Re-usable Coffee Time

Yesterday morning I received a pleasant surprise.  This surprise was in the form of a random act of greenness, not by myself, but by someone who I believe that I may have influenced over time.

This person was Kate the coffee lady.  Kate, who owns the tiny kiosk at our local railway station, makes the best Caffé Latté this side of Melbourne.  I partake in this wonderful beverage each morning to help kick-start the day, and sure, it is not very green, but I consider it one of my few vices.  I bring my own cup, so I don’t add to the mountain of disposable coffee cups that get dumped into landfill each year.

So Dear Reader, let me paint you a picture.  As I walked to the counter, I began to give my order.  Kate yells out, “There he is!” in quite a loud voice.  I began to notice that many others began to stop and look my way, and she continued with “This green man brings his Keep Cup every day, and now there are two of you.”  To my surprise there was a re-usable cup under the coffee machine already.  I gave the proud owner a wink and a nod for being so thoughtful, then Kate proudly stated in a booming voice, “From now on, I am going to take 30 cents off the price for those people who bring their own clean re-usable coffee cup!”  Startled, I thanked her, took my coffee, and looked forward to my next cup hoping that this trend would catch on.  

This morning, I talked to Kate to confirm that she was still okay with the discount for a BYO cup.  She said that she had talked it over with her hubby (must be a part owner) and they agreed that it was the right thing to do.  Less waste into the environment, less cost to her business, and an incentive for others to bring their own re-usable cups.  I told her that it was a fantastic decision and that I loved her work!

So as I sat sipping on my coffee from Kate the coffee lady, I smiled and felt warm from that simple act of greenness.  It feels good in the knowledge that by leading by example (it only took 18 months), I am helping others to make a difference. Now all I have to do is coax her into buying organic & fair trade, but that is another challenge.


  1. Anonymous says

    The Melton train station kiosk is now making good coffee? Time for me to move back I think :)

  2. says

    This is awesome! It’s nice to see individuals take a stand and inspire others to do so as well. I love my “I am not a paper cup” travel mug and hope more coffee shops add incentives like Kate’s.

  3. says

    Thanks everyone! As a follow up, I printed out a copy of the post and gave it to Kate and told here about all of your lovely comments. She was chuffed to bits.

    Gav x

  4. JulieG says

    One more step down the road to sustainability, well done! I was working on this at my local coffee shop, but they changed to a catering business before I’d managed it :)p

  5. says

    Great work! When I was drinking coffee, I would always use my Keep Cup at the hospital coffee shop, and was delighted to see the trend catch on (not because of me though!) as they started selling Keep Cups themselves to their patrons!! Now everyone in my unit who got one loves showing off their cup & which colour combo they chose!! (However, I am not sure if they are also proud of their ‘greener’, or even care about that aspect??) It would be great to see the next step being Fair Trade coffee and chocolate products being sold!

  6. says

    I have trouble deciding when to make a passive statement and when to make a verbal statement. When it was announced that we had a new coffee machine in the canteen at work, and the only delay in getting it working was the arrival of paper cups, I gringed!!! We have hundreds of ceramic mugs and dishwashers in every kitchen, why do we need disposable cups as well? So I sent an email back to the person who made the announcement and asked if I could bring my own cup, and if he could suggest to others to bring their own. I am yet to see such an announcement, but I feel at least I tried.

  7. says

    I wish coffee shops would post signs for cup discounts, so that more people would take advantage of it. Plus it is saving the owner some cash too, no cups to buy!

  8. says

    Top work Gavin. By simply being true to your self and your values you inspire others. You should teller to advertise the discount. Because you have in fact made her business remarkable.

  9. says

    Great to see Gavin!

    Very glad to hear Kate is supporting it, hopefully more people jump on board. Guess there will be more than the two of us on the platform now with our KeepCup. I make my coffee at home before catching the train, but maybe I will buy it from Kate sometimes now too.

    Amen to the Gandhi quote, keep it up Gavin :-)

  10. says

    That is truly fantastic- made me smile too :-)
    You are leading others towards change in many ways with your blog, but to encourage someone else- to encourage someone else to change- thats a real achievement! Even if it did take 18mths, even if it seems a small act, it is significant for someone to change their business practice to promote green-ness in others, well done Gavin and good on you Kate!

  11. says

    Congratulations,it’s amazing how one person can make a difference. But you do know you’re influencing a whole load of us out here with the blog, don’t you :-) Thanks for the cheese recipes.

  12. says

    That is such a great story, Gavin. I love how little passive gestures can lead to people really thinking about their own impact. I figure that people don’t want to have someone else’s opinion rammed down their throat, but by taking your own reusable cup, it makes people think.
    What a fabulous response from Kate.
    This really made me smile.

  13. says

    Wow Gavin, that is so cool! How good does that make you feel?! And those cups are very cute, just a shame I don’t drink coffee, maybe I should get one for just round the house, being a sahm. My tea might still be warm by the time I actually get a moment to drink it:)

  14. says

    I gave my daughter one of these cups a little while ago. She said in sydney she gets $1 off for brining her own cup, a financial as well as environmental incentive.

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