Every evening, I set up my coffee pot to brew just enough coffee for my husband and me in the morning. It is much more sustainable and cheaper than buying coffee at a coffee shop every day. This is especially true if I opt for a fancy designer coffee beverage.
My routine consists of making and eating dinner, playing with my son, giving him a bath, reading stories, and putting him to bed around 7:30 (or 8 if he pushes it). I then turn to making my lunch for the next day, setting up the coffee for delay brew, dishes and sometimes laundry.
However, sometimes things come up that completely throw me off my game, and thus, I end up buying coffee in the morning.
This brings me to a recent popular story in the news about a certain large coffee chain wanting to be more sustainable. This nationwide coffee chain decided that they will charge an extra $1 for their pricey coffee if you opt for a reusable plastic cup. Every time you bring your cup back for a refill, you get 10 cents off the price of the coffee, essentially paying for the cup after 10 uses. While this seems like a great idea, the company is betting on a lot of things coming together for this to take hold.
First, you have to bet that the customer will pay an extra dollar on top of their $4 coffee. Then, you have to bet that they will remember their cup in the morning. (I sometimes have trouble remembering my cloth bags when going to the grocery store and that is when I am fully awake and have had coffee already.) Then, you have to bet that the customer will get out of their car and come in the shop for their order.
This is where the biggest issue comes in, I think. We are Americans after all, and as such have a love affair with our cars. Drive-thru convenience is paramount. So, unless you are in a busy city where people walk more and drive-thru lanes are few and far between, or in a very green-minded city, I don’t think this will last long. This is unfortunate but true. I know when I am in a hurry in the morning (which is every morning), and I hadn’t pre-made coffee, I probably will opt for the faster drive-thru option. And the coffee shop isn’t going to want to wait until I get up to the window to take my cup and then make my drink.
So I guess we will have to see how this experiment turns out. In the meantime, I am still working on the more sustainable and cheaper option, of making coffee at home.