By bringing your own mug to the office or coffee shop with you, you can avoid contributing to the tens of billions of disposable coffee cups that get tossed each year. This single-use cup habit is a contributor to a serious waste problem that speaks volumes about not only our own decadent lifestyle, but also about our disposable mindset, where everything can be "thrown away" somewhere else, or is "recyclable" (which often gets interpreted as being somehow more eco-friendly, regardless of whether it actually does get recycled or not).
Making that single change to our daily habits of bringing our own mug with us could have a positive impact on our personal waste stream (avoiding an estimated 23 extra pounds of waste per year, based on using one disposable cup per day), and people are picking up on it, based on what seems to be the growing availability of reusable mugs and travel cups on the market.
But let's face it, if you don't have that travel mug or cup with you when you need it, it's not doing any good, and because full-size travel mugs can sometimes be a pain in the neck to carry with you, they can often as not end up being left at home instead of in our bags. I'm totally guilty of that, as I have two stainless steel travel mugs that I accidentally leave at home half the time, in part because they don't fit very well into my bag. Which means that I end up with a paper to-go cup anyway, and even if I use it several times, it still has a very limited life to it.
However, if you'd like to cut out as many disposable cups as possible from your personal waste stream each year, having a travel mug that can collapse down to easily fit in your pocket or bag could solve that issue of bringing your own cup, especially if you commute by bike or transit, where space is at a premium.
The Smash Cup is a reusable, collapsible, and leak-proof BPA-free travel cup, made from food grade materials, which can securely hold 12 oz of hot or cold beverages, and then be smashed down to almost the size of its own lid for carrying with you.
The collapsible feature of the Smash Cup looks pretty handy, but there's another element to the design that can make this cup a lot more user-friendly, which is that it is said to be "liquid-tight" and won't leak any of those last drops of coffee out when it's in your bag, right next to your gadgets or books. That's one other issue that seems to happen to me with a travel mug, in that it sometimes ends up upside down or sideways in my bag, and that so-called "spill proof" lid leaks the dregs into the bottom of my bag.
The Smash Cup, which is dishwasher safe and comes in five colors, measures 5" high when in use, and then easily smashes down ("in one easy motion") to 1.75". Currently in the middle of a successful crowdfunding campaign, single Smash Cups are available to backers at the $15 level, or in an "Office Pack" of 12 cups for $120 pledges, and are expected to be shipped out sometime in October.