Ordering at Starbucks with a Reusable Cup

As much as I’d love to say I walk through life with confidence, there’s nothing quite like the wave of anxiety that hits when you feel like you’re holding people up in line. It feels so silly to admit because it’s such a small and unworthy reason of keeping me from doing so, but this is primarily what’s kept me from ordering my coffee using a reusable cup.

Last summer, with every iced drink came a plastic cup, lid and straw. I tried reusable straws but I still felt guilty about the number of plastic cups stacking up just so I could enjoy a little treat. Add in the likelihood of getting a little milk or a small cup of something for James and I wasn’t too proud of myself. Still, I would talk myself out of ordering using a reusable cup. Even if you’re a hot drink kind of person, there are multiple pieces that go into each cup. The lid, the cup itself, the plastic stopper and the cardboard sleeve all add up, no matter how cute the holiday cup designs are.

Feeling inspired by others’ New Year resolutions to reduce waste, I stopped by Starbucks and got all the information anyone needs on how to order using your own cup.

No worries of holding anyone up, no awkward questions, no wave of anxiety and significantly less waste. So, here’s what to do.

  • Pull up to the drive through/approach counter (this should be an easy one).

  • Before you order, tell the barista that you have a reusable cup. This allows them to give you the discount of $.10 and let’s them know how to prepare it.

  • Give your order.

  • Have your lid off when you pull up to the window or hand them your cup. Not only is this for convenience but it is actually considered a health hazard if they were to take your lid. So, just keep it off until you get your drink.

  • Pull up to the window/approach counter and give them your cup.

  • Drive/walk off and drink up.


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Easy, right?!

This isn’t a hard thing to do, it’s just something that doesn’t really come to our minds as much as it should. Throw in a busy schedule, kids, school and all the other things that life brings and it becomes easier to just shrug it off and consider it not a big deal. Those cups add up, though. Reusable cups are easy to come by, sometime even within our own home. A lot of us have them laying around, whether it be a tumbler or an insulated thermos.

Let’s put them to some good use!