These Awesome Biodegradable Coffee Cups Grow Trees When Thrown Away

by Emily Arata

A California company hopes espresso lovers will soon help replant the local environment with these disposable coffee cups embedded with tree and flower seeds.

After a year of harsh drought and wildfire, much of California needs replanting.

The initiative, called Reduce. Reuse. Grow., designed a coffee cup that contains seeds for either a tree or native plant. Each cup is printed with a local zone, indicating where it should be planted.

A customer simply drinks a beverage, then either dumps the cup in a specially marked bin at the cafe or takes it home.

After five minutes soaking in water, the coffee cup is ready to plant.

For customers without a green thumb, however, local organizations will take responsibility for collecting shop bins and planting the cups themselves.

Even those dumping their cups into trash bins on the street are unwittingly helping their local environment because each cup is designed to biodegrade in 180 days and release seeds and nutrients into local landfills.

There's only one caveat to the program: the coffee cup lids, which remain plastic. However, it's a development the company can look into once the cups take off.

The company is also investigating ways to create seed-embedded biodegradable takeout containers.

Reduce. Reuse. Grow. raised more than $11,700 on Kickstarter to date, with 10 more days to go.

Citations: Biodegradable Coffee Cups Embedded With Seeds Grow Into Trees When Thrown Away (Bored Panda)