Don’t Use A Trashy Cup

Written By Isabel Crews

Art By Julia Messinger

BYOC is simple and sustainable: Bring your own cup!

Sustainability is a word we hear thrown around in CHS, but that’s because it’s important.

On the College of Charleston campus alone, we are throwing away hundreds of single-use cups in the landfill or contaminating the recycling by tossing them in there. While it’s okay to throw away RINSED single-use cups in recycling, most of the time there is no place to rinse them or they aren’t clean enough for the local recycling center. 

So what do we do? Bring our own cups. 

At most colleges and universities, students have water bottles, tumblers, and travel mugs hanging out in their dorms. Most backpacks also have two side pockets for these so why not bring a water bottle, and your other cup for coffee or other drinks? 

If you’ve been in a rush and bought a coffee and used their to-go cups, it’s okay; I’m not trying to shame you. Sustainability requires education and resources, and if you don’t have access to them why should you be expected to be religiously observing sustainable habits. 

The point of this article is to educate you on one sustainable habit, bringing your own cup, and the benefits of it. By bringing your own cup, you are reducing the amount of waste that leaves campus by limiting the contaminated recycling and compost that gets sent to the landfill. In addition, bringing cups for your cold drinks that typically come with straws is helping the Skip the Straw Campaign so that they don’t end up in oceans where they could harm aquatic life or build up in the landfill. Changing this one habit might seem like a small impact, but the more people that start bringing their own cups, the bigger the difference it makes.  

What do you get from making this change? You get to say you’re making a difference locally and positively impacting the environment, and you get DISCOUNTS!

Here’s a list of local coffee shops and restaurants that give incentives for bringing your own cup:

Einsteins: $1.19 cup of coffee with a reusable cup

Starbucks: At Addlestone, it’s 56 cents for regular or iced coffee and 10 cents off other drinks

Panera: $1.19 travel refill for any size cup

Caviar & Bananas: 25¢ discount

Gnome Cafe: 10% discount 

The Rise: Cup and 10% student discount 






What about the places that aren’t giving discounts? What are they doing? 

HuriYali is having a conversation about sustainable practices for their cafe. 

The Daily is working on an incentive program, and is trying to figure out how to get people to bring their own cups. 

Second State is looking towards sustainable solutions and possibly creating a line of Second State mugs. 

The moral of the story is that the campus community, as well as the greater Charleston community, is recognizing the significance of bringing your own cups by giving discounts and recognition for people supporting BYOC. So why not bring yours? Be the change and grab your tumblers!