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bettercup: Reducing Waste at Events - Big & Small

bettercup: Reducing Waste at Events - Big & Small

bettercup started when a close friend and I really started to take notice of the waste around us at events, and we wanted to figure out a way to help reduce it.

We looked around at what was out there and saw there was a strong market for compostables already, which is great but we wanted to go a bit further and make something to encourage the idea of reuse, instead of this take-make-dispose idea that was great for convenience but absolutely awful for the environment. We also wanted to make people proud to be a part of doing their bit to reduce waste at events. 

So we made bettercup, with the focus being events that could rent or purchase cups, that can be customised with cool designs and messages and no cups in the bin afterwards.

Then we realised there's still a huge number of consumers using single use cups at their parties, camping etc and it's just not necessary, so we decided to start selling smaller quantities too. We're making cups in Melbourne and using local businesses for our services. 

The biggest challenge for us in starting a business was lack of experience. Knowing where to begin with our business was a huge one for us, especially as we didn't have a background in the manufacturing. We called a lot of different places and asked a lot of silly questions. It took over a year to get everything set up and to get our basic products launched. It was all about perseverance!

The rewards so far have been numerous. The best thing about starting this business is having the opportunity to meet and work or collaborate with so many amazing people. We have been lucky to have such amazing suppliers and customers.

Seeing people write on social media about how they love to see events being more sustainable and posting pictures of our cups is the best.

We try to ensure that everything we do within the business is done in the kindest way possible, especially relating to the goods and services we use. We bank with Bank Australia, a bank that proudly won't invest in fossil fuels, and our graphic designer, Ethically Creative, gives credits which can then be used for a donation to the charity of your choice. 

My biggest focus at the moment is reducing waste, so in that way myself and my business are aligned well. When you set out with a business, you certainly draw on elements of your personal mission, and perhaps as time goes on I will change my focus to other things but for now my business is a huge part of my personal mission. 

If you are trying to be more sustainable, my advice is to start small and build habits, and you'll quickly find yourself far more sustainable than when you started! Don't beat yourself up over the small things, but know that every time you remember your reusable straw, cup, bag and every time you compost your food and have a shorter shower and give your clothing to op shops instead of throwing it away, you're making a difference.   

Original Article: January 2018
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