Source – theunhivedmind.com
– Seed-infused plantable coffee cups offer a sustainable solution to America’s throwaway culture
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 by: P.A. Watson
In the generation of coffee-quaffing, black-thumbed and Earth-littering individuals, it’s nice to see solutions that can turn an otherwise dangerous trend into something that can positively impact people and the planet. Thanks to a creative idea being implemented by the organization “Reduce. Reuse. Grow.” that solution is well on its way to becoming a reality.
With over 400 million cups of coffee being consumed each day in America, this Earth-friendly company decided to trump the recycling industry by allowing consumers to not just recycle their cups but turn their daily cup of java into a tree.
The concept is a plantable cup that embeds native seeds into the compostable cardboard cup lining. At the moment, they only contain California seeds, but as their campaign rolls out, each region will have their own plantable cups embedded with seeds native to their region, including Colorado, which is already on their hit list of locations.
The concept is nearly foolproof given the hardy seeds currently being used, and the easy three-step process to plant your own tree. Simply unravel the cup, soak in water for five minutes, then plant and let it grow! The coffee cup can biodegrade within 180 days, and transforms into native flowers and trees.
For those who are not inclined to do so or are not in a region where planting trees is amenable, they can simply dispose of the cups in a special recycling receptacle that will then allow Reduce. Reuse. Grow. or another third party to redistribute and plant the cups in desired locations. The consumer can even see where their cup was planted and what types of seeds were used to rejuvenate their landscapes.
To get an idea of the potential impact of this idea, consider that one throw-away cup produces 35g of CO2 released into the atmosphere with a life of over five years. With this campaign, that cup could instead grow one tree, which can extract one ton of CO2 over a 40-year span. So instead of just neutralizing the impact through recycling, you can now make a positive imprint on the planet.
It’s also important to note that testing has been done with a handful of seeds native to California to see if there were any issues related to coffee heat on the seeds embedded into the lining. Since the seeds were not coming into contact with the coffee itself, and the liner as well as the paper absorbs a lot of the heat, the seeds are not directly affected and they have had no problem with germination.
To date, 140,000 containers have been planted, and with the project already blazing past its Kickstarter goal of $10,000 and currently at $21,077, it’s possible that you may see this plantable coffee cup in your local coffee shop, at least in California. Provided the project continues with its success, this could expand to other states as well. The company claims that the biodegradable cup costs as much as any other (about $0.02 per cup) and not much more than a typical Solo-brand non-recyclable cup ($0.01). With such a low investment and positive impact, these plantable cups should be an obvious solution to flourishing coffee shops across the country.
If all goes as planned, plantable coffee cups that can turn into trees will be a reality by this summer. If it goes well, this type of product can also be manufactured into to-go containers, corrugated cardboard boxes, bio plastic and paper products that create trees, rather than pollutants that destroy trees!
If you’d like to learn more about this Earth-friendly project, check out the website of Reduce. Reuse. Grow. here.