Use 200L?, Give 200L


200 Litres.  44 Gallons.  This is how much water is used when we consume a single cup of take-out latte according to green charity WWF.  If we can reuse our cups instead of using paper cups and plastic lids, it would help bring this figure down.

See for a video.

And worse, Starbucks was as recently as October 2008 wasting 23 million litres of water A DAY, in a story broken as an exclusive by the Sun Newspaper after an undercover investigation.  See picture above for the headline.

Can Starbucks, for every cup of coffee sold, give 200 litres of water back to people in Africa and the developing world who desperately need clean water to drink, wash and keep healthy?

And can water bottles be free to refill with tap water at Starbucks and other cafes and restaurants, with a 30p suggested donation to charities WaterAid and Practical Action?

I also have an idea for a reusable water bottle that would carry a beaker or extendible coffee mug as a lid, suitable for coffee shop sizes.  This would save bottles of water and paper cups at the same time, and would stop the hassle for consumers of carrying around a water bottle and a large reusable cup.

There are good designs for extendible cups in this competition, sponsored by Starbucks.

An alternative solution would be a water bottle which folds up, such as the US Vapur water bottle, plus an extendible coffee mug in a case.  A colourful silicone lid, perhaps such as the one provided by EcoCup, would complete the set, for when people need to carry around hot coffee.

I think that Starbucks should actually do something to make reparations for the water and money it poured down the drain, not just change its policy, as this would show that it was really sorry about the waste it caused.  Do you agree?  Please comment below, which requires that you register, and vote on my idea whether you agree or not.

The last thing to mention is that there's a proposal of how to start solving the paper mountain of 58 billion paper cups (from 20 million trees?) that are discarded each year and not recycled, at

Other entries in this project