Catch Up and New Contributor

I’d like to do some catch up and introduce a new contributor who will write posts from time to time, as well help run the BYO*ToGo social media accounts (byotogo on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook).

Catch up. From writing the Coffee Shop Hop series, one of the most consistent things I noticed was customers sitting in shops with disposable cups when ceramic and/or glass cups were available. Set aside the environment, this is not cost effective. Shops have to pay for cup inventory and are charged by haulers for the amount of waste (volume or weight) they produce.

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Some context. New York City set a goal to be zero waste by 2030. Research indicates 50% of trash in public waste bins is made up of disposable cups and takeout containers. If New Yorkers switched to reusable cups, a large amount of waste would be reduced from that action alone. Another (un)fun fact: over 100 billion disposable cups end up in landfills every year in America.

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So I’ve decided this disposable situation needs to be dealt with and started Cup Switch (@cupswitch on Instagram). Right now it’s mainly an awareness campaign to permeate cultural change.

Having started Cup Switch, I’ve discovered a large supportive community of people promoting sustainable lifestyles. This is how I met Vik, who happened to have the same Instagram alias as this blog! I’ll let her introduce herself below. She’s very passionate about the BYO thing so we’ve decided to join forces and create content in this area.

Hey! My name is Victoria Margarita but I prefer Vik. I live on the central coast of California in San Luis Obispo. I work a 9-5 during the day in social media and have a fashion focused blog that keeps me creative in my spare time. I love photography and upcycling clothing. I wish I had more fun facts but I’m pretty much a workaholic, my idea of fun is getting things done! I became interested in the war against waste in middle school when I learned about the Pacific Garbage Patch. The more I learn about the fashion industry the more I see how unsustainable it is. I started adding writing about conscious consuming and ethical products on my blog but it didn’t feel like enough. I knew I could do more to reflect these values in my own life.

When I started thinking of creating an account for reusable togo containers my goal was just to remind people that disposables aren’t the only option and that we can take control and responsibility for our waste without skipping out on our beloved caffeinated drinks. The light bulb went off when I thought of a hashtag for the movement #BYOTOGO and to my delight it wasn’t being used by anyone online. When creating the username @byotogo it was already taken by what seemed to be an inactive account so I settled for @byo_togo. I started following like-minded accounts and came across an account featuring photos of trash on the streets of NYC that caught my eye. That account was @cupswitch. I left a comment saying that I loved the concept of photographing trash because the viewer has to really stop, see and process the image. Instead of walking by it on the street without a second glance. Shortly after following Cup Switch they sent me a DM. And to my surprise she was the owner of the assumed inactive @byotogo account! This is how I met Megan 😀

My vision of byotogo is to grow the ripple into a tsunami of actions. I just want fresh air, a clean ocean and a better planet for the future generations. You know, the basics.

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