Last weekend for my birthday, I asked my family to join me in a neighborhood cleanup of the local park and stream where we walk our dogs every day. We collected a bag full of candy wrappers, plastic bags, and countless Styrofoam and paper coffee cups that people had either tossed or had blown out of trash cans on a windy day.
According to one study, Americans use over 16 billion paper coffee cups every year, which is the equivalent of 6.5 million trees each year. We throw away about 25 billion Styrofoam cups each year and about 2.5 million plastic bottles EVERY HOUR! These containers make up almost 1/5 of the trash we toss, according to the Environment Action Association.
In honor of Earth Day, which is April 22nd, let’s each try to do our part to reduce the paper, plastic and Styrofoam waste from these beverages, and recycle our plastic bottles or use reusable bottles, which is far preferable. It’s not very hard to do and doesn’t even involve any sacrifice if you’re addicted to coffee at your local shop.
I usually make my own coffee at home, but when I go to a coffee shop for a meeting or a treat, I try to remember to bring my own reusable travel mug if I’m taking the coffee to go, or I order the coffee “in a mug for here”. Many people don’t realize that lots of coffee shops have ceramic mugs for customers who request them.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, many people are looking forward to sipping frozen coffee drinks while they enjoy the sunny days. Here’s a recipe to make your own blended iced mocha and what our kids and I call Chococcinos, at home.
Recipe: Blended Iced Mocha
Here’s a recipe to make your own blended iced mocha or Chococcino at home.
- 2 heaping cups of ice cubes
- 3 tsp. instant coffee, regular or decaf
- 1 cup nonfat or low fat milk
- 2 Tbsp. chocolate syrup, or more to taste
- 1 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 packet splenda, equal or 1 tsp. sugar
- Blend everything in a standing blender until smooth. Enjoy immediately!
- Chococcino (great for kids): Follow directions above but omit the coffee and sweetener and double the chocolate syrup.