Disposible Coffee Cups and the Environment

3 Coffee Cup Necklaces.jpg

In Galleries I present my work with research I have found about the negative environmental and humanitarian effects of the materials I use to illuminate viewers on how what the buy, use, and throw away affects the planet.


These three pieces were made from disposable products from coffee shops — coffee cups, coffee cup jackets, and stir sticks.


The year I created these necklaces, 2010,

Americans consumed an estimated 23 billion paper coffee cups


To create 23 billion paper coffee cups its is estimated that

9.4 million trees would need to be cut down

 That is over 14 million tons of wood


 7 trillion BTU’s of energy would need to be used

 77 thousand homes could be powered by that energy for a year


5.7 billion gallons of water would need to be used

 That much water could fill 8,500 Olympic sized swimming pools


All of those 23 billion cups ended up in the trash,

because coffee cups are coated in wax and other chemicals so they cannot be recycled

This created 363 trillion pounds of solid waste


~  remember to bring your coffee mug to the coffee shop! ~

thank you

Research Links:

The Environmental Defense Fund

Live Strong Article: “What is the Environmental Impact of paper cups?”

Video: Chris Jordan – an artist who turns powerful statistics into art

Lexi Daly