Starting this Friday, Nov. 14, Liz’s Place will offer a reusable ceramic mug option to its dine-in guests in an effort to make Barnard’s campus more eco-friendly. Bwog correspondents Paris Parker-Loan and Maia Berlow spoke with SGA Sustainable Initiatives Consulting Board members Lauren Swank BC’16 and Rebecca Abbott BC‘17 to learn more about the project, and to find out what you can expect (spoiler: free cookies and coffee!) from tomorrow’s launch party.
Where did the idea for the project come from?
The idea came from observing the immense amount of waste generated from disposable cups in Liz’s Place; there’s already a discount incentive for bringing your own reusable tumbler, but students often forget to bring them. We wanted to make sustainable choices easier and more accessible for everyone.
Why Liz’s Place? Do you have plans to expand to other campus dining locations?
We’re for sure looking to reduce waste on other campus dining locations (e.g. the mountains of pizza boxes at the second-floor Diana café). However, Liz’s Place is a good start, and the mug initiative was relatively simple to plan and instate.
What steps did you take to bring the project to fruition?
We organized a mug drive, geared especially towards faculty and all their extra mugs collected over the years. We also held a logo design competition – the winning logo is now laminated on all of the Liz’s Place mugs. Additionally, we consulted with Liz’s Place staff to work out all the details.
Did you face any administrative or practical obstacles along the way?
We’re grateful that the Barnard administration and Liz’s Place have been supportive of this initiative. We invite DSpar and all other faculty and students to come enjoy a mug of coffee or tea in support!
What are your goals for Friday’s launch, and for the future of the initiative?
We’d like as many people to know about the program as possible and promote an overall sense of sustainable commitment.
What’s next on the horizon for the Sustainable Initiatives Consulting Board?
We’re currently looking at further reducing disposable cup waste at Liz’s Place by instating a reusable to-go tumbler and token system, so students can enjoy their drinks on the go sustainably as well.
Check out the Mug Initiative Launch Party at Liz’s Place on the first floor of the Diana tomorrow from 11am – 2pm. Guests will enjoy free cookies while supplies last, a DJ set by WBAR, and a 15% discount on drink orders in reusable ware – either Liz’s Place mugs or your own to-go tumbler – with one free refill of drip coffee or hot water per order.