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I can give up going out to eat at restaurants. I can give up shopping for brand new items. I can give up tons of things in the name of reducing my carbon footprint.
But the one thing I can’t ever give up (hey, we all have our passes – right? – whether we’re going zero waste or budgeting) is coffee.
Yes, I make it at home, but sometimes when I’m out and about I just really crave a fancy caffeinated drink.
And shock of all shocks, despite advocating for second-hand and using what you have above all else, there’s one item related to coffee that I actually bought not once but twice: a glass KeepCup.
My KeepCup review; or, why buy new?
I bought my first KeepCup around 2015 when I first discovered zero waste (and really couldn’t afford the small investment!).
Since then, I’ve learned so many ways to go zero waste for free or zero waste on a budget, but… somehow my small 8 oz KeepCup got lost in our move in 2017 and I could just not. stop. thinking about it.
So in mid-2019 I re-bought the smallest size KeepCup offers and I’m back to my happiest coffee routine!
While the KeepCup’s price keeps it as a specialty piece, I think that’s what I really valued about it. It’s a simple, beautiful, meant-to-last piece for your daily use.
The big reason I really like KeepCup is because they’re not just selling a mug – they’re actually, actively advocating for the disuse of reusables. Their site states “we want cafes to lift reuse rates to 40% reusables in the ‘to go’ environment.”
I buy almost exclusively second hand, so it’s really important to me to align myself with companies that reflect my values when I do choose to get something new.
Aside from the gorgeous aesthetics, they have an entire page dedicated to their responsible business practices which talk customers through all of their decisions and why they make them. (Nerd alert: you can even look through their Lifecycle Analysis Report!)
The weird benefit of a keepcup
The second – very unexpected – benefit of getting one of the glass KeepCups is that people are so charmed by them you’ll often get a free drink.
Honestly! When you whip out a glass KeepCup and mention that you’re using it to reduce waste going to the landfill, there’s just something that makes people really happy. It’s something about the fancy aesthetics that really charm people. (Plus, it has easy measurements for baristas!)
I’m absolutely, 100% telling the truth when I say my mug has already paid for itself. I’ve gotten at least 4 drinks on the house which, at current stupid-high prices, definitely makes up for the purchase price.
My second purchase has yet to score me a free drink (maybe that’s positive news that they’re less novel than they were four years ago!), but I can keep hoping!
But… a glass cup?
When I finally decided to bite the bullet, I was so charmed by the KeepCup’s cuteness I didn’t even stop to think about the ramifications of purchasing a glass mug for hot beverages. Once it arrived, I got a little worried. Luckily, no problem.
The cork band is more than enough to stop yourself from getting scalded by a piping hot cup of coffee. I try to avoid getting the cork wet when I wash the cup, but even so I’ve washed it quite a bit and the cork still looks great. No warping, cracking, or crumbling to report here.
I do like to give a little prompt to baristas or other people borrowing it… Just a little warning to be careful just so they don’t burn themselves on the glass. It does take a bit of getting used to.
As for the glass aspect of it, most zero wasters are pretty used to clinking glass in their bags but for newbies it may be a bit scary.
Don’t worry… I’m pretty klutzy and I’ve yet to break either of my purchases. In fact, I’ve dropped mine several times and it just bounced around, unharmed.
Wouldn’t tempt fate, though!
Final review? 11/10. It actually made me re-buy – unheard of!