Kill the Cup Challenge enters final days of competition

By Jessica Schein, Contributing Writer

The Pumpkin Spice latte is back this fall at Starbucks along with a new recycling initiative for the university.

The “Kill the Cup” challenge, which started on October 5, is a nationwide competition that is working towards the promotion of using reusable cups instead of single-use disposables.

The University of Florida is one of 16 schools participating in this competition, with Library West as its particular location targeting reusable cup usage, according to the Outreach and Communications Coordinator for Sustainability at UF Allison Vitt.

“Our campus has a reusable cup rate of about 3.2 percent,” Vitt said. “It’s better than the 1.8 percent reuse rate that Starbucks has on a broader scope, but that is still not enough if you think of how many people visit that Starbucks every day, every week.”

Greeks Going Green, a campus organization promoting sustainability, initiated this competition and President Rachel Reiss met with the gator dining sustainability manager and the Starbucks manager to arrange major details of the sales campaign involving sales data.

Reiss said Greeks Going Green is an that focuses on the Greek community’s involvement in sustainability on campus and that in order to promote this event the club will be promoting it over social media as well as tabling in front of the library.

“The Kill the Cup University challenge strives to achieve waste reduction and social awareness,” Reiss said. “Schools are ranked based on the volume of reusable cups used at their campus coffee shop and “points” earned through social media promotions.”

The competition which will be running through November 15. The winning school will be be rewarded a $2500 social impact grant that will go towards a sustainability project, according to Reiss.

In addition, campus Starbucks locations give a 25 cent discount toward beverages in a reusable cup, Vitt said.

Gaurav Singh, 25, who is a computer science graduate student, goes to Starbucks almost twice every day and now is using a Starbucks reusable cup.

“It felt like a good purchase,” Singh said. “It is easier for me to not have to get up and throw away trash when I am studying and it [reusable cup] helps reduce a bit of trash.”

Students can participate in the challenge through November 15 simply by using a reusable mug or tumbler when visiting a campus Starbucks location.

Published: November 10th, 2015

Category: Highlights, News