Chuck your cup

I confess, one of the little things I love about working here are the free lattes. My morning ritual of the double-nonfat-latte-in-a-medium cup is a glorious thing. But one of the by-products –- 500 disposable cups going to the trash per hour at our headquarters alone –- is not. And each year the production of these same cups generates 50,000 lbs. of carbon. We have the power to change this.

Today, we’re hosting “Chuck the Cup” Day on four of our campuses to raise awareness about the environmental impact of our coffee habit and highlight the things we can do to create a more sustainable workplace. This is the brainchild of Kai Haley, a Yahoo! Green Team member who’s been obtaining a masters in sustainable design in her spare time. Frustrated by the waste, Kai focused her thesis on an analysis of disposable cup usage and behavior patterns. She and Melissa Mangini, another impassioned Green Team member, decided to do something about it.

Earlier in the week, Green Team volunteers hid mugs throughout campus, with a note to encourage Yahoos to take and use the mugs, or bring their own to work today. Anyone who comes to one of our coffee bars with a mug goes to the head of the line (think carpool/hybrid lane -- we even installed “Fast Lane” decals on the floor). We’re also giving mugs to people who correctly answer green trivia questions. And we've put the attention-getting sculptures that Kai created for her thesis on our main lawn, each of them representing the number of coffee cups used in 15 minutes at our headquarters (124, in case you were wondering).

In the future, all of our coffee bars will be offering Yahoo! Green Team mugs as an option (no trivia question required) so we can make this Chuck the Cup ritual a daily thing. And maybe the next time you go get your fix, you can chuck your cup, too.”

Kate Gerwe
Senior Director, Marketing
Head of Yahoo! Green Team