It’s a fact that we have a HUGE waste issue the world over. One eco-friendly organization from California is endeavoring to make a difference with an incredible invention for coffee lovers. “Reduce. Reuse. Grow.”, a new business based out of San Louis Obispo, created the world’s first plantable coffee cup. Once planted, the embedded seeds within the cup grow in the ground, sprouting new life out of a used coffee cup.
A plantable coffee cup embedded with native seeds could change the way coffee drinkers see their rubbish, as well as help deforested areas, and bring some greenery to urban communities.
The majority of consumers don’t know where their rubbish really goes, explains KickStarter project founder Alex Henige, a senior at California Polytechnic State University. For example, Americans drink more than 146 billion cups of coffee per year, according to Carry Your Cup, but paper fiber cups can only be recycled up to three times before ending up in a landfill.
Henige’s fully compostable cups would be lined with seeds for beautiful native Californian wildflowers, like desert bluebell, California poppy, and blazing star. Once consumers finish their beverage, they can soak the cup in water and bury it. After a few weeks, the seeds will germinate and grow into something remarkable. He hopes to raise enough money to make these amazing coffee cups that grow into trees a reality at a cafe near you. The cups will be made based on independent location, so that each cup contains native seeds from the area in which it is served. This ensures your coffee cup will grow and flourish in your very own backyard!
Henige has a plan that (one day) lazier caffeine addicts will be able to drop their cups in special ‘Reduce Reuse Grow’ bins, ready for pickup and planting. He says each cup with tree seeds could eventually remove one ton of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. (One cup will grow at least 1 tree, which will then work to better our planet by extracting 1 ton of CO2 over a 40-year period.)
The Kickstarter campaign notes that if the cups do get thrown away, they’ll compost down to nothing in 180 days. Instead of chopping down trees and eliminating forests to make cups and containers, this allows us to give back to mother nature. We’re on the right track- over 140,000 containers have already been planted.
After raising money on KickStarter, “Reduce. Reuse. Grow.” plans to take their idea to Colorado and San Francisco where people will have the chance to purchase and plant these cups at participating locations. If all goes as planned, plantable coffee cups that turn into trees will be a reality by the summer of 2015.