Plastic Pollution
March 20 2013

Farewell Friend – In Memoriam of My Travel Mug

by Bill Hickman

Guest Blog Post by Surfrider Connecticut Chapter Activist Kasey Jacobs.

My friend of three and half years passed away this morning. He’d been on life support for quite a while, but I made him hold on. There was no one like him so it was hard to let go. We’d been everywhere together on a daily basis. We’d worked to save the world together, one cup of Joe at a time. I’d tried to make friends with many other coffee cups before him but none were as sustainable, resilient, or low maintenance.

There had been Paper Disposable Cup. Extremely popular in our circles but I just couldn’t quite mesh with him. His inspirational sayings were appreciated but I found it hard to overlook his occupation of deforestation. Plus, he wasn’t very warm. Our coffee outings would turn cold quickly.

Then there was Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Foam. A very light person but one of those friends that lingers too long – awkward! You know those types. He also liked to hang out with the wrong crowd – EPS food containers like Clam Shell. They rub me the wrong way. And they are so full of themselves! It’s like they have no clue they contaminant every environment they wander into.

Most recently I tried Environmentally Friendly Plastic. Unfortunately she always wanted to attend the most expensive events. A little too posh for me. And even when I would hang out she liked to talk about herself a lot. “I’m so unique, I’m made of corn and sugar cane and can biodegrade!” But when did she ever actually enter a location that would allow her to biodegrade? Close to never in reality.

Then I found Reusable Travel Mug. No other made me feel as good about myself. There was no pretentiousness.  He was what he was. He would also never spill his contents at every moment like the other gossipy, leaky cups. And the places we would go. You know you’ve found a good friend when they aren’t picky about their travel arrangements. He could travel by hand, by purse, by backpack, by bus, or by car.

He always seemed to have an “In” at the coffee shops we would frequent. They’d often give me a 10 to 15 cent discount on every cup of coffee just for being his friend! And on particularly cold days he always knew how to keep the coffee and conversation warm and cozy. I think what I liked best, though, was that he was a constant reminder that in this crazy world of corporate irresponsibility together we could make a difference.

Lately as I look for a new friend I’ve been forced to hang out with Paper Disposable Cup and Environmentally Friendly Plastic again (I’m not desperate enough to call Polystyrene). Guilt has been seeping through so I haven’t been frequenting my favorite coffee shops as often as I would like. Unless I have time to hang out with Reusable “To Stay” mug of course.

Oh how I miss you, my Reusable Travel Mug. I feel guilty as I search for a new one. I can’t help but compare everyone to you. It just seems that others aren’t as sturdy or convenient. I know eventually I’ll make a new friend but why does it have to be so hard? Our baristas have been asking about you and my coworkers have noted how odd it is to see me solo. So please know I am not the only one who notes your absence daily. In our hearts your memory lingers with great fondness. There is not a morning, dear Reusable Travel Mug, that I do not think of you.