Sustainable NE Seattle

Connecting for a sustainable community

collective impact, instantaneous (practically)

What can we do to help the earth that requires no money, new infrastructure or technology, no legislation or political will, not even time (to speak of)?


I’ve been wondering, why not kick our disposable cup habit together and make an instantaneous, collective shift?  Take three weeks.  So I’ve put together a website and joined with some non-profits (Sustainable Seattle, Zero Waste, Green Fest).  Coffeehouses are also onboard, including Caffe Ladro, Grateful Bread, and Cafe Javasti.  So a structure is in place, something to work with.  But it’s continuing to evolve—the messaging, the posters, the outreach (getting individuals as well as coffeehouses onboard--it's easy--a flier on the site is all you need to approach your own local shop/cafeteria/office).  You can help grow this!


We’re launching the 3-week campaign soon--May 21 with GreenFest, so it’s time to spread this.  A signup process is in place through The Point (see JOIN NOW on the site…)


Some stats… We Americans throw away almost half a million cups every 15 seconds.  Last year, paper cup usage created close to 400 million pounds of solid waste, and that represents almost a third more than just 4 years earlier!  When our addiction to throwing away spirals out of control, it’s not enough to compost or recycle.  The rule is reduce first.  I really believe the disposability consciousness has got to go.  There’s a moving video on the site about this.  Take a look.  I’ve got a facebook page up where you can join with others who want to contribute creative ideas and help shape the campaign.  See the page Disposable Cup Campaign.


Richard Conlin is a supporter, seeing this as a great opportunity for Seattle to do what it’s good at—test out something new that then spreads.  So for those of you who are thinking you want to make this shift in your personal habits or would like to help grow the movement, this is a clear opportunity to explore the power of collective impact. 


Joann suggested that a way to think about our connection to the Earth is in terms of giving back.  So if you're looking for last-minute gift ideas, just sign up now.  Smile.  Happy Earth Day.


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