While you might aspire to take a reusable travel mug with you anytime you want, life gets in the way. Sometimes the convenience of a disposable coffee mug outweighs the guilt you feel about throwing it away after just one use. But when it comes to adopting more sustainable habits, you don’t have to take an all-or-nothing approach. A simple change in your morning take-out order allows you to have your coffee and drink it too.
Claiming your drink without a lid is a great way to cut down on plastic waste, according to HuffPost. Whether you take your drink hot or cold, the disposable cup almost always comes with a plastic cover. Not all plastic coffee containers are recyclable and it can take decades for this material to decompose in a landfill. By drinking your coffee without a lid, you reduce the amount of single-use plastic that comes with your order. If your coffee is served in a paper cup with a plant-based, biodegradable liner, it is only surpassed by reusable cups in terms of being environmentally friendly.
A coffee order without a lid does not make sense in all situations. If you want to keep your drink hot in cold weather or keep it from splashing on you during your commute, changing your order for durability may not be worth it. But if you’re planning on taking your “on-the-go” mug to your favorite seat in Starbucks, skipping the lid is a no-brainer.
Straws are another single-use part of your coffee cup that is often superfluous. Many cafes have started phasing out items by introducing straw-free lids for cold drinks. You can try asking for one the next time you order an iced coffee, or you can invest in your own reusable straw, which is much easier to lug around than a travel mug.