Kill The Cup Reveals 16 Universities Participating in Nation’s Largest Reusable Cup Contest

Campaign awards social impact grants to fund sustainability projects at winning schools
SAN DIEGO - May 28, 2015 - PRLog -- Kill The Cup today announced the 16 universities that will participate in the 2015 University Challenge, a four-week nationwide campaign that encourages students, staff, and faculty across the country to reduce waste from disposable coffee cups. The 16 universities provide a balanced national geographical campaign footprint from east to west ranging from Boston University and Penn State University in the east, University of Florida and University of Georgia in the southeast, University of Michigan and University of Illinois in the Midwest, and the University of Washington and California State University San Marcos on the west coast.

The campaign, which will run from Oct. 5 to Oct. 30, will reward the university that serves the highest percentage of drinks in reusable cups at participating coffee shops. Student ambassadors, who were selected through a competitive application process, will lead grassroots campaigns to encourage environmentally friendly behavior on campus. Student teams that outperform their peers at other schools will receive social impact grants to fund sustainability projects on their own campus.

“I am extremely excited about this year’s cohort of student ambassadors,” said Drew Beal, Chief Environmental Optimist of Kill The Cup. “They represent a millennial generation that will find a way to stop climate change.”

Student teams will compete based on metrics for Waste Reduction and Social Awareness. Kill The Cup measures Waste Reduction by the percentage of drinks served in reusable cups at participating coffee shops. The rate of coffee cup reuse has been a point of interest for many national coffee retailers, most notably Starbucks. According to their website, the Seattle-based company has a 2015 goal of achieving a 5 percent reuse rate. The reported figure from 2014 was 1.8 percent, unchanged from the 1.8 percent that was reported in 2013.

Social Awareness is measured by the percentage of the campus population that participates in the campaign by uploading a photo on the Kill the Cup mobile app. During the University Challenge, students, staff, and faculty can upload coffee selfies with their reusable cups to become eligible to win gift cards and other prizes. The total enrollment of the 16 participating universities exceeds 300,000 undergraduates.

“If we are serious about environmental behavior change, we have to make it fun and engaging,” said Beal. By posting photos of prize winners and leaderboards, Kill the Cup aims to reach a tipping point where it becomes a social norm to carry a reusable cup.

The inaugural Kill The Cup University Challenge launched at eight universities across the country in the fall of 2014. In four weeks, the percentage of coffees 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.

The participating universities in the 2015 Kill The Cup University Challenge are:

·         Boston University

·         California State University San Marcos

·         Columbia University

·         Humboldt State University

·         Loyola University Chicago

·         Miami University (Ohio)

·         Penn State University

·         The George Washington University

·         University of Florida

·         University of Georgia

·         University of Illinois

·         University of Michigan

·         University of North Carolina

·         University of Richmond

·         University of Washington

·         Villanova University

About Kill The Cup

Kill The Cup is a project of Social Ventures for Sustainability, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that partners with campuses and communities to encourage environmentally responsible consumer behavior. Kill The Cup’s campaigns reduce waste from disposable cups, educate consumers on sustainability, and improve performance of partner organizations.

Drew Beal
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Tags:Reusable Cup, Environment, Millennials, Sustainability, Disposable
Industry:Environment, Restaurants
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