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Remember travel mugs? Remember actually needing a reliable receptacle capable of transporting hot liquid from one place to another, different spot on the planet with minimal spills or temperature loss? Can anyone even accurately recall such times? Were we all walking everywhere during perpetual perfect spring days—the ones where you could just as easily drink a hot coffee as you could a cold one—waving with big genuine grins to each and every passerby? And while I can’t say with 100% certainty that the Before Times was a forever spring, I do know that travel mugs had something to do with it.

Maybe I’m just projecting here—or trying to conjure a better future via capitalism (lol)—but I miss reusables. It’s like all this great progress was being made on coffee shops as a node of sustainability and reusable cups as a mass adoption way to collectively do some good, and then COVID hit. Some of the first safety precautions put into place by many coffee shops at the early part of the pandemic banned reusable drinkware; it was all single-use to-go, even when staying for-here was still an option. It became a kind of moral conundrum: continue to support the local coffee businesses you love here in the worst of times, while sadly being forced to contribute to the estimated 600 billion to-go cups that make their way to landfills each year.

It’s a weird time in the reusables space, something we’ll be exploring more here on Sprudge in the coming weeks. In the meantime we’re happy using our KeepCups at home, for now, and staying abreast of all the cool new stuff that’s getting ready to emerge in this corner of the coffee industry, which continues to be very important—longterm health of the earth and all that—despite everything else that’s happened in this shitty year.

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One such entry to is Circular & Co’s brand new travel mug made from recycled single-use coffee cups, which functions almost like a kind of coffee waste buy-back program. Per the Kickstarter, each Circular travel mug is made from six recycled single-use coffee cups. Coming in 12- and 16-ounce sizes as well as a handful of color options, the Circular mug is insulated, dishwasher safe, and has an expected lifecycle of 10 years, after which it can itself be recycled. Other features include a 360-degree drinkable, leak-proof lid with a “unique spring loaded push-and-click top that allows for one-handed opening.”

With still over a month left in the life of the Kickstarter, Circular & Co has already raised over $2,000 of the $10,000 goal. With a $20 MSRP for the 16-ounce travel mug, fast-acting would-be backers can get themselves not one but two mugs in your color choice for $20 with the super early bird BOGO deal. After that, mugs will be offered at a discount of 10% to 40% off MSRP, depending on the reward selected. Per the campaign, Circular & Co travel mugs will be delivered to backers in October and November of this year, should they get funded.

Honestly, it’s probably a little hopeful thinking that we’ll have daily use for travel mugs in just two short months from now, but plan for the future you want, not the one you have, y’know? And really, it’s going to take a few months to get back the muscle memory of grabbing your reusable mug every time you leave the house. Maybe try carrying it with you from the living room to the kitchen to the bedroom for a while, just to practice.

For more information, visit the Circular & Co travel mug Kickstarter page.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.


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