travel mug stay hot for?
What are travel mugs made of?
How Should I Clean my Travel Mug?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 25 billion styrofoam cups are thrown away each year. Less than 1% of these cups are recycled. This means that styrofoam cups take a very long time to break down and end up in a landfill for over 500 years.
Alongside the environmental harm, the compound styrene that goes into styrofoam and the plastic lids of coffee cups has also been linked to health conditions. Research by the World Health Organisation has even linked styrofoam cups to cancer. This should be reason enough to start using travel mugs instead of disposable cups.
Paper cups may seem like a better alternative to styrofoam and plastic. But they have their drawbacks too! Paper cups still have a lining of polyethene, a type of plastic which like styrofoam is slow to degrade. This plastic cannot be recycled because of its combination of materials.
The glue used to hold paper cups together dissolves when a hot beverage is poured into the cup. This releases toxins including melamine and BPA into your beverage. Melamine and BPA can cause health implications on consumption such as high blood pressure and kidney infections.
Is using a paper cup really worth risking your health, when you can use your own reusable travel mug?
So, paper cups are not the solution to disposable cup waste.
The best way to protect yourself and the environment is to invest in a travel coffee mug. Not only will you save money in the long run, but you’ll also be doing your bit for the planet!
There are many different types of reusable travel mugs made from different materials on the market. Stainless steel, glass and ceramic are all great options for hot or cold beverages.
Stainless steel mugs are a popular choice as they are durable and won’t break if dropped and they often insulate your hot or cold drinks. They also keep drinks hot or cold for longer periods of time.
Glass mugs are another good option as they are also durable and eco-friendly. Many people are often worried about glass and its durability, however, they are made from tempered glass which makes them harder to break.
Ceramic mugs are a great choice for those who like to drink their coffee or tea from a mug with a handle.
Are Travel Mugs Eco Friendly?
Can You Put Coffee in a Stainless Steel Water Bottle?
Are Bamboo Coffee Cups Environmentally Friendly?
The Main Reasons for Switching to a Travel Mug
- 1. Keep your coffee hot (or cold!) on the go.
- 2. Spills are much less likely with a travel mug than with a regular cup.
- 3. They come in fun and stylish designs!
- 4. Travel mugs are often insulated, meaning they keep your drinks at the right temperature for longer.
- 5. They’re great for the environment since you can reuse them over and over again.
- 6. Some travel mugs even come with built-in coffee filters, so you can make your coffee on the go!
- 7. Travel mugs are often cheaper than buying coffee from a cafe.
- 8. You can customize your travel mug with your own designs or photos.
- 9. They make great gifts for the coffee lover in your life.
What’s The Difference Between A Travel Mug And A Tumbler?
A travel mug is a reusable, insulated drinks container that is designed for use on the go, whether for drinking coffee, hot chocolate, or a delicious cold drink. Most come with leak-proof lids and some have handles.
• Travel mugs are perfect for commuting, hiking, and camping trips because they keep drinks hot or cold for hours unlike a plastic travel mug which is often not insulated and not ideal for hot beverages.
• A tumbler cup is traditionally used for cold drinks like lemonade, iced teas, smoothies, and summer cocktails. They are usually made from plastic or metal.
• Reusable tumbler cups aren’t just more sustainable than disposable tumblers; they’re also very trendy and useful for outdoor events.
• The key differences between a travel mug and a tumbler cup are the handle (a travel mug might have a handle but a tumbler cup won’t), the lid (a travel tumbler can be used with straw), the shape (a tumbler should be narrower at the bottom while a coffee mug may be straight), insulation (coffee mugs are better at maintaining temperature than travel tumblers).
Eco-friendly Travel Mug
We all know the time has come where we all need to be thinking about the environmental impact of our daily choices. We’re firm believers in the power of individuals at Baba Me and the difference even small changes can make.
When it comes to Going Green the easiest changes to make, and to stick to, are those that improve your life as well as reducing your environmental impact. And switching to a reusable mug is definitely one of those changes.
Why Choose a Reusable Travel Mug?
- If you buy a takeaway coffee on your morning commute or your lunch break and use a disposable coffee cup that’s over 200 cups a year you’ll be saving from landfill.
- We use around 2.5 billion coffee cups a year in the UK and although they are technically recyclable that will only happen if they are segregated and sent to specialist plants of which there are just 3 in the UK.
- Double wall insulated travel mugs will keep your tea and coffee hotter for longer. Meaning no more cold coffee, unless you like it that way.
- Many coffee shops will give you money off if you bring your own coffee cups or mugs so if you regularly get a takeaway you’ll be saving money in no time.
Reusable takeaway cups or reusable coffee cups are designed to be an alternative to paper or polystyrene coffee cups.
Thankfully you don’t see polystyrene cups all that often these days but you do see a lot of paper cups. We are a nation of coffee lovers and you can buy a reasonable cup of coffee pretty much anywhere you go, even garages and supermarkets.
The problem is that these single-use paper cups are made with virgin paper pulp (due to being in contact with foods) and have to have a plastic lining to make them waterproof. This means they are very difficult to recycle and so therefore mostly end up in landfill.
But what about the compostable cups you might ask. Yes, technology is amazing and we can now make biodegradable plastics from plants. However, these will only biodegrade in a commercial compost. If they end up in a bin bag with no air going to landfill then they are still going to take years to break down and they can’t be recycled either.
The compostable plastic pint glasses you may have seen often end up contaminating plastic recycling streams meaning the whole lot cannot be recycled.
The solution to single-use takeaway coffee cups
So what’s the solution? Well other than not buying so much coffee, which let’s face it isn’t going to happen any time soon and would have its own negative impact on businesses, employment and growers, the only real solution is to have a reusable cup that you take with you when you get a takeaway.
Reusable coffee cups are readily available in a great range of styles and prices so it shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits your needs, style and budget. And many are either leak-proof, insulated or both which is a big advantage over disposables. Plus if you opt for glass, stainless steel or ceramic you are not exposing your drink to plastics or any other chemicals.
Choosing to take a cup with you might take a bit of getting used to, hands up who forgot they had to buy bags the first gazillion times they went to the supermarket after the ban, but once you’ve got into the habit you’ll save money, be doing your bit for the planet and have a better drinking experience.
If you know you are prone to forgetting your cup try keeping one in your handbag, in the car or at the office. Coffee shops will also give you their BYO cup discount if you bring a mug from work. Or make a promise to yourself not to use takeaway cups meaning you either have to remember your cup, sit in and drink it, or go without.
Are Eco-friendly coffee cups really better for the environment?
As with any reusable product a reusable coffee cup has a higher carbon footprint than a disposable cup. They take more energy and more resources to make and so in order for them to be better for the planet you have to actually use them, anywhere from 20-100 times.
If you generally make and drink your tea and coffee at home or in the office you probably already have a mug, and if you don’t every charity shop in the land has a plentiful and seemingly endless supply, therefore you a reusable takeaway cup may not be worth it. If you only buy a takeaway coffee twice a year when you drive to visit your inlaws then it’ll take a good few years to make it a better option than a takeaway cup.
However, if you do buy coffee out on a more regular basis a reusable coffee cup will quickly be a more environmentally friendly, and pocket-friendly option.
The problem with disposable cups
Despite the fact that polystyrene cups are becoming less and less common paper coffee cups still have a significant negative impact. Because they have a thin plastic (or bio-plastic) film to keep them waterproof they cannot be recycled as paper meaning they either end up being incinerated or going to landfill.
In fact, research has shown that just 0.25% of coffee cups in the UK are recycled. The technology does exist to recycle these cups but the systems for collecting the cups and getting them to the recycling plants are not in place.
And while you may think that eco-friendly compostable cups are a better option they need to be sent to industrial composting facilities which means they need to be kept separate from both recycling and landfill. And the sad fact is that most people who couldn’t be bothered to bring a reusable cup with them won’t be bothered to take their disposable cup home and put it in with their food waste.
Other factors to consider when choosing to reuse
It’s interesting to note (in a geeky kind of a way) that it’s not just the initial impact of making the disposable or reusable cup that has to be considered when weighing up the pro’s and cons of reusables.
Every time you use your reusable cup you also have to wash it, just like any other mug, plate, spoon etc, and this uses hot water and soap both of which have their own environmental impacts.
That means that worst-case scenario you may have to use your reusable cup 1000 times to make it a better option. However simple actions like using an eco-friendly soap or choosing a cup that can go in the dishwasher when you are already putting on a load can dramatically reduce that number.
And don’t forget that stainless steel, glass, silicone, plastic or ceramic reusable cups are all designed to be used 1000’s of times.