(Photo courtesy of Tumblershare)

Written by: Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor

 

A group of SFU students are working to make SFU more sustainable through a new program called TumblerShare.

TumblerShare is a student-led sustainability program at SFU’s Burnaby campus, encouraging students and staff “to lead a more ecologically friendly lifestyle by reducing the number of disposable beverage cups used on campus,” as stated on the TumblerShare registration form.

The initiative is based on a membership system, and it is currently available only at the Renaissance Coffee in the applied science building. Those who apply for TumblerShare will be given a membership card after they make a deposit of $15.

Whenever a cardholder wants a coffee or tea, they can submit their membership card at the Renaissance café, and in exchange, they receive a reusable container for their hot beverages. Once done, the user can bring the reusable mug back to Renaissance to get it washed and collect back their membership card. Members also get 15 cents off their coffee purchase when using the card, and earn a free coffee for every nine coffees bought.

The card may be returned to get the deposit back at the end of the term. The cost of the beverages are not included in the price of the membership card.

According to the TumblerShare registration form, 2.6 million single-use beverage containers end up in Vancouver landfills every week.

“Most disposable coffee cups are recyclable, but they still cost energy. TumblerShare would help cut down on that energy consumption,” explained Corrina Tang, the marketing coordinator of the program in an interview with The Peak.

“We are already reducing the use of straws all over the city. This is the next step forward,” she added.

According to the registration form, the program is presently supported by the Women’s Centre and Embark, while Renaissance has offered to help them with the initiative free of charge. When asked why Renaissance was chosen, Tang mentioned that not only does Renaissance support local growers and suppliers, but that they also seemed really enthusiastic about the initiative.

Discussing student response, Tang stated that so far, the feedback has been encouraging; they have received approximately 45 sign-ups during Club Days at the beginning of this term alone. The only people who seem disinterested in the program are those who already bring their own tumblers, laughed Tang.

Tang noted that she and her teammates would like to reach out to other outlets of Renaissance on campus provided the program does well, so that the program can be more frequently accessible by members.

Tang and her team can be reached every Tuesday by the Renaissance Coffee in the applied science department, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.