Although most college students care about fighting waste, they often care more about what’s fast and easy, especially when it comes to their coffee! Enticing students to want to use (and keep track of) reusable cups was the challenge at hand at Reed College in Portland, OR. General Manager Debby Bridges and Operations Manager Vanessa van Staden partnered with Reed College Student Sustainability Coordinator Liat Kastner to brainstorm and create a program to incentivize students to opt for reusable cups instead of disposable.
Liat, Debby, and Vanessa met on a number of issues, and Liat was very excited to learn about Bon Appétit’s sustainability initiatives, including what the company is already doing to reduce food waste and to donate excess food to Urban Gleaners.
Liat had a few suggestions to make the reusable cup the first choice instead of a paper cup: First, list the price for reusable cups before the other prices, because when someone brings their own cup, they get a 25-cent discount, so the price for a reusable cup is cheaper. Second, create incentive for purchasing and using a reusable cup. Liat suggested a loyalty card. If someone purchased a reusable cup from either Bon Appétit or Reed’s bookstore, they got a punch card that was good for six free beverages from Bon Appétit! The fall semester initiative was such a big hit with students, staff, and faculty that it is continuing for spring semester.
Submitted by Debby Bridges, General Manager