Written by Miyo Fukuzawa, ESLLC 2016-2017
You’re probably all familiar with Toby Keith’s song “Red Solo Cup”, an ode to the plastic chalices to whose convenience we owe many great celebrations. Sadly, our relationship with this beverage holder is short lived—our bond only lasts for the day, and then we cut ties and go our own way, discarding the plastic cup. Not only is this rude and inconsiderate to the cup we claimed to love the previous night, it is also extremely harmful to the planet we live on. Keith’s song claims that the red Solo cup decomposes in 14 years, but in reality these cups take closer to 450. They are made with polystyrene, a cheap petroleum byproduct that we use in many of our daily products, which can cause severe environmental and public health consequences. Polystyrene products are not readily recyclable, and must sit in a landfill for centuries to come.
Now, just think about how many cups are used at a single pool party, barbecue, or summer get together. How many are used over just one holiday weekend here in Denver? Here, in this supposedly liberal city, where so many of us are dependent on the outdoors for our favorite hobbies, have yet to change our unsustainable and wasteful daily habits.
So, I’m calling for bringing your own cup to the party. That’s right, bring a water bottle or your favorite mug. Barbecues won’t be any fun when our planet is falling apart.