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The perks of being green

Waste Reduction Week introduces the new ECO Beverage Card to earn free coffee and tea through sustainable mugs.

The ECO Beverage Card, now available at 10 locations across campus.
The ECO Beverage Card, now available at 10 locations across campus.

Waste Reduction Week kicks off with the launch of a sustainability program that will reduce the amount of single serve cups and lids used, while giving Queen’s community members a hot drink on the house.

The ECO Beverage Card program from Queen’s Hospitality Services features a punch card for anyone who brings reusable mugs to any of the 10 locations across campus. Buying seven tea or coffees earns one free cup at The Lazy Scholar, Goodes Café, Gord’s Fresh Café, The Library Café, Location 21, Market Street, Recharge, West Campus Dining Hall, Mac-Correy Dining Hall, and Student Street Express.

“Our goal is to increase the use of reusable mugs from five per cent last year to 20 per cent this year,” says Jennifer Pete, Associate Director, Housing & Ancillary Services. “If we reach our goal, and sell the same amount of coffee and tea as we did last year, we will divert over 23,000 disposable cups from recycling streams and landfills.”

The new program is one of many initiatives that have made Waste Reduction Week, October 15 – 19, an evolving effort every year. The waste reduction rate represents the amount of waste that is diverted from landfill and instead is recycled. For 2017-18, Queen’s rate was 48 per cent, an increase of one per cent over last year. The Canadian average rate for diverted waste from non-residential sources (institutions, commercial operations, industry, and construction) is 38 per cent according to The Conference Board of Canada. Watch out for the full Queen’s Waste Diversion Rate Reporting, coming soon from the Queen’s Sustainability Office.

Check out the recently updated Waste Watcher’s Guide to Recycling and Waste Disposal for practical tips on how to properly dispose of everything from batteries and electronic waste to office supplies and building materials.