Save the cups!


Save the Cups is a new campaign targeting the wasteful use of disposable cups. Any effort targeting this problem gets my attention and this one uses the power of social media, driven by the narcissism of self-congratulation, to create some good spirited competition. Once you log in, you can give yourself a pat on the back each time you reuse a cup rather than a disposable one, adding to the overall count of cups saved this year.

I haven’t figured out how to add my own cafes and the design, while nice, leans a little too far on the cute side. But I’m curious to see how the team at Save the Cups will grow and reach out to its community of users. Will there be awards for each month’s highest saver? The current design is based on the honor system, so it may be hard to regulate how many cups a person really saves, but it would be a nice incentive if they can figure out the technicalities.

This, like BetaCup, is another attempt to get people to voluntarily change their behavior without any incentive to break the habit of convenience. While noble in its attempt, I still blame cafes for not trying hard enough to persuade their customers to forgo disposable cups. It would be much more admirable if the cafe’s self-regulated rather than waiting for the day that the government enevitably does it for them (à la plastic shopping bags). By either charging more for a paper cup, giving more than a measly 10 cent discount for bringing your own, or saying, “if you want your coffee to-go, bring your own mug.”

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posted by on 01.22.2010, under Design, Misc.