What does it take to change a culture?

well turning paper cups into toilet paper would definitely be possible, but wouldn’t it be energy inefficient? To grind down the paper, sterilize it, drying, rolling, cutting etc etc.

I think of culture as a very variable thing, especially in the western world. Some people would argue about this with me but there are many things that can change in so little time so culture for me is constantly evolving despite it’s usual association with long gone history.

quick example: Internet - New - Practically changed every culture in the world - Why? - It generated enthusiasm

So we just need to find that enthusiastic thing that will change people’s habits. Yes it’s a question of design and marketing but most importantly a question of purpose.

Yah same thing just a different way to put it. You REWARD people who bring in there own cups. The trick is to find out how large the reward needs to be in order to significantly change the behavior.
Also I would like to point out… coffee is a luxury item just like crack kind of is. Man people NEED there coffee… and people who usually don’t make there own and go out of there way to wait in huge line ups are willing to pay. Thus creating a larger profit.

I also think it is that simple in a way. I know it worked very well for superstore by simply charging for bags, as people need there groceries. But I think the same concept would work even if the price ratio is different.

there was a concept coffee cup that was made from pressed coffee grounds a couple months back… they turned their waste into cups that were bidegradeable - it was a great idea, though they probably would need more cups than a normal amount of grinds would make

I just did an unsuccessful google, but couldn’t turn anything up

These incentive based programs for re-usable bags are in reality not much financial benefit BUT like mentioned here, its the emotional reward thats possibly the motivator. In the contest there are a lot of entries that include RFID tags for chalking up the amount of time you re-use, a fun idea.

My betacup submission is a cup that is for purchase and reuse. In order for re-usable products to be effective and fit people’s lifestyles, they need to be extremely convenient. I chose to go with a collapsable silicone cup and a HDPE2 BPA free recyclable lid (because softer materials like silicone just feel plain weird on the lips). Just like the mini stuff pack reusable bags out on the market, my solution is meant to be easily carried around and seals up easily to keep excess drips from seeping out the drinking hole.

Have a look here:

Great discussion guys!

I agree Hoodzy…I see this working. Maybe it is because the culture in Vancouver is already there.

@carton I am sure there will be people, especially at first, who will see this as punishment. If you forget your cup and have to pay an extra $0.25 so what? That’s what you expect going in to that store. I lean towards thinking that you will have an initial dip in clientelle, but it would go back up in time.

I believe we’ve reached a tipping point. The BP oilspill and other stuff going on, where people are tired of the excess of our world. I see something like this being successful. The trick is to ensure that this isn’t motivated by profit, it is motivated by altruism. If the price is too skewed, that will be lost.

I have a Croatian cousin and when she visited here she was a bit bewildered by everyone walking around holding coffee in paper cups. In Croatia people generally sit down at a cafe to have a cup of coffee or two. I suppose that it is completely cultural. Its too bad we can’t all slow down and enjoy the whole coffee ritual more often.

Now your way beyond coffee… Ever see a guy eating a Big Mac while readi g the paper… While driving in traffic? If so it was probably in the United States. It’s interesting to note, I’m back and forth between Boston and San Fancisco right now and the cultural differences between the two cities are crazy. Amazing how two cities of somewhat similar size And in the same country can be so different.

Don’t tell that to my Dad. He “Won’t Live in the Stone Age” as he says. Probably because he’s uneducated about the real problems facing our generation, but mostly because he’s 65 and just wants to live the way he wants to live. Why should he “be punished”?

I’m all for reusing, recycling, etc, but the older generations aren’t and probably never will be. I think you’re correct in that the majority of ours and younger generations are embracing living a bit more responsibly. Not to the extent of living off the grid, but little things like using less electricity, water, recycling, composting, buying local, etc. It may take a generation or two before we start to see the changes starting to work. As quickly as the disposable cup was adopted, it will take much longer to un-adopt that tradition.

The reusable cup from starbucks/Coffee Chain of Choice + discount for bringing back could be good! A resuable cup would have to be quite cheap, durable, and not an inconvenience to carry, even if all you’ve got is a messenger bag crammed full of a laptop.

I have some collapsible silicone strainers, push down and the ribs fold, it goes flat. Being silicone they insulate quite well,
take a lot of abuse, and are rather lightweight. Turn this idea into a cup. Done with the drink? Smush it down and it’ll sit cozy next to your laptop power brick, or wherever. A lid would help stop spills, keep it warm, and stop a used from from leaking leftover drops.

Change the cup and the system!

Sketch that up! That could be a winner for sure. The flat pack reusable coffeehouse cup!


OK now make it look good! Why on Earth would they use the color pallette from the latex used in bongage gear?

First start with an appropriate color pallette. Second those forms are just odd, ribbs with a central spine and then oval dimples, it just doesn’t hang together for me.

I’d say that’s a spring-loaded cup. Put the cap on, push down, the dimples press-fit together and the lid+base is now a sealed puck.
The spiral is the spring, spines might be for strength but a uniform thickness could hide the spring better, remove the spine, and now it doesn’t look a bit like an alien sex toy

from the link

Push, click, twist and pop! The cup springs right into shape. The cup’s solid body construction means no leaking. It’s very small, and can fit into any side pocket of a small handbag. The idea behind the Collapsible Cup is fairly basic: to enjoy a drink on the go without having to dispose and waist a paper cup or crack a ceramic mug.
The cup is insulating - holding 12 ounces of hot or cold liquid, hard wearing, BPA free, can go in the microwave, dish washer, and freezer. And is food safe and very inexpensive.

Here is a picture of the collander. The ribs don’t expand, a metal ring inside could help keep it nice and round while holding - a cup will need lighter material and less spacing between - or else it becomes a big cone.

My Indian friend showed me this tea and coffee cup, a earthen cup called ‘purva’ in India. Absolutely sustainable, unfortunately they have been replaced by technology.But I think designers can bring whole new life to this. Few pence in making them, environment friendly. Awesome.

Hoodzy wrote:

You REWARD people who bring in there own cups… …find out how large the reward needs to be in order to significantly change the behavior.

…Man people NEED there coffee… and people who usually don’t make there own and go out of there way to wait in huge line ups are willing to pay.

The reward could simply be of timely service: Have two servers. One has disposable cups, the other doesn’t. You need to wait in the first line if you want a disposable cup. If you’re one of the few who brought a cup, then you get to wait in the shorter line.

This will even out, but by then a number of people have changed their habits. Now if you allow the re-users into the first line with the disposers, you give them the luxury of choice and they’re guaranteed to have as fast (or faster) service than the disposers.

Wouldn’t that be cool?!? A coffee shop that makes your coffee AND your mug!?!

I knew I saw this somewhere… check this concept out - its a cup made from coffee grounds. Concept project apparently