Reusable Mugs: Reducing Waste on Dalhousie’s Studley Campus
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This project focuses on waste produced at Dalhousie University in Halifax by disposable cups. Thousands of cups of hot beverages are purchased on Dalhousie’s Studley campus everyday creating a large volume of waste. This project’s long term goal is to reduce waste in order to increase Dalhousie’s sustainability. In doing so, we looked at only four of the most popular beverage outlets on campus, two Tim Hortons’, a Second Cup, and a Starbucks. At these locations we surveyed customers to learn about consumer habits. The on-campus companies managing these outlets (Aramark and Sodexho) were interviewed to further understand their environmental policy and determine their willingness to participate. The research methods we chose to use include a literature review of previous reusable mug projects, a survey of hot beverage purchasers on campus, and interviews with representatives from both Sodexho and Aramark. For informal research methods we contacted facilities management to discover how much waste is removed from campus each month to establish data baseline from which to work and to inform our advertising campaign. Also, we collected used disposable cups on Studley campus for the purpose of measuring their volume, which in turn allowed us to calculate their volume within the total amount of waste produced. In conclusion, by focusing efforts on the reduction of disposable cups on campus we can significantly reduce the amount of waste that will ultimately be sent to local landfills. This can be fulfilled through raising the awareness of the Dalhousie community to the benefits of using reusable mugs as well as the environmental costs of neglecting such a shift in consumption patterns.