Kill the Cup- Giving Out Prizes for Being Green!

Today’s blog post comes from a great local non-profit, Kill the Cup.  They encourage coffee drinkers to bring their own cups when they buy coffee by offering them prizes. People who upload photos of their reusable mugs to get entry into raffles for cash and prizes. Their promotions educate consumers to behave in ways that will save them money and reduce their carbon footprint!  They also partner with businesses and universities to reduce their environmental impact and improve their bottom line.


Kill the Cup met I love a Clean San Diego at the Coastal Cleanup Day in September. We discovered that our purpose was very closely aligned with that of I Love a Clean San Diego. ILACSD creates environmental and educational programs to promote conservation and clean up the environment. Kill the Cup uses gamification, social media marketing, and behavioral economics to encourage consumers to reduce waste.

Kill the Cup is the flagship program of Social Ventures for Sustainability, a nonprofit that partners with campuses and communities to help them prevent environmentally harmful consumer behavior.

Kill the Cup started as an MBA capstone project of Drew Beal and Mike Taylor while they were studying at UCSD’s Rady School of Management. We decided to create an environmental program that would make it fun, easy, and convenient to reduce waste. Users who brought their own reusable mugs to coffee shops uploaded photos to to enter into daily, weekly, and grand prize raffles. We shared the photos on social media to reward and recognize users.

It worked! The percentage of coffees sold in reusable containers rose from 11% to over 20% in just eight weeks. Now, Social Ventures is running Kill the Cup campaigns at UC San Diego, Georgetown University, and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters.

Please check out our website and provide us with feedback! You’re welcome to upload a photo and share your environmentally responsible consumer behavior with us.

Want to check out Kill the Cup in action and win cool stuff? Check out their Bird Rock Coffee Roasters “Show Your Mug” event!