Single-use beverage cups tend to be the most widely used single-use product created. Think about how often you get a fountain drink or coffee without bringing your own reusable cup. Get coffee every morning from your favorite java joint? Well that’s at least 30 disposable cups you’ve used in a month and you certainly aren’t the only one who is doing it. First there’s the cup: the vessel of my wonderful cup o’ joe. Then there’s the straw: a great conduit of flavor and caffeine to my taste buds, which just becomes trash because you can’t recycle a straw. Then the napkins I need to use to clean up the inevitable sweating cold cup’s mess. So multiply those actions by the thousands, even hundreds of thousands throughout the country. It’s crazy how quickly us humans can create trash just for the convenience of another item.
Realizing that I too was contributing to this trash pile, I decided I would quit contributing. It was time to find a new solution; so online I went to chose a new mug. I did my research in comparing reusable beverage containers, as I didn’t want to purchase one that would only be useful for only one type of beverage. I needed something that could easily hold hot or iced coffee, as well as lots of water for rehydrating. Two companies seemed to stand out: Yeti and Rtic. Both seemed to get great user feedback, and at least online I saw both were priced fairly close to the same price.
A bottle could work well enough for most types of beverages, but having the entire bottle open while drinking is not something that would work for me, incase of spills. So, eventually I settled on the 30 oz. tumbler from RTIC, who offers insulated cups, bottles and coolers – all in a variety of sizes and colors.
I chose the largest cup size because I figured I could always not fill it up, but having the large capacity available is always helpful. Their 30 oz. tumbler is paired with a standard lid, which offers a sipping spout combined with a straw slot. That is something not all brands of reusable cups consider when designing I’ve noticed. I chose RTIC for a single reason: the lid. A few years back I purchased a reusable glass straw from Strawesome at another eco-friendly festival. I needed a lid that would accept my straw, without drilling or buying a second special lid (which I would have had to with the Yeti cup.)
A few days later my new 30 oz. stainless steel cup arrived. The finish looked great, the lid seemed to fit snug, and yes, my straw fit in the lid no problem. After using it religiously for several weeks, I feel like I am a bit more credible than the random “ice challenge” videos I found online. For starters, I love the size physically. The base tapers down to fit any standard cup holder nicely. The stainless steel lives up to its name and remained blemish free. A point that irks me a bit is that although this is a “30 oz.” mug, the volume with the lid is less than that. Many places offer a drink size that is 32 oz. and when I use this mug instead of theirs I lose a few ounces that I am expected to pay for. It would have been nice if RTIC imprinted the official volume size on the bottom with their other branding. As there have been a couple troublesome times at coffee shops that they didn’t believe the true size leading to trouble when checking out. To solve this, I have etched in “30 oz” in the bottom of the cup as proof to them, so they see it in writing.
The vacuum-sealed walls do an excellent job insulating both hot coffees and teas as well as iced beverages for hours on end, even in the hot car. Never has any water sweat down the sides causing a big puddle or worse: a great big ring on my table. Aftermarket products are readily available online to fit the RTIC mug, including various colored lids, lids with different openings, straws, even handles! The only drawback I found with my new RTIC mug (besides not holding 30 oz. closed) is the lid it came with. The lid could be a hair snugger (though it’s not falling off), the straw/drinking hole has no closing parts, I’d have to but a different lid from RTIC if I wanted that and the plastic seems to have clouded just enough to always look like it needs to be cleaned. I almost wish the lid twisted on so I could use it more like a water bottle at times. All in all I am very happy with my purchase. My constant use even prompted a coworker to pick one up as well. And so starts the eco revolution!