New 3-week community-wide campaign to kick the disposable cup habit
SEATTLE, WA – May 5, 2011 A unique three-week effort to prompt a simultaneous shift in one of our country’s biggest waste problems begins May 21.
Led by New World Habits and supported by coffee shops, non-profits and others, the idea for sudden change is prompted by the theory that any habit can be changed with a concerted three week effort. This theory will be put to the test in Seattle.
The good news is that you don’t have to give up your coffee. You simply need to bring your own cup, just as most of us have learned to bring our own bag to the grocery store.
The habit change is relatively painless yet important as Americans throw away almost half a million cups every 15 seconds. Last year, paper cup usage created close to 400 million pounds of solid waste, and that represents almost a third more than just 4 years earlier! Our thoughtless disposal of single-use items is getting out of control. This trend must be reversed.
Via the website, New World Habits will provide the two essential ingredients to facilitate change: support and a deadline, not to mention the added incentive of a magnified collective impact that is practically instantaneous. The website will track the growing numbers.
Participants will join the effort online and then they can watch a change in personal habits become part of a much larger wave of change. The actual 3-week shift will launch at Green Fest, who is partnering in the initiative along with Sustainable Seattle, Zero Waste Seattle and other organizations. Equally important is the collaboration of coffeehouses, including Caffe Ladro, who will promote the effort by offering discounts. Individuals are encouraged to approach their neighborhood coffeehouses (or office, cafeteria, or community organization) to get them involved: the website offers a flier, including a list of incentives for businesses. Everything is designed to make it easy for the movement to spread at the grassroots level.
“It’s not as difficult as we make it out to be,” says founder and executive director Karin de Weille. “We need to show ourselves that we have the power, that we are the adaptable organisms that today’s fast-changing world requires.” And she believes Seattle is the perfect place to test this point. Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin concurs, “This initiative is another example of Seattle’s environmental leadership. Let’s show that we can do this, and our success will be duplicated in other cities.”
The campaign addresses the powerlessness we often feel as individuals. According to de Weille, “We often feel overwhelmed and so we retreat into denial and a sense of powerlessness. We find reasons to maintain habits whose value we’ve come to doubt. Deciding to carry a reusable cup can become a powerful way to align ourselves with what we know to be true and necessary. And when we make this single move together, we feel that much more empowered as a community to steer our way into the future. Really, the goals of the campaign are quite broad. A campaign targeting disposable cups is one way in. And an especially good way here in Seattle, where we drink a lot of coffee!”
ABOUT NEW WORLD HABITS
Founded in Seattle in 2010 and aimed at empowering individuals and groups to shift personal behavior and through collaboration move towards a future they believe in.
Karin de Weille
New World Habits
facebook page: Reusable Cup Campaign