String of Cups Display

If you have not yet noticed, along the path between Lowry Student Center and Kauke Hall is a String of Disposable Paper Cups hung between the trees. This display aims to convey the amount of disposable cup waste we generate on campus.

This awareness project was organized and carried out by Rita Frost, Alissa Weinman, Erin Flannelly, Daniela Bartlett-Asenjo, and Sara Tebeau.

These five students worked everyday for four weeks, collecting disposable cups out of the trash bins around campus. They took five hours last Sunday to string and put the display up.


This string is representative of the amount and types of disposable cups our campus consumes in one day: 829 cups.

That amounts to 207 pounds of COemitted just from drinking coffee on our campus each day. It also decreases natural habitat potential by 770 square feet. In addition, all of these cups were retrieved from the trash, even though EVERYTHING you see on this string is recyclable!


Did you know that when we verbally prompted you about utilizing your reusable mug, mug usage on campus went up 20%? We want to encourage you to use your mug every time you get a drink not just when you are prompted. Not only do you reduce the amount of waste that the campus produces, but you save $0.25! Like your own cup better? go ahead & use it! LUG YOUR MUG, y’all!


175,976 coffee cups are used on campus per year. If we assume that the campus is representative of the nation, and 65% of the roughly 2,000 students are the ones using these cups for this coffee, then the average student is responsible for 135 cups.

The Environmental Defense Fund informs us that ONE paper coffee cup has a ¼ pound of CO2 emissions. Additionally, the loss of natural habitat potential from that same paper coffee cup is about 0.93 square feet.

In sum, ONE College of Wooster student is responsible for 33 pounds of CO2 emissions and the loss of 125 square feet of natural habitat due to drinking coffee each school year. ( & Environmental Defense Fund)


Wildlife suffers when we drink from paper coffee cups. Trees are cut down, petroleum is expended, habitat is destroyed. At the College of Wooster, we want to help squirrels, birds, and ultimately, ourselves and the sustainability of our planet and one way we are doing this is through the reusable mug program. You can use this handy mug for hot AND cold drinks and get a $0.25 discount(!). You can also use your own mug if you would prefer. Every student gets one free mug per year… we’ll even wash it for you.

Do you know about the reusable mug program? Every student, faculty, and staff member is allotted 1 free mug to use with any drink purchase every single semester. Dining services will wash the mug, hold on to it for you, & give you a $0.25 discount EVERY TIME you use it. This same discount goes for if you use your own preferred container. On campus, we throw away 175,976 every year. Help decrease this by using your reusable mug. REDUCE disposable cups on campus. REUSE your mug. RECYCLE disposable cups if you have to use one.

Information credit to Gus Fuguitt

Cup 1

Cup 2Cup 3


Photos Credit to Anna Reagan


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4 Responses to String of Cups Display

  1. Joan Frost says:

    Thank you for this well done story on the need to reuse cups and the effort that is going on at the the College of Wooster!

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  3. Christina Ellis says:

    Inspiring what you’ve done!

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