As a freshman, Erik Ingrebretson (jr) noticed the waste generated by McConn Coffee Co. cups and wanted to make a change.
Ingrebretson became a part of the Creation Care Alliance, a student group that focuses on stewardship issues, including bringing awareness about the importance of sustainability and practicing environmental responsibility.
During fall semester 2013, Ingrebretson pitched an idea to sell reusable cups at McConn to Jake Smith (jr), marketing manager.
“Jake was all about it,” Ingebretson said. “He jumped on the idea and from there it exploded.”
After crunching numbers and determining what options would be most cost efficient for McConn, Smith decided upon a plan of action.
“We did an analysis on how much the cups cost and how much we were going through waste wise,” Smith said. “I had Erik come in and show some different spots that we could correct and make us more green and less wasteful.”
McConn will begin selling refillable 16 ounce cups that will offer a discount with each use, sometime after spring break, according to Smith. The price of the cup as well as the discount are still being negotiated.
“We’ve been trying to develop a logo for the green initiative and I’ve been looking for the right kind of cup,” Smith said. “It all depends on when we get the cups in with the new logo.”
In addition to emphasizing less waste with the paper cups, McConn will promote environmental awareness with pieces of art made by IWU students.
“Autumn Davis (jr) will be making a sculpture out of the white cups to make a statement and sort of visualize what’s going on,” Ingebretson said.
Besides introducing the new reusable cup, Smith said McConn is looking into other ways they can be green. He said they currently donate their used coffee grounds to several surrounding gardens.
Smith said looking into other things, like buying a sugar shaker rather than offering individual sugar packets, is also in the works.
Ingrebretson shared that Creation Care Alliance will be working at next year’s New Student Orientation week to promote good stewardship of resources.
“We’re really hoping to reach the freshman class and get involvement from them,” he said. “We can publicize Creation Care Alliance better and maybe get a little better involvement.”
Creation Care Alliance is also planning on partnering with the 1920 gallery for a recycled art exhibit and with SGA for a trayless initiative in Baldwin.
“There are a million different things that we have a potential to do,” Ingebretson said. “It takes one person to stand up and push for something.”