The Reusable Cup Question

Have you seen the reusable cup being sold at Starbucks? You likely have.  According to a poll by YouGov (a British company) 28% of Americans have purchased this item.  I'm shocked by this.  Not because it's not a good idea.  But because that seems like an incredibly big number.

I'm not one of them.  There is no way this would work for me and, I suspect, many of my suburban friends may be in the same boat.

I have about 15 travel mugs.  Pretty ones.  Solid ones.  One with built-in coasters.  Some with handles.  Some even from Starbucks.  Some are in my car.  Some in the kitchen.  Some in a box.  Some in an office.  Some were free.  Some are from 2001.

As noted in the press, the concern is that well-intentioned, environmentally-mindful people are going to forget their Starbucks reusable cup when they go to to Starbucks like the way we forget our reusable shopping bags.  I know some of you are the diehards who always have them on hand.  You'll do great with the reusable cup. But not me.   Not only am I likely to forget mine, I will likely not have it washed.

So, here's what I think.  Starbucks needs to offer complimentary cup washes at their suburban chains.  In all likelihood, coffee for us burb people is consumed in the car.  I may then leave the cup in the car.  I will not be astute enough to actually bring the cup into the house with all the stuff - computer, dinner, groceries, purse, diaper bag, mail, kid, whatever -  I carry in.  I will then return to the car with the plan to get coffee.  I will then see dirty cup in the cup holder and swear quietly knowing it is dirty.  I will not return to the kitchen to wash it.  I will then either buy a coffee in a paper cup or, better yet, another reusable cup thinking the problem is that I don't have enough of them.

Okay, Starbucks, you are a genius.  You've got me.  Plus, my apologies to the poor baristas who I suggested should clean out the cups that have been in people's cars for over 72 hours.  I know better, friends.


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