Gallery: Hey Starbucks! Inhabitat Has An Idea For You…


Dear Starbucks, we love your new-and-improved-no-spill-stainless-steel-reusable coffee mug. However, we would like to offer you a bit of advice from the Inhabiteam. We think you could take this holiday gift to the next level by incorporating a built-in barcode into your beautiful reusable mugs that would function like a pre-paid gift card. Picture this: Starbucks guests love gift cards, especially during this festive season. As strong supporters of your endeavors to go 100% reusable or recyclable by 2015, we think this fresh, innovative element could truly boost the sales of your reusable travel mugs and moreover, influence a change in your clients’ lifestyles. If you want to use your gift card money, you have to bring your reusable mug! This could transform many of our daily routines – which is what really needs to happen to reduce the number of cups generated as waste every day.

Starbucks’ new no-spill reusable mug. Nice, but we think our idea could make it even better!

Cups — in the paper/throwaway form — are convenient, no doubt. However, as a team of caffeine fiends, we at Inhabitat are constantly reminded of consumption in the grab-and-go style, as the overflowing trash bin has become far too familiar. According to a study done by the Environmental Defense Fund and published on Sustainability is Sexy, the number of disposable cups projected to be thrown out in 2010 is 23 billion. Really? Umm…this is disgusting. In addition, these cups are generally made with only a portion of recycled paper and laminated with a plastic resin; this means it takes much longer for them to decompose and when that resin does break down, it releases a greenhouse gas.

We don’t mean to preach, but next time you buy a cup of joe in your local café, ask for a ceramic mug; if you are one of those “on-the-run” people like us, invest in your own reusable one. It’ll even save you a buck or two in the end, since most coffee shops reduce the price of your caffeine kick when you bring your own mug.

+ Starbucks


or your inhabitat account below


  1. bolerg December 9, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    I worked at a starbucks and unfortunately the barcode scanners are not tied into the payment system. in order to pay for something you either have to swipe it or pay with cash. Fine idea just not practical for starbucks. they would have to hire someone to re-write a bunch of code and I personally just dont see that happening.

  2. eakspeasy December 8, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Starbucks should also eliminate the branding on their disposable cups and wraps, thereby eliminating the status symbol and making this process easier. Have some branded reusables available for the die-hards who need the validation of total strangers.

  3. surfin gramma December 8, 2010 at 11:28 am

    I have been using a Starbucks reusable cup for 7 years and get a discount for it every time! There are so many available everyone should be using them.

  4. chrissimmons December 8, 2010 at 10:20 am

    The idea of the “National bring your own cup day” works. I live in Taiwan, a country where every street has a walk up “tea shop” that sells all kinds of teas, juices, and other drinks. They are very popular and create all kinds of waste. My buddy approached some of the chains and suggested that if the customer brings the same sized cup they should get a discount of say 5% or something. Everyone he approached agreed to do it everyday from then on. People in this country also bring their own containers to restaurants for take-out as well.

  5. Jill Fehrenbacher December 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm

    Great idea Kestrel – I love it!!!

  6. anneawong December 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    How about this: Starbucks has a national “Bring Your Own Cup” day where you get a discount for byoc? Also a good way to move some merch from those shelves that never get touched

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home