One small cup with a big impact


Image courtesy of Meghan Burkett and Pixabay.

A new addition to Chico State’s campus are the reusable cups that everyone who buys coffee on campus are now using in order to reduce waste.

During the first few weeks of the semester the cups were free. Now, they will cost 70 cents for every cup of coffee you order without bringing your cup back. While many coffee shops in Chico have been selling reusable cups, they cost at least ten times as much as Chico State’s. For example, the cups at the Starbucks on Broadway cost $12.95.

In addition, every time you get a drink at Common Grounds, Butte Station and Holt Station, you can get a punch card for a free coffee after 12 cups. However, it’s often that something will say that it is “environmentally friendly,” only for there to be nowhere in the area to process them, forcing your recyclable trash into the landfill rather than being recycled. 

This time, they are as environmentally friendly as advertised. According to Thomas Rider, the auxiliary business director of Associated Students, the cups are made of recycled plastic and can be recycled again if you do not want to keep using them.

 The cups cost Chico State the same 70 cents they are charging — nobody is making a profit. According to Rider, the paper cups, sleeves and lids were costing anywhere from 50 to 80 cents all together.

The cups are a hit for the baristas at Common Grounds and among students. One barista, Keara Comfort, sees the benefit of the new cups.

 “They are reducing plastic usage,” Comfort said, “I like them.” 

Kate Loser, a third year business major, likes them as well. She elaborated by saying that it was a good idea to reduce waste on campus.

The new cups aren’t the only change. The green boxes you get from Sutter Hall on campus are also a new addition. They were purchased during the later part of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Rider was waiting for students to return to implement them. While not quite as cost effective as the cups, they are just as likely to reduce the overall cost to Chico State over time. 

The cups and green boxes are only part of what Rider has planned. He intends to implement more changes that will benefit both Chico State and the environment. 

During the summer he plans on installing a new dishwasher that should save “350,000 gallons of water in the first year.” He also plans on implementing either reusable utensils and straws, or making sure that they are biodegradable.

All of this comes from his personal desire to make Chico State a more environmentally friendly campus, and to abide by the Community Cleanup program started in 2021.

Maki Chapman can be reached at [email protected].