Putting the Mug in Mondays

Monday, September 26, 2011

Photo credit: Jonathan Rausseo

Another semester means another edition of Muggy Mondays.
For those of you not in the know, Muggy Mondays is a waste reduction initiative targeted at behavioural modification with respects to habitual use of reusable containers by applying a reward mechanism. Simply said, on Mondays we give away free coffee if you have a reusable mug. And not just coffee, hot chocolate and tea too.

Muggy Mondays is originally a program that was introduced at uOttawa by Green Campus. Technically we ... borrowed the idea from the University of Guelph (shout out to my green peeps at the UofG sustainability office). It has been running on campus now for 6 years if I recall correctly.

The concept of free coffee isn't anything new. Many groups use free coffee as a means to pull people in. The trick with Muggy Mondays is that there are no strings attached (with the exception of having your own mug). The condition component of this program is simple.... good things happen when you bring a mug.

I should also mention that coffee is not the only thing on the menu. There is also some tea or hot chocolate. And in keeping with the ethos of the program, everything is fair trade; the coffee, the sugar, even the hot chocolate and tea. Okay, the only thing that isn't fair trade is the milk... but since it is local I am going to cross my fingers and pray that it is fair trade.

Anyways, the whole reason why we do this program is simple. Every day on campus we use over 6,500 disposable coffee mugs. If stacked up, this is taller than the Peace Tower at Parliament Hill. And this could easy be stopped, the only thing it takes is a willingness to try something different, like carrying a mug.

Let me try one more thing. If you go to Chartwells or Tim's or anywhere on campus, you get a 20 cent discount for bringing your own mug. Now let's suppose that you buy one coffee a day and that you are on campus 5 days a week. You have 15 weeks of classes, that means you would save $15 a semester. By the end of the academic year you will save $30. Extend that over the summer and by the end of the year you have $50 bucks in your pocket.

So that's my pitch. And if it resonates with you stop by Muggy Mondays and grab yourself some liquid productivity. Or just drop by and say hi to the wonderful volunteers that make this happen. If you want to get updates about when and where to find Muggy Mondays, check us out on twitter - look for the hash tag #MuggyMondays


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