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Reusable Cups

Reduce Waste - Bring your Own Cup​​​
About 85% of the people in Santa Clara County own a reusable travel cup or mug, but only 15% actually use it regularly. So why the difference?​

Remember Your Mug/Cup
Even though most of us are supportive of using reusable cups and helping the environment, we have trouble remembering  to bring our cup with us. We have busy lives and it’s easy to forget.

Over 120 billion disposable cups are used every year in America, and each cup is only used for about an hour. Using a reusable cup regularly is one easy way to live up to your environmental values and join the movement to reduce use of disposables! You'll save resources and prevent ocean ​litter.​​ 
To start a new habit, you need to make it as easy as possible. Below are some tips to help you Remember Your Cup.​​

Use Technology - Get SMS Text Reminders​​​
Sign up for the free CupMinder Text Reminders Program from​ to help start your new habit! Simply text “CupMinder” to 555888. CupMinder will send messages every​ day (except Sunday) through June 30, 2019. 
Choose from 8 am or 8 pm reminders. Just reply STOP when you've got your new habit in place. 
Set Reminder on Your Phone
Most phones have a built-in way to set reminders. Apps, such as Reminders on Apple iOs and Google Keep on Android, allow you to customize a reminder to prompt you at a certain time or in a certain location. Set a simple reminder to “Remember Your Cup!” the night before or right before you leave your house each day.

Set Yourself for Success
Below are a few tips to make it easier to remember your mug:
  • ​​​​​Set your mug by your keys after you wash it out
  • ​​​Keep your mug in your car
  • Clip it or put it in your bag before you go to bed
  • Post a note by your door that says “Remember Your Cup!”
Get the right cup for you
If you don’t have the right cup, you won’t use it. You can buy cups for hot drinks, cold drinks—even boba! Consider what you drink and how you travel: 
​Do you typically buy hot or cold drinks?
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​Hot drink cups or mugs have thermal insulation to keep beverages hot, often much longer than a disposable cup! 
  • ​​Cold drink cups often come with a lid and reusable straws to mimic the take-out cup experience.​​
​Do you walk, bike, or drive?
  • Walkers: Make sure you can easily carry your mug and it's spill-proof.
  • Bikers: Use a bottle holder or clip a spill-proof mug to a backpack.
  • Drivers: Be sure your cup or mug fit in your car cup holders.
Health Considerations When Bringing Your Own Cup
Cups must be clean when used at food service businesses. Lids should stay with you, not be given to the staff. If you are filling your own cup, make sure the lip of the cup doesn't touch the drink spigot. The photos in our "Bring Your Own Cup" video show examples of a proper pour. If you follow these guidelines, food services businesses should accept your cup.​​

Outreach Events​​
From April 14 to May 15, the county will be hosting event outreach at participating coffee and tea shops across Santa Clara County. We'll be encouraging people to bring their own cups, sharing strategies for how to remember them and showing examples of different types of reusable cups.​

​​​​​​​*  SMS DISCLAIMER/PRIVACY POLICY: The County of Santa Clara will NOT share your information with any third party. At the end of the program, the county will send you a text poll to solicit your feedback on the experience. 
Last updated: 6/3/2019 4:27 PM