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Good to Go

paper cup Fellows at the DO School in NYC are devising the coffee cup equivalent of bike-sharing, reports Alessandra Malito in The Wall Street Journal (4/4/14). Called the "Good to Go" campaign, it’s a "cup-sharing system" designed "to cut down on the number of disposable cups tossed every day." On April 15th, the concept will begin a "three-day pilot program … at Brooklyn Roasting Co. in Dumbo. From there, the group hopes to eventually roll out the campaign in all five boroughs."

The cup itself "will look like a to-go cup — except it will be made of a material more durable than paper but lighter than ceramic." In concept, sounds very simple: "A consumer picks up a cup from one location and drops it off at another location when it’s empty — the Citi Bike of cups." However, Katherin Kirschenmann, chief executive of the DO School, which teaches "social entrepreneurism," says it took some weeks for the fellows "to understand how complex" New York’s to-go and coffee culture are.

"The fellows are still working on the material and design as well as incentives for customers, such as a fast lane for those who bring in their own cups." Jim Munson, co-owner of Brooklyn Roasting, is optimistic the program will work. "Coffee that tastes good and does good resonates with New Yorkers," he says. "If people adopt the ‘Good to Go’ cup program and we can reduce the amount of paper waste that’s generally from people enjoying coffee, that’s got to be good for the neighborhood."