#Muglife campaign coming to Durham College

Photo by Laura Metcalfe

Sustainability Co-ordinator Tanya Roberts (right) and Sonal Birdi, her assistant, show off the mug and muglfe poster.

Tim Hortons cups are a common sight around campus. Students and staff need their tea or coffee to make it through early mornings and late nights.

But with all these cups comes a lot of waste. Between September of 2015 and April of 2016 more than 230,000 disposable cups were thrown out.

The Sustainability Office at Durham College is hoping to alter this behaviour through its #muglife campaign.

“It’s a pledge that you take that says “I will not use a coffee cup anymore, and I will use a mug instead”,’ says Sonal Birdi, sustainability co-ordinator assistant.

The goal is reduce waste by promoting the use of reusable mugs, says sustainability co-ordinator Tanya Roberts.

“If you get other people thinking of the impact in their head and what is the impact then they will reduce it. They’re not going to eliminate it totally with some people,” says Roberts

Durham College president Don Lovisa signed the pledge last year. Now Roberts plans to to gather more pledges and hand out more mugs in February.

It’s not just the school that is endorsing the campaign.

Food service provider Aramark hires employees for Tim Hortons locations around campus.

The company is supportive of the #muglife campaign, says Roberts. She says it offers discounts when you use a reusable mug. Students have purchasing power, says Roberts, so companies would be smart to embrace reusable cups.

She hopes the campaign will catch on and go viral, and make other colleges and universities think about starting a #muglife campaign of their own.

Roberts says there may be obstacles ahead, especially for those who look forward to the upcoming Roll up the Rim to Win event, which gives people a chance to win cash and prizes just by rolling up the rim of their Tim Hortons cup.

Roberts says while they are not giving incentives to use the mug or checking in to see if people do use the mug, students will get a free mug if they sign the pledge. The campaign is based on an ‘honour system’, says Roberts.

She says adjusting mindsets to reusable mugs will take forethought. Students and teachers need to plan ahead and have their mug on them when they go to get their coffee or tea, says Roberts. This will not be an easy transition but she says it is worth the diversion of waste.