Disposable coffee cups are one of the highest sources of mis-sorted waste on campus, which limits UBC’s ability to achieve its zero waste goal. Common Energy’s 2015 waste audit found that 83% of the 490 cups recovered in the SUB’s sort-it-out station were improperly disposed of. Mugshare is a brand new program created by the Common Energy campaigns team in the 2015-2016 school year to address that problem. Its goals are to reduce the usage of disposable cups on campus by allowing members to borrow and return mugs as they please.
People who wish to join pay a deposit and get a membership card, which they can exchange for a reusable mug. Once finished with the mug, they can return it for it to be cleaned. The program is supposed to resemble UBC food services’ eco-to-go program. The pilot program, debuted at Sprouts, Seedlings and Agora cafes on campus, was met with enthusiasm and encouragement. At the end of the year, the Campaigns team received constructive feedback from its users, promoting the continual betterment of the program.
In the upcoming year, the Campaigns team aims to continue shaping and spreading the Mugshare idea throughout UBC. We plan to partner with prominent campus forces such as the AMS, and UBC food services that already hosts the Eco-To-Go sustainable food container system. Our goal is to match the current reach of Eco-To-Go, and perhaps to gain popularity with students all over campus.
The foundation built by the 2015-16 year of Campaigns has left plenty of opportunity for growth within the program that we intend to harness. The upcoming year will hopefully see the fledgling program soar!
-Blog post by Ariel Zhang and Sarah Elwood, Co-coordinators for Common Energy’s Campaigns Team