A Vision Vancouver councillor is trying to solve the issue, whether it be with a tax on paper cups, or with a bylaw to have recycling bins prominently inside coffee shops. Toronto is considering a tax, starting December 1st, on disposable cups to encourage customers to bring their own mugs. While Vancouver has no green tax in the works, people are pushing for a Green change.
Personally, there are a lot of little changes I’d like to see Vancouver coffee shops adopt – changes that have a big impact overall:
- Have paper cups that can be recycled
- Have a sugar dispenser, instead of sugar packets
- Have spoons, instead of wooden stir sticks (although many are compostable, they are still wasteful)
- Offer a discount for your own travel mug (most do)
- Choosing biodegradable coffee cup lids
In addition, for those companies who want to go the extra mile to becoming more environmentally friendly, these options can help:
- Recycling used coffee grinds, or offering them free to customers for gardening
- Use biodegradable products for take-out packaging
- Going green in other ways – in materials bought, lighting used, etc
If you are taking steps in your cafe to be green, let your customers know. Giving them the option is just one more reason to shop with you, and educating them goes a long way toward creating positive recycling habits.