BetaCup Challenge Contest Winner Not a Cup

The BetaCup Challenge Contest was created to generate ideas and sustainable solutions to reduce paper cup consumption and waste.  According to the website, about 58 billion disposable paper cups are thrown away each year in the United States.   About 20 million trees are cut down to make those cups.

The BetaCup Challenge

Anyone 13 or older could participate in the design competition by submitting ideas online. More than 430 entries were submitted between April 1 and June 1, 2010.   The entries were then rated by viewers from June 1st to June 15th.   On June 17th, the winners of $20,000 in cash prizes were announced on June 17, 2010.

BetaCup Challenge Contest Winners

Chosen by a panel of independent experts, the winner of the BetaCup Challenge Contest isn’t technically even a cup – it’s a concept.  The winner, Karma Cup, received $10,000 in cash.   Here’s how it works:  Customers who use a reusable coffee mug when ordering at participating coffee shops, will be charted on a simple chalkboard located near a restaurant’s cash register.  The tenth customer who orders a drink with a reusable mug in hand, will get their drink for free.  Now that’s thinking outside the cup!

The Community Prize, given to the top five ideas rated by the community, each received a cash prize of $2,000.

As part of its goal to serve all of its coffee in reusable or recyclable cups by 2015, Starbucks was one of the sponsors of the contest, along with Jovoto, Core 77, Good Day Monsters and Denuo.

Besides encouraging coffee customers to bring in their own reusable mug which will cut down on throw-away paper cups and reduce landfill waste, customers will also have the opportunity to get a tasty beverage for free.  Now that’s good Karma!

Jace is the Internet Feature Writer for Suite101 and is the Holidays and Working Moms Examiner for She is a regular contributor for Energy Boom, EcoWorldly and PlanetSave. She particularly enjoys writing about unusual and downright wacky environmental stories and issues plaguing wildlife and animals.Besides writing, Jace is also passionate about online safety and issues concerning children. As an Internet Safety educator, she teaches online safety and technology to 600 elementary-aged children every week for her local school district.Jace has two children who are both in college and is also mom to a slew of pets.

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