ULTI-MUG Reusable mugs for a Greener Campus: A study for replacing disposable drink containers with reusable mugs at the University of Colorado at Boulder. 2009 ENVS 3001 Students Danny San Filippo, Chris Kerr, Perry Martin, Charles Marx Introduction Sustainable Solutions Consulting- a class dedicated to creating a cleaner ‘greener’ campus In coordination with Dining Services at the University of Colorado at Boulder Working to decrease waste on and around campus Introduction (cont.)- Reasons for the Shift Increased popularity of the Grab-n- Go’s More paper cups, juice boxes, and plastic bottles thrown away every day Most students aren’t recycling CU now looking for alternative Introduction (cont.)- Our Role Find a reusable mug alternative to the one-time-use containers Get student feedback on the preferred mug Educate the student body about the project Statement of the Issue (S.I.) In 2007, Dining Services at CU committed to offering single serving drinks only in containers that are recyclable Dining Services later formulated the reusable mug project to solve the problem S.I. (cont.)- The Plan Dining Services would like to install fountain drink dispensers and triple- filtration water stations in all of the Grab-N-Go locations on campus Students use their mugs for both the dining halls and the Grab-n-Go’s No one-time-use containers provided S.I. (cont.) S.S.C. working to make the switch as successful as possible by: Surveying and observing the student body Comparing our efforts and projects with other universities Deriving a successful model for advocating more sustainable behavior History of Mugs at CU CUPPS program started in early 1990’s Gave out mugs Inserts in the mugs Also for sale Housing separates from CUPPS in 1996 Continues distributing mugs with UCSU Housing drops program History of Mugs at CU Continued Eco Mug UCSU continued to provide mugs but not to all incoming residents “LiveGreen” pledge 500 mugs $10.00 per mug Harford Community College Sells reusable mugs at cost price Offers discount drinks to students using reusable mug Dickinson College Distributed reusable mugs to all students Offers discount drink to students using reusable mug Seton Hill University Green contracts for mugs Not nearly enough to satisfy entire student body University of Vermont “One Less Cup” discount campaign Discounts Donations Branched into “Spot a Mug” program Coupons given to students using a reusable mug University of Maryland Gave away 4,500 reusable mugs to incoming students Have free triple-filtered water Offers discounted refills at on-campus dining services What Have We Learned? Discounts are essential Sell at cost Use inserts to explain the program Marketing New Behavior Options for the Ulti-Mug Catch Phrase “Lug Your Mug” “Bring Your Cup We’ll Fill You Up” “Think Green Drink Clean” Posters Residence Halls Dining Locations Benefits Barriers Matrix For the Implementation of Reusable Mugs Using a Reusable Mug Competing Behavior: disposable cups and bottles Perceived Barriers Clean it yourself Single use repeatedly Creates trash and waste Potential health hazards (non-recyclable) Takes up space Expensive long term for the University Required to remember and carry around Upfront Cost Non-Microwaveable May identify/label students as freshmen Benefits Barriers Matrix Continued Using a Reusable Mug Competing behavior: disposable cups and bottles Perceived Benefits Personal attachment, Convenient: can throw it personalized away, nothing to remember, nothing to Durable, less chance of carry around, no washing leaking/spilling Free Reduces waste and energy Nutritional facts on drink (labeled with how much Ability to bring drinks out sugar, caffeine or other of the dining halls ingredients are in a drink) Observations Of Student Behavior We conducted our observations at Piazanos and Alley Express Each time we observed we kept track of three things. The number of students leaving with plastic bottles The number of student who used a reusable mug at the water stations The total number of students who used the water stations Survey Questions Given to Students Our Survey given out by Environmental Center when they launched a Live Green pledge drive The E-center had gave away 500 mug in for signing the Live Green pledge and filling out the survey. The sample size is approximately 10% of the current freshman class. We determined the three questions given to students based upon previous observations. At the same time we also wanted to test our theories on student preferences. Survey Questions Given to Students 1. If you were given a reusable mug by the school would you prefer one with a handle or without? With Without Doesn’t Matter 2. Would you prefer using a reusable mug made of plastic or metal? Plastic Metal Doesn’t Matter 3. Would you use a reusable mug more for hot or cold liquids? Hot Cold Both Survey Results 481 students participated in the study but only 455 completed all three questions with 26 surveys that were returned incomplete. Students want their mug to: Have a handle To be made out of metal And be able to hold both hot and cold liquids Mug Design Criteria and Selection Developed simple criteria based on original survey results Found mugs online for testing Asked students for their opinion on the mugs Formulated our results and chose a mug for recommendation Additional Criteria Mugs must be a minimum of 12oz and a maximum of 16oz Mugs must be at a maximum cost of $10.00 per individual unit Mugs must be available in mass quantities to meet demand Original Mug Criteria We then ascertained a basic list of criteria for our test mug selection. Mugs that have a handle Mugs that can hold cold and hot liquid Mugs that can maintain a water tight seal Mugs that have a metal liner Mugs that do not ‘sweat’ with temperature change Mug A Mug B Mug C Mug Survey From our first survey we chose three mugs for students to evaluate. Students ranked each mug based on visual appeal, lid style, function (handle), and overall likeness. Mug A Mug B Mug C Recommendations for Implementation Goal is to establish reusable mug use as a social norm on campus Target the incoming freshman class as the ideal population for this effort Make the purchasing and use of mugs as easy as possible ‘Advertise’ our cause and mugs allover campus and during orientation. A ‘social norm’ Mugs must become a trend in order to be effective. Students must see other using mugs to be encouraged With out the support of the students mug use will falter, we can not force them to participate. Availability and Use Mugs must be readily available To be sold at or near cost Availability will encourage students to purchase the mugs as they become exposed to the concept. The easer to buy the easer to use Ie. Campus Cash or Munch Money After purchase students must be able to see when and where to use their mugs. In order to foster participation Freshman The incoming freshman class of every year is our ‘target market’ They are isolated from other classes on campus, leaving them open to new trends. They will be willing to accept mug use as a norm if it is presented correctly. They must be informed of the mug effort early and often. Orientation Orientation is the best opportunity to introduce students to the reusable mug effort on campus Students should be given literature on the mug effort in their orientation packet Include information on mugs available through CU Ideally students will have the opportunity to purchase the CU mugs through the registration process. Along with sports tickets, herd membership etc. Add a reusable mug to Housing’s what to bring page More Extreme Strategies Housing and Dinning remove all disposable drink containers from (excluding water) from food venders Include fountain drinks in each Grab-n’-Go Remove disposable cups from dinning halls altogether Place all disposable drink containers in discreet, non- refrigerated locations Chill or provide ice with all fountain drinks available. Offer students discounts or free sides (with mug use) regardless of drink selection Continued Use Getting students to continue using mugs throughout the year will be the most important task. Use constant advertising around food venders on campus Provide advantages for using mugs all year long Discourage the use of disposable containers at every opportunity. Distribute as many free mugs as possible all year (the more the better) Thank You We would like to thank Dr. Lisa K. Barlow, Lauren Heising, and the rest of Housing and Dinning services for all of their help and contributions. We would also like to thank everyone for coming and showing your support.
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