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I can give up going out to eat at restaurants. Or shopping for brand new items.

But the one thing I can’t ever give up (hey, we all have our passes – right? – whether we’re going zero waste or budgeting) is coffee.

Yes, I make it at home, but sometimes when I’m out and about I just really crave a fancy caffeinated drink.

To keep myself from going through approximately 1,000,000 disposable cups a year, I invested in a 12 oz. glass KeepCup sometime last year and I’ve never looked back.

My KeepCup review; or, why buy new?

The big reason I really like KeepCup is because they’re not just selling a mug – they’re actually, actively advocating for the disuse of reusables. Their site states “we want cafes to lift reuse rates to 40% reusables in the ‘to go’ environment.”

I buy almost exclusively second hand, so it’s really important to me to align myself with companies that reflect my values when I do choose to get something new.

The second – very unexpected – benefit of getting one of the glass KeepCups is that people are so charmed by them you’ll often get a free drink. Honestly! When you whip out a glass KeepCup and mention that you’re using it to reduce waste going to the landfill, there’s just something that makes people really happy.

I’m absolutely, 100% telling the truth when I say my mug has already paid for itself. I’ve gotten at least 4 drinks on the house which, at current stupid-high prices, definitely makes up for the purchase price.

FYI: I paid about $15 for a 12 oz. black lid cup when it was on sale on Amazon. Different styles/sizes go on sale all the time, so check out a list of available options.

KeepCup Review_ a zero waste coffee mug that pays for itself - Green Indy Blog

But… a glass cup?

When I finally decided to bite the bullet, I was so charmed by its cuteness I didn’t even stop to think about the ramifications of purchasing a glass mug for hot beverages. Once it arrived, I got a little worried. Luckily, so far, so good.

The cork band is more than enough to stop yourself from getting scalded by a piping hot cup of coffee. I try to avoid getting the cork wet when I wash the cup, but even so it’s been washed quite a bit and it’s still exactly how it was when I got it. No warping, cracking, or crumbling to report here.

I do like to give a little prompt to baristas or other people borrowing it… Just a little warning to be careful just so they don’t burn themselves on the glass. It does take a bit of getting used to.

As for the glass aspect of it, most zero wasters are pretty used to clinking glass in their bags but for newbies it may be a bit scary.

Don’t worry… I’m pretty klutzy and I’ve yet to break it. In fact, I dropped mine on my laminate kitchen floor just last week and it just bounced around, unharmed.

Wouldn’t tempt fate, though!

What sort of reusable mug are you using? Any recommendations? If you’re in the market for one after this KeepCup review, do check them out – whether you go glass or otherwise, there are plenty of options!

KeepCups are an awesome zero waste essential! Not only do they reduce disposable plastic cups, but they're so darn cute people will often give you drinks for FREE!


An online resource here to help you break down the complex issue of zero waste into simple, actionable steps.


Carina Pereira · August 6, 2017 at 3:59 am

I’ve gotten into zero waste a couple of weeks ago, and I was thinking of purchasing that mug after I saw a video by Kate Arnell, where she has the same, just smaller. It’s so pretty! But then I realised I already have a small keepcup in plastic and I actually have a very cool mug that looks like a camera lens which I bought a few years ago. I bought them both on aliexpress, so I’m not sure the plastic keepcup has the same quality or if it’s a “fake” product, but the camera cup is stainless steel on the inside and still looks good, even though it is also plastic on the outside. I figured, though, that I’d better reuse these until they’re no longer good rather than buying a new one. I still haven’t tried taking it with me, as I don’t get coffee out much around here, but I’m taking it to London next week! 🙂

    Polly · August 6, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    Heck yes! That’s a great perspective – using what you already have is the biggest zero waste win of all!

Nadie Komarova · August 8, 2017 at 2:17 am

Dang girl. You got me excited to get this. I love zero waste but just like you I can’t give my coffee when I m out and about. This is definitely a great choice.

    Polly · August 9, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Oh man, feel you so hard on this one! Coffee is not something I’m willing to give up!

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