Though you may aspire to carry a reusable travel mug with you at all times, life gets in the way. Sometimes the convenience of a disposable coffee cup outweighs any guilt you feel about throwing it away after one use. But when it comes to adopting more sustainable habits, you don't have to take an all-or-nothing approach. Making one simple change to your morning to-go order lets you have your coffee and drink it, too.
According to HuffPost, requesting your drink without a lid is a great way to cut down on plastic waste. Whether you take your beverage hot or cold, the disposable cup almost always comes with a plastic lid. Not all plastic coffee containers are recyclable, and that material can take decades to break down in a landfill. By drinking your coffee without a lid, you're reducing the amount of single-use plastic that comes with your order. If your coffee is served in a paper cup with a biodegradable, plant-based lining, it's bested only by reusable mugs in terms of eco-friendless.
A lidless coffee order doesn't make sense for every situation. If you want to keep your drink hot on a cold day or keep it from splashing you during your commute, tweaking your order for the sake of sustainability may not be worth it to you. But if you plan on taking your "to-go" cup as far as your favorite seat in Starbucks, skipping the lid is a no-brainer.
Straws are another single-use part of your coffee cup that's often superfluous. Many coffee shops have started phasing out the items by introducing strawless lids for cold beverages. You can try asking one next time you order an iced coffee—or you can invest in your own reusable straw, which happens to be much easier to lug around than a travel mug.