Sustainable mugs helping to reduce College’s carbon footprint

mug

Sustainable mugs have been introduced by Sodexo and Ripon College in an effort to cut down on waste. Originally given out during spring registration, these reusable cups also can be picked up at no charge at the Pub, Commons, Terrace or Starbucks.

Students who use their mugs when purchasing coffee and other drinks at the “We Proudly Serve” Starbucks café receive a $.25 discount. Students who do not use their sustainable mug will be charged a minor fee of 53 cents, including tax. That cost will cover the disposable cup and offset the investment in the reusable mug.

Students will be encouraged to use their mugs at the Pub and Terrace, as well, though they will not be charged an additional fee if they do not. Juice and water bottles, as well as milk cartons, still will be available and purchased as they normally are. The Commons will operate the same, with cups being provided.

“The idea came up as part of our Sustainability Committee on campus,” says a Sodexo spokesperson. Senior Kaitlyn Welzen, a Sodexo sustainability intern, says the committee hopes to “reduce our carbon footprint, reduce the amount of waste generated (and) encourage sustainable thinking and actions.”

Moving forward, these mugs will be provided to all new and transferring students. If students lose their sustainable mug, they either can buy a new one or simply use any reusable cup that holds approximately 16 ounces.

Sodexo says this is a first step and that they hope to implement a strategy for eliminating container waste via the Grab ’n Go as well.

If students want to provide feedback, they can talk to one of the dining managers; fill out a comment card provided in the dining room; or provide feedback through the dining website or via email at foodservice@ripon.edu.

Megan Sohr ’18
Oshkosh, Wisconsin