A greener cup of joe

Hailey Colwell


With the temperature dropping and your caffeine tolerance growing ever higher, you may find it difficult to resist warm drinks from your favorite coffee shop. However, with every steaming creation comes another paper cup and plastic cap to be thrown into the garbage.

Luckily, there are many coffee shops near campus that offer incentives for being sustainable with your caffeine craze.

Bordertown Coffee, for example, takes drink prices down a size if you bring a reusable mug.

The Purple Onion Café on University Avenue, its counterpart Espresso Exposé on Washington Avenue and Mim’s Café in St. Paul knock 25 cents off drinks if you bring your own cup.

The rule of 10 applies to the larger coffee chains on campus: Starbucks takes 10 cents off  any drink when you reuse. Caribou gives a 10 percent discount.

Hard Times Café on the West Bank, known for its grungy décor and organic menu, does not offer a discount for patrons who bring in reusable mugs. Instead, it charges an extra 25 cents if you ask for a to-go cup.

Espresso Royale in Dinkytown takes 50 cents off a drink if you bring in your own cup. If you buy a one of the shop’s mugs, you also get a free cup of coffee.

“We go through quite a few paper products in any given day,” said Rex Vogen, assistant manager at Espresso Royale, “so when people bring in their own mugs, it’s great.”

Vogen said he encourages people to bring their own coffee mugs because it’s greener and takes less of a toll on the business’s budget.

“It’s the responsible thing to do,” he said. “If you’re getting coffee every day it only makes sense, I think, to have your own mug.”