The 30-day no throwaway challenge

Rule number 1: Reuse where possible

Coffee lovers, can we have your attention, please!

We, in the IT industry, are perceived to consume plenty of coffee and for the most part, from my experience that perception is true. Cafe culture continues to grow where “80% of people who visit coffee shops do so at least once a week, whilst 16% of us visit on a daily basis”. We, as a team, started our own challenge to make a difference and cut down our usage of single-use cups.

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief someone else will save it — Robert Swan

Last year, Sophia Bush an activist and actress, teamed up with MyByta (a company who produce reusable tumblers) to start the #30daynothrowaway challenge. The purpose was to encourage people to develop a new habit to eliminate usage of single-use coffee cups. We believe in this great initiative and that over the 30-day period it’s possible for those habits to become routine behaviours.

Through the encouragement and help of others, I initiated this challenge to hopefully make a dent in the global single-use plastic problem our planet faces.

First, the challenge started on a single project, where 60% of the team participated. Having never started anything like this before, I was surprised at how many people were interested. We (participants) witnessed a change in behaviour where people would go without a hot beverage if they didn’t have their re-usable cup to hand. It was a small difference but it all adds up. Which got us thinking; what if we could reach more people, raise more awareness and encourage more people to take action today?

Make a difference

Suddenly, word started to spread about the positive influence the challenge was having. With the help of colleagues, we hosted the challenge a second time which changed the behaviours of an additional 17 people to the 9 participants of the first challenge. Slowly, we’re making a dent and continue to raise awareness. Through this challenge, we’ve donated £295 (a combination of general donation and savings from in-store discounts for using our reusable cups) to the Marine Conservation Society who are dedicated to protecting our seas, shores and wildlife.

We, as people who travel for a living, typically leave behind a large carbon footprint. However, achieving sustainability is possible. A small change such as buying a reusable cup and using it will have a huge impact and raise awareness.

Starting this challenge helped me overcome a personal challenge. I used to feel unable to influence others, which prevented me from starting things and doing what I truly wanted. The driver for this was a fear of no-one signing up or failure. Having started this challenge, I’ve found this to simply not be true. If you feel like this is you, please, don’t be afraid to do what makes you happy. I encourage you to start your own 30-day challenge and help us to achieve a sustainable future.