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Simple Swaps September

As the new sustainability programming coordinator at the Guelph Tool Library, I feel it is extra important that I spend this year demonstrating my “sustainability accountability”. This blog will act as a diary of sorts, where I will check in with my successes and my shortcomings when it comes to incorporating techniques for waste reduction in to my everyday life.

The biggest swap I have made this month? Carrying a cup with me everywhere. While I have been a die-hard travel mug user for years, I find it takes up a lot of space in my bag, and it keeps hot drinks a little *too* hot. This summer, at a local music festival, something clicked. I have been using the same “festival mug” for hot and cold drinks for the last 7 years. Regular Hillside Festival  attendees know the one I am talking about! At that festival (and many others) beer is only served in special festival mugs. This helps save at least 35,000 single-use cups and cans at each festival. If a few thousand of us can do that for a couple weekends out of the year, then why not use a solution like this more often?

At the start of this month, I tethered my festival mug to my bag. At first, I got a few weird looks filling it up at water fountains, and getting my hot and cold drinks served in it at coffee shops and quick-service restaurants. However, it didn’t take long for people to recognize that it’s a good idea.

My festival mug is easy to clean, it’s lightweight, incredibly durable, and it’s an ideal size for most drinks. Is it a perfect solution? Maybe not. It won’t keep my hot drinks hot when the winter rolls in, and it doesn’t have a lid for portability, but for this month, it’s saved me from using over 30 plastic bottles or single use cups. If you have any suggestions when it comes to the perfect travel mug, I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

Tonight, we have our first workshop in the Sustainability Series, which has been made available by our Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grant. We’ll be learning to make beeswax wraps, and following this great tutorial from Farewell My Manicure  to make a travel pack for reusable cutlery.

Keep an eye on our Calendar and our Facebook page for more great events coming up in October.


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