Oct 02, 2015
It’s game on for a group of Humboldt State students who are competing against 15 other universities nationwide. The game is “Kill The Cup,” and campus culture indicates the HSU squad might be the favorite in this field.
Humboldt State’s Waste Reduction & Resource Awareness Program (WRRAP) student organization was selected to participate in the month-long campaign that promotes the use of reusable coffee cups.
“I think we’re going to be extremely competitive,” HSU President Lisa Rossbacher said as she visited the group’s pre-event tabling on the Quad. “This competition recognizes what our students and our University are doing all the time.”
HSU’s mascot, Lucky Logger, is participating in the Kill the Cup sustainability effort.
While WRRAP is promoting the challenge, the campus community will be counted on to seal the victory. All students, faculty, and staff members are asked to download the Kill The Cup mobile app so they can upload photos of themselves with their reusable cup every day from Oct. 5 to Oct. 30. Each posted selfie makes the user eligible to win gift cards and other prizes.
Along with the number of posts, the contest criteria also includes the highest percentage of drinks in reusable cups sold at participating coffee shops. All of HSU’s dining facilities are participating, including partner Muddy Waters in the Depot.
“Our mission for WRRAP is basically the same mission,” says Meredith Garrett, the student ambassador leading HSU’s effort. “It’s all about waste reduction and public awareness, which is already happening at HSU. That’s what gives us the edge.”
Humboldt State Sustainability and Waste Coordinator Morgan King agrees. “I often get questions from faculty, staff and students about what they can do to reduce waste on campus. There’s a genuine interest here to go zero waste, and projects like this one draw attention to a particular item in our waste stream that we can easily eliminate. What we ultimately want to see is that more people choose to use re-usable cups even when this competition is over.”
If HSU wins, the reward is grant funding that can be applied to a campus sustainability effort.
“We are ahead of most universities in our zero waste initiatives, but there’s still a lot that can be done,” Garrett says. “One major need is having a program in place to compost dining scraps.”
The inaugural Kill The Cup University Challenge launched at eight universities across the country last year. According to the program’s creators, Social Ventures for Sustainability, in four weeks, the percentage of coffee sold in reusable containers rose by 65.4 percent. The campaign saved an estimated 15,440 cups, equivalent to 244 pounds of landfill waste, 3,860 gallons of water and 1.93 tons of CO2 emissions associated with the manufacturing process. During the 20-day campaign, 1,260 students uploaded more than 2,200 photos to the Kill The Cup website.
WRRAP will be tabling in the UC Quad throughout the competition to hand out reusable mugs and information. For more information, follow wrrap_hsu on Instagram or W.R.R.A.P. on Facebook.