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New Eco-Friendly Coffee Cups Can Revive Forests

The cups are embedded with seeds.


A start-up has created an eco-friendly coffee cup that can hopefully balance out the damage caused by the plastic Keurig K-CupsAccording to Forbes, Reduce. Reuse. Grow. — which is based in San Luis Obispo, Calif. — invented a cup that can help regrow forests. The cups are embedded with seeds. When users are finished with their drink, if they place the cup in a specified bin, the start-up will "ensure that those cups are planted in three nature parks in California." Each cup completely biodegrades in 180 days and can grow one tree.

Forbes notes that Americans drink nearly 400 million cups of coffee per day, which results in the use of 140 billion cups each year. If Reduce. Reuse. Grow. can convince big brands like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts to use seed cups, it could create industry-wide change. However, the cups cost two cents each, which is one cent more than conventional cups. While that does not seem like a huge difference, it effectively doubles the cost of a company's cup budget.

Regardless, the team behind Reduce. Reuse. Grow — which recently raised $20,000 for their project through a Kickstarter campaign — is forging onwards. They hope to convince coffee shops in Marin County, Calif. and Boulder, Colo. to switch over to their eco-friendly cups in the near future. After that, the company wants to apply the technology to items like to-go contains and other paper products.

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