We chatted with Damien Clarke about Green Caffeen.
Can you tell us how the Green Caffeen app and cups work?
Scan, swap, drink, return, repeat. Green Caffeen is a FREE reusable café cup system for eco-focused cafes and coffee lovers across Australia.
Simply download the Green Caffeen app and sign up, then get your reusable cup from a participating café. Enjoy your coffee, then return the cup to any Green Caffeen café. As long as you return the cup within 30 days, it’s completely free to use. The cups are used again and again, eliminating the need for single-use cups.
What motivated you to start up the social enterprise?
It all started from our frustration with having to remember to bring our own coffee cup each time we got a takeaway coffee. We knew there had to be a simpler, better, more convenient way.
We’re motivated to leave the world a better place for our children and to take social responsibility for our actions. Hopefully, we’re inspiring others to do the same and showing them that with a little bit of thought, there are easy ways to cut landfill.
Tell us about your mission?
Our mission is to change the way that Australians consume take away coffee on a daily basis. We have a strong takeaway coffee culture in Australia and we’re changing it, one cup at a time.
What are the biggest issues with using takeaway coffee cups?
Landfill, the resources that go into making them and the pollution they create in our gutters, streets and, ultimately, the oceans. Most single-use coffee cups are made of plastic that will never break down and they end up in the sea.
Single-use coffee cups are a pointless item. There really is no need for them.
What problems did you find using regular reusable coffee cups?
We’d always forget to bring them, and when we did, they were never clean. Baristas don’t want to clean a cup lined with three-day-old coffee dregs while a queue of caffeine-seeking customers piles up behind us. On those rare occasions, we’d bring our BYO cup along, they didn’t fit under the coffee machine.
Our Green Caffeen cups are a standard, barista approved size that fits under all machines. And when you finish your coffee, you don’t need to wash our cups – just drop them back and the café staff will clean them ready for the next person to use.
Where can we find Green Caffeen in South East Queensland?
There are around 15 cafes on the Sunshine Coast who are on the Green Caffeen team. We’re about to launch in Brisbane with all 15 cafes on the University of Queensland St Lucia campus on board. Registration is open for Brisbane cafes to get on board, with the official launch happening on 7 August 2019.
What are the benefits to a cafe that stock your cups?
There are two massive benefits – environmentally and economically. Green Caffeen cafes reduce waste that would otherwise add to landfill. And they save themselves the embarrassment of seeing their branded single-use cups floating in the sea. By ordering fewer disposable cups, cafes save money too. Our cups are used over and over again, so it’s a win for cafes, customers and mother nature.
If a cafe is interested in joining up, what do they do?
Head to greencaffeen.com.au, hit the big green “Join” button, fill in your café’s details and we’ll be in touch. We’ll provide the cups, signage and support for your launch.
How do you like your coffee?
- A long black for me – Damien.
- Always a piccolo – Martin.
Who or what inspires you?
Anyone who is out there creating change to inspire others for a better world. David Attenborough’s also a hero of ours. We grew up watching his docos and seeing the magnificence of nature through his lens and that’s always stayed with us.
What’s next for you?
To reach as many people as we can. We want to have as big an impact as possible, across Australia and globally. We’re talking to a few international organisations now so expect to see Green Caffeen in coffee haunts around the globe.
Where can people find out more about you?
Visit us at greencaffeen.com.au and follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @greencaffeen
About Green Caffeen
Created by two Aussie mates, Green Caffeen is a free reusable café cup system making it easy for coffee lovers to grab and go, while staying green. Users simply need to download the Green Caffeen app at participating cafes, get their cup of coffee to go, and then drop the cup back to any Green Caffeen café within 30 days. With participating cafes nationwide, it’s the easy way to get a takeaway coffee without the nasty waste.
Since launching in 2018, Green Caffeen has signed up 250 cafes with 3,150 happy customers enjoying 50,000 cups of coffee and counting. Find out more at https://greencaffeen.com.au.