Ahhhh summer. The afternoon picnics. The poolside cookouts. The breezy rooftop parties. The gazillion plastic cups to clean up? The half-filled bottles of beer that have been abandoned by their drinkers? The gallons of perfectly good undrunk beer that will be washed down the drain? Really people? Is it necessary for a person to pour themselves a drink, walk over to talk to someone, and then leave said cup on a table still 75% full, only to go pour yourself the same drink in a different cup?!!! It baffles the mind! Has anyone else noticed the phenomenon known as “floater syndrome” and been completely disgusted by it? And is there any way that we can get people to stop?

Ideally, people would use reusable tableware or biodegradable cups, but more often than not, those big red beerpong cups are the beverage holder of choice. And I’ve seen hosts collect those, wash them and use them again which is better than just throwing them away. What is not okay is the insane amount of cups that seem to be used in proportion to the number of people at the party. Why does a party with 20 people use 60 cups? Is it a hygiene thing? Do people feel that they need a new cup every time they have a new drink? Is your cup “contaminated” after you drink from it for too long?

And it gets even worse. As a person who loves beer, the other phenomenon that causes me great heartache is when I go to clean up after a party and find full bottles of opened beer around the house just sitting there, lonely and unappreciated. Now what could have happened in the scenario that led up to this horrible waste? Could one of my friends have just opened her beer only to learn, right at that moment, that she was pregnant and could no longer drink alcohol? Could one of my other friends have suddenly realized that he was meant to be a monk and shun all worldly delights? I suppose there are many things that could explain the opened beers but none of them unburdens my heart. There has got to be a better way…

If you’re just as annoyed about floaters and the heinous amount of wasted cups and beer that are leftover after a party ends, you might be wondering what you can do about it. Check out the gallery for some ideas that I am hoping to put into play to end this terrible waste of crucial resources (beer) once and for all. And for more info on making beer itself more sustainable, check out Sustainabrew, our very own Jason Sahler’s green beer blog.

Images via Lighting Trends Blog, Idealist, HVChronic, KSTP and Geekologie