As with many families, we have had the opportunity to acquire a few plastic cups. Not all cups are safe from disposal, but we do a pretty good job recycling the cups acquired through various means. I will try and give an inclusive list of how our cups have found their way into our house.
- Restaurants/Fast Food: The participants here are Olive Garden, Whataburger and possibly a few other cups who have had their telltale marks removed by excessive dishwasher washings.
- Sports cups: It is not hard to come home from a major league soccer/hockey/baseball game with a cup. They may also come from college games, too. Drinks are WAY to expensive at most sporting events, so we try not to purchase too many of these.
- Gas Station drink cups: These are my favorite. In the pictures, these are the ones on the counter. There may be other reasons for hanging on to these cups, but our primary reason is the reduced cost for refills. Recycling these cups can help us save 15-25% off of the “regular” price And, it is this discount that has allowed me to justify the development of an iced tea habit – black mango that is.
- Walmart: We have acquired a few cups from the store. My girls just couldn’t resist Sponge Bob. My son couldn’t resist the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Pitfalls of excessive cups:
- To many cups can make it nearly impossible to remember where you put your drink cup after you were done using it. And, if any of the other family members use the same style cup, it becomes even more complicated. My favorite milk/water cup are the Olive Garden cups. But, since we have so many of these, it could easily be the default choice for other thirsty household members.
- The cups, when used for one drink only, pile up quickly. And, lots of cups seem to make the top shelf of the dishwasher fill up much more quickly than the bottom shelf.
- When the cups are put in the cabinet, they have to be stacked. If someone wants to put the cups away quickly, they just stack them randomly and deposited a mismatched set on the shelf. If someone were OCD, this might be a problem, Unfortunately, none of the kids are aware of the character flaw that is apparent when they choose to put unrelated cups together. I generally plan a stack “reshuffle” shortly after each dish washer load. The good thing about cups is they don’t “clink” together, and they stack. The more they stack the less shelf space needed.
Have we pitched some cups? Yes. Usually after they start cracking or they are used to bail out the toilet or something like that. I can’t promise we will be a welcome home to any cups left on our doorstep, but we will try to embrace any homeless cups worth saving.