BYO

Team members: Priscilla Lam (SFU), Angelica Tso (UBC)

Every week, Vancouver throws out an average 2.6 million disposable cups. Emissions from landfills likewise account for 20% of Canada’s national methane emissions. On a macro level, we believe the disposable cup issue is a symptom of our throwaway culture that values personal convenience at the expense of negative socio-environmental externalities—caused by a fundamental disconnect between people and the natural ecosystem. One solution we believe is not being leveraged enough is encouraging consumers to bring their own cups when buying to-go drinks. 

Our project — BYO — will be a mobile app-based program that motivates individuals to bring their own cup through a variety of mechanisms such as rewards and impact tracking. On top of incentivizing bring-your-own-cup behavior, a portion of the usual cup discount will be allocated towards a tree planting initiative. By incorporating tree planting, we seek to extend our impact beyond cup waste — encouraging customers and cafes alike to think bigger while sparking conversations around the larger collective role of consumer practices. The project is a unique combination of cup waste reduction, rewards, tree planting, and community building.

Community partners:

Local cafe community in the City of Vancouver

2020-21 Grand Prize Award winner

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