Buy a reusable mug
Finding the right reusable mug is pretty straightforward. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Choose your type: A simple ceramic mug will likely do for office or home. The morning commute, however, may require a lidded mug. And if you like your hot beverages to be fresh, choose a tea infuser mug or French press-styled coffee cup. If you're going for iced coffee, try a retro looking glass mason jar with a lid.
- Avoid BPA: Bisphenol A (BPA) is an additive in plastics that’s been linked to cancers and other serious health problems, and can sometimes be found in the internal plastic lining of a mug. Ceramic models or stainless steel-lined mugs are a good bet if you want to avoid this nasty chem for sure.
- Have multiples: Decrease your chance to make the excuse, "I didn't have one handy" !
In the event that you forget your mug and MUST go with a paper cup, reduce your paper waste by carrying a reusable sleeve with you. Make your own compact and lightweight sleeve and say goodbye to the disposable cardboard sleeve forever!
Find it! Reusable mugs
For eco-friendly tea on the go, try this stainless steel travel mug with removable tea infuser. It even includes a secret compartment in the lid to store additional loose tea to make a fresh cup later.
This sleek ceramic coffee mug—in red, white, cobalt blue, black, or pink—holds 20 ounces of your favorite beverage and closes up to keep it warm with a plastic lid insert. It’s microwave and dishwasher safe and fits in your car cup holder, too.
Made with a stainless steel base and ceramic body, this mug is long-lasting and comfortable to use. With a nice “sippy” lid, it’s also BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and holds 14 ounces of your selected drink.
If you like the look of the traditional paper coffee cup, reach for one of these reusable look-a-likes made from double-walled porcelain (so your fingers won’t burn) and perfect for coffee or tea. It comes with a silicone lid and both the mug and lid are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Pick up one of the customizable mugs as a gift or for your own daily commute. You can insert photos, embroidery, etched metal, and other cool, personal images to make your mug your own. They’re high quality and lined with stainless steel.
This stainless steel mug comes in a variety of fun colors, is built to last, and very inexpensive. This version comes with a French press lid (with a variety of differently shaped base options, too), but you can also purchase models with regular “sippy” lids as well as a fun tea brewer.
Bring coffee (or tea) back to your desk at work or to your favorite reading chair in this stylish glass mug made of 100 percent recycled glass. It’s both dishwasher and microwave save and comes in light blue, royal blue, or light green colors.
Poor your favorite hot beverage in this double-walled, stainless steel mug that’s 100 percent effective against leaching. It’s easy to clean, durable, crack-resistant, and even recyclable. Comes in a variety of colors and holds 250 mL.
Set yourself up to make tasty freshly-brewed tea with this tea infuser mug set. Made in a fair trade cooperative in Vietnam, it comes with a mug, lid, and strainer, so it’s perfect for loose tea. And it’s safe for the microwave, dishwasher, and even the oven!
Buying a reusable mug helps you go green because...
- You're reducing overall waste
- You’re protecting forests from being cut down
Disposable coffee cups pose several eco-problems. Paper disposables require enormous quantities of trees to be extracted from forests and the bubbly insulator lining they’re often finished with make their recyclability questionable. A study by Starbucks found that 13.5 million reusable-cup-carrying customers kept more than 586,000 pounds of trash out of landfills in that year alone.
Styrofoam coffee cups have their own problems—they’re made from crude oil, a non-renewable and non-biodegradable resource. The production of the petrochemicals used to make them supports the hazards of the petroleum industry, which include about 2.6 million gallons of oil spilled every month during transportation and about 71 million pounds of toxins released into the air and water during refinement.
Related health issues
To make a finished plastic product flexible BPA, a chemical building block used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins, is often added. In coffee mugs, BPA is used to give the plastic durability and flexibility, but the substance can liquefy and leach into drinks, especially at high temperatures.
BPA has been linked to cancers, impaired immune function, early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, and hyperactivity and is considered a hormone disruptors. BPA has also been shown to cause female-like development in male test animals and early onset of puberty in females, as well as increased hyperactivity and aggression in animals.