Your morning routine, just like millions of people around the world, probably involves a particular cup of dark-colored liquid brewed from the fruit of the evergreen genus Coffea. I’m, of course, talking about coffee. Our love for this eye-opening beverage can at times keep us single-minded when we wake in the morning and reach immediately for the nearest steaming cup. Often we give little thought to anything else, especially something as menial as the container it’s poured into.
“Four paper cups produce one pound of CO2 emissions.”
Think again, we did. Not only should you consider the 25 billion—yes, billion—styrofoam cups used by Americans alone every year that take nearly 1,000 years to decompose, but all the processes and resources wasted in the making of coffee cups as well. Like the fact that paper cups generate 253 million pounds of waste a year or that 4 billion gallons of water are used to create those cups every year.
We felt it was important to conquer this Goliath, at least in our own agency, so we decided to offer a more environmentally friendly alternative: reusable Defiance Club mugs.
To kick off our campaign and encourage David&Goliath employees to switch from paper cups to the Defiance Club mugs, we created a poster campaign. Not just any poster campaign though. The idea was to not use any new paper, and to never press “print” even once, so we made the posters entirely from recycled used paper found around the office: everything from photographers’ mailers to the fronts and backs of ad layouts, storyboards and even an assignment brief or two. The result: Not a single twig on a single tree had to be crushed, mashed, processed and turned into a fresh sheet of writing material in the process of our poster production.
Sure we’re just one small company, but that doesn’t matter. We are defying the convenience of a non-reusable cup and changing just one small thing that, hopefully, will encourage others to do the same. A small but brave action.