During a barista training at Café Vita on Capitol Hill in Seattle, I learned the taste and quality of coffee is shot once the espresso hits paper. Even though today’s coffee culture relies on coffee as a daily dose of caffeine for workers on the go, the coffee-sipping practice is deeply rooted in a culture that values enjoying the special brew, not for the energizing effect, but simply for the stoic experience. 

It is for this reason I choose to only appreciate coffee in a glass mug. For me, to drink coffee is to give myself an hour out of my day to sit and enjoy a warm drink from a mug. 

The Starbucks on campus makes this practice easy. Whenever I have an extra hour in Hemmingson, I order a drink “for here” and enjoy it with a book, The Gonzaga Bulletin or a friend. I tend to be an anti-corporate coffee consumer, but this one quality of Starbucks is the exception. 

However, this lifestyle is a gamble. Sometimes, Starbucks doesn’t have enough mugs to hand out to students who are sipping in Hemmingson. One reason for this is because some students who ask for the “for here” mug fail to return them to the coffee stand.

If you’re stealing the plain white mugs from Starbucks, please read and consider my kind request to stop. Nobody’s house needs more mugs. Plus, they’re not even cute. They’re plain white. 

In offering the plain white mugs, Starbucks is trying to do our Earth a service by minimizing waste. By all means, I insist you enjoy your coffee from glass rather than paper, but send the favor forward and return the mug, so the next customer can drink coffee and take part in waste reduction.

Gonzaga Sustainable Eats, one of campus’ sustainability clubs, posted on Instagram Feb. 15 that Starbucks is no longer participating in the “mug for here” program, and advised students to get their coffee at other shops that support local coffee companies.

The Marketplace in Hemmingson offers 99 cent coffee for anyone who brings a reusable container of any size, and Thomas Hammer in Jepson also has discounts for drip coffee to customers with their own reusable mug. 

I completely agree — if you have the time to head to Jepson or have a reusable drinking container, definitely make the sustainable and cheaper coffee choice by avoiding Starbucks. 

But, if it is in your coffee nature to sponsor Starbucks, no sweat — just consider the eco-friendly choice and order a mug for here. 

However, if you do order a mug from Starbucks, they request customers do not return the mug via the drink counter. Instead, hand the mug to someone at the cash register. This will help Starbucks keep sanitary practices and won’t break the health code. 

Truly, it’s effortless. Drinking coffee out of a paper cup caffeinates the body, but enjoying coffee from a mug nourishes the soul. Instead of buying your coffee before jetting off to class, choose to sit peacefully with your coffee, enjoy it out of a mug, and save the earth one drink.

Brooklyn Popp is an arts & entertainment editor. Follow her on Twitter: @Popp_Brooklyn.

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(1) comment


"I tend to be an anti-corporate coffee consumer, but this one quality of Starbucks is the exception." The most Generation Z thing you will ever read in the world.

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