INCREASING LUG-A-MUG USE IN THE ENGINEERING COFFEE AND DONUT SHOP

FINAL REPORT


TABLE OF CONTENTS

ABSTRACT

The promotion of Lug-a-Mugs, reusable beverage containers, has been highly successful at the University of Waterloo. In the past 8 years, steps have been taken to reduce beverage container waste by almost 80% through the Lug-a-Mug program. We felt that further improvements could be made in this direction. As University of Waterloo students enrolled in ERS-285 "Greening the Campus," we investigated the Engineering Coffee and Donut Shop to determine why more students do not use Lug-a-Mugs, and what incentives would promote increased Lug-a-Mug use. We conducted a survey of first and fourth year Engineering students to find out what their opinions are on this subject. The following is an outline of the recommendations that resulted from our survey.

Customer Awareness - Through the survey, we found that improvements could be made by advertising price incentives, varieties of beverages offered in Lug-a-Mugs and the environmental implications of using disposable beverage containers.

Convenience Issues - The top reason for not using a Lug-a-Mug was inconvenience in terms of design (i.e. leakage). To remedy this, we propose a selection of various Lug-a-Mug designs that would appeal to a large group of customers.

Cold Beverage Dispensers - Another reason why students do not use Lug-a-Mugs was that cold beverages are only available in cans, plastic, and bottles. Due to time restraints, further investigation could not be done to the extent that we could fully recommend a beverage dispenser system. Before such a system is implemented we recommend that further study be carried out on this topic.

By educating patrons of the benefits of using a Lug-a-Mug, improving the design of Lug-a-Mugs, and exploring the use of dispensers, positive change can be made towards the reduction of disposable beverage containers on campus, thus promoting overall sustainability.

1.0 VISION OF SUSTAINABILITY

Achieving a sustainable University of Waterloo requires that staff and students work together within the university community to bring about long term environmental and social changes on campus. Because there are so many changes that can and should be made it is often difficult to know where to begin. Although the focus of our project is at the university community level, it is equally as important to maintain an understanding of the larger surrounding community in which the university operates.

The university is a distinct community within the larger region of Kitchener/Waterloo. As such, many activities that occur on campus affect the city both directly and indirectly. If affected negatively, the city could in turn have a large, adverse impact on the university environment. Sustainability for the university must therefore consider the impacts of its activities both on and off campus. It is not sustainable for one system to continually export its waste to another system on which it is dependent.

For the purposes of this project, our vision of a sustainable University of Waterloo is the reduction of one component of the solid waste produced on campus - beverage container waste. At the same time, we envision greater use of Lug-a-Mugs. We feel that the adoption of Lug-a-Mugs on campus could result in social changes in the surrounding community. If people become accustomed to using Lug-a-Mugs on campus, they will be more likely to use reusable beverage containers off campus as well. This environmentally conscious attitude might spill over into the larger community. Furthermore, if businesses on campus reduced beverage waste, they could become role models for those in the surrounding community of Kitchener/Waterloo.

2.0 GOAL AND OBJECTIVES

Our ultimate goal is to reduce the amount of waste that the University sends into the surrounding community by promoting the use of Lug-a-Mugs as a preferred alternative to disposable beverage containers. The objectives of our project were to determine:

  1. why more students in the university community are not currently using Lug-a-Mugs, and
  2. what factors would promote increased use.

It was not in the scope of our project to consider all beverage container waste that the entire university generates each year. Therefore, we chose to focus on waste from the Engineering Coffee and Donut Shop (C&D), one of five C&D's on campus. We chose this particular C&D for a number of reasons. Most importantly, no previous studies had been done at the Engineering C&D, and we knew that the manager would be very open to our recommendations and to change. We hope that by making recommendations for this single C&D, it will become a role model at some point in the future for other beverage outlets on campus.

3.0 BACKGROUND INFORMATION

3.1 History of the Lug-a-Mug

Lug-a-Mugs are portable beverage containers. Many people at the University of Waterloo can be seen carrying these reusable, plastic mugs around campus to use in cafeterias and C&D's to purchase tea, coffee, soups and other beverages. The function of the Lug-a-mug is similar to that of a thermos. Hot and cold beverages retain their temperatures for a longer period of time than if paper or Styrofoam cups were used. Lug-a-Mugs are intended to provide a convenient alternative to disposable cups.

The Lug-a-Mug program at University of Waterloo began eight years ago as a campaign by the Waterloo Public Interest Group (WPIRG). During the program's first year of operation (1989), WPIRG purchased 500 Lug-a-Mugs, all of which were sold. This number increased to 10,000 in the second year. Of these, 5,000 were sold and the remaining 5,000 were given away. Two years later Food Services began to promote Lug-a-Mugs.

Food Services currently purchases Lug-a-Mugs every two years. In January of 1997, 10,000 new mugs were purchased for the following two years. Approximately half of these will be sold while the other half will be given away for promotion. All of the 2,200 new students entering residence in the fall will receive a free Lug-a-Mug.

The Food Services Lug-a-Mug has undergone many changes over the years. Various sizes, shapes and designs have been tested. The current mug holds 14 ounces, a size that has proved to be very popular. A larger mug, the Lugger Plus, was offered in 1993, but was not popular because customers found that it was too big. The newest mug was chosen because of its narrow base that fits into beverage holders in cars. This choice was made in order to cater to faculty and staff who represent approximately 15% of Food Services clientele.

3.2 STYROFOAM USE: FOOD SERVICES AND THE ENGINEERING C&D

Before Lug-a-Mugs were introduced in 1989, 1,000,000 (Food Services) Styrofoam cups were being used every year at the University of Waterloo by Food Services alone. Since the Lug-a-Mug program began, the number of cups have been decreasing. In 1994/95, 263,000 Styrofoam cups were being used by Food Services. This figure rose to 294,000 cups in 1995/96 but fell to a its lowest point yet in 1996/97 with a total of 206,000 Styrofoam cups. This tremendous decrease in Styrofoam cup waste illustrates that significant change is possible. We however, feel that results from this project could be used to further the progress in decreasing Styrofoam cup use.

In order to compare the Styrofoam cup generation rate at the Engineering C&D with that of Food Services, we collected data on the number of cups that the C&D bought in 1996. We found that the C&D purchased and sold 31% (or 64,000 cups) of the Styrofoam cups that Food Services did in the same year (206,000). This is a remarkable figure considering that this is just one C&D in comparison to nine Food Services outlets on campus.

3.3 CAN/BOTTLE GENERATION RATES AT THE ENGINEERING C&D

All projects to date that have addressed Lug-a-Mug use have only concentrated on reducing Styrofoam cups which are used primarily for hot beverages. Although our project does address reduced Styrofoam use through increased Lug-a-Mug use, we feel that Lug-a-Mug use could be even further increased if cold beverages were available in bulk form (i.e. dispensers). Furthermore, if students in the Engineering C&D could use Lug-a-Mugs to purchase cold beverages, the number of cans and bottles generated by the C&D could be significantly decreased.

To assess the Engineering C&D's current generation of cans and bottles, we gathered information from purchasing records for the past three months. We had wanted to gather data for an entire year but this proved to be beyond the scope of our project. The results showed that over a three month period (January-March 1997), the Engineering C&D purchased and sold enough pop and juice to generate 2,707 kg of aluminium cans, and glass and plastic bottles.

3.3 PAST WATGREEN LUG-A-MUG PROJECTS

The WatGreen program has been in operation for many years now on campus. Its goal is to use the University of Waterloo's expertise in the environmental field to create an environmentally friendly campus. By providing solutions that are both ecologically sound and economically responsible, WatGreen has proven to be a valuable resource for the University (WatGreen homepage). Students taking the ERS 285 course "Greening the Campus" are required to complete a WatGreen Project. Two WatGreen projects that were completed in the past and that deal with Lug-a-Mug use are discussed below.

The first WatGreen project that dealt with the use of Styrofoam cups and the need for increased Lug-a-Mug use at the University of Waterloo was completed in April of 1994 by Michael Anton Torreiter. It studied the feasibility of eliminating disposable cups throughout the university. An interesting component of this study was an experiment to implement a "No Disposable Cups Day". The effects were both positive and negative. For on day, all the Food Services outlets and Student Society Coffee Shops did not sell Styrofoam cups. According to Torreiter's thesis, the public's response was generally positive. Phone calls of support outnumbered calls of complaint by 25 to 1. However, some employees experienced verbal abuse from people strongly opposed to the "No Disposable Cups Day", and a net loss of $3,000 was reported by Food Services. A quarter of the usual clientele went elsewhere for their beverages on that particular day. Since " No Disposable Cups Day", the Math Society Coffee Shop has designated every Thursday to be a "No Disposable Cups Day".

Another Lug-a-Mug related project was completed in April of 1996 by Tanya Hewitt, Jerry McGrath, Ron Summer and Beth Wheaton. The objectives of this ERS 285 project included decreasing Styrofoam cup usage at the Math Coffee and Donut Shop (The Right Angle Café) and increasing environmental awareness. The investigators decided to study a privately owned and run coffee and donut shop instead of focusing, as usual, on Food Service outlets. The project involved carrying out a visual audit of cup use, an oral survey and a financial study. One recommendation the student investigators made at the end of the project was that Math C&D clientele be educated regarding the dangers of Styrofoam. They also recommended that pricing adjustments be made at this C&D so that students would pay less if they used reusable mugs. Finally, they recommended that a uniform and convenient Lug-a-Mug size be used across campus.

4.0 ENGINEERING C&D AND BEVERAGE CONTAINER STUDY

4.1 Key People

The diagram below illustrates how those people who play an important role in our project are interconnected. As can be seen, the Engineering C&D purchases items from the lug-a-mug supplier, the Styrofoam cup supplier, and the beverage suppliers. The Engineering C&D is owned by the Engineering Society and run by Mary Bland the Manager who also supervises the C&D staff. Engineering C&D clientele go to the C&D to purchase their beverages. Other C&Ds and Food Services provide beverages to other customers. The can and bottle wastes, under the supervision of Patti Cook, are removed by a collector and taken to the Regional Municipality of Waterloo Waste Management Centre.

Diagram I - Key People

The red line in the diagram encloses those people who are of key importance to our study. Other C&Ds, Food Services, and their customers are not included inside this line because they are part of the larger beverage system on campus. However, they are not directly associated with the operation of the Engineering C&D.

4.2 Flow of Beverages Through the Engineering C&D

Our project is concerned with the flow of beverages in containers, Styrofoam cups, and Lug-a-Mugs through the Engineering C&D. The diagram below illustrates these flows. Cold and hot beverages flow into the Engineering C&D from suppliers. They are then sold to customers in various containers: hot beverages in Lug-a-Mugs and Styrofoam and cold beverages in cans and glass and plastic bottles. After customers have finished drinking their coffee, tea, apple cider, hot chocolate or soup, they either discard Styrofoam into the garbage or use their Lug-a-Mugs again to purchase hot beverages. Those customers who drink cold beverages discard cans and plastic and glass bottles. All discarded containers eventually end up in a landfill or are recycled.

Diagram II - Flow of Beverages

In addition to the current flow of beverages (shown in black), we have added flows (shown in red) that we would like to see at the Engineering C&D in the future if our recommendations are met. If our project is successful we hope that Styrofoam, cans, and bottles will be reduced. At the same time, we hope to see greater use of Lug-a-Mugs for hot beverages and the installation of cold beverage dispensers in the Engineering C&D with which customers could use Lug-a-Mugs.

5.0 RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The following research question diagram shows the main questions that needed to be answered in order to achieve our objectives of determining why more students do not use Lug-a-Mugs at the Engineering C&D and what would encourage increased use.

Diagram III - Research Question Diagram

As can be seen, we started by asking ourselves how Lug-a-Mug use could be increased at the Engineering C&D. This question was followed by whether or not students are currently using reusable containers. We then realized that we would have to determine the reasons for use or non-use of reusable containers. We intended to obtain this information through a survey and the examination of sales records from the Engineering C&D. From the results of our survey and C&D sales information, we planned to logically develop ideas or incentives that could be used to increase or start Lug-a-Mug use. Depending on our results we thought that some ideas might include environmental awareness programs for Engineering students, the installation of cold drink dispensers, lower beverage prices, and Lug-a-Mug promotion campaigns.

6.0 METHODOLOGY

6.1 The Survey

What Did We Ask and Why?

The main component of our study was the design of a survey to obtain student opinion concerning Lug-a-Mugs. A copy of this survey can be found in Appendix A. As can be seen, the survey is composed of 17 questions dealing with issues ranging from the reasons for use and non-use of Lug-a-Mugs to those addressing student opinion regarding a number of possible incentives to increase Lug-a-Mug use. The survey attempted to test student awareness of Lug-a-Mug availability and benefits and student reaction to prices for beverages and Lug-a-Mugs.

Questions 1-3 dealt with the demographics of the sample population. These questions ensured that we only analyzed those surveys which were completed by first and fourth year students from the departments of Chemical, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical/Computer engineering. We also felt that it was important that students identified themselves as male or female because the engineering faculty is composed of predominantly male students.

Questions 4-6 were asked in order to learn about the current use of Lug-a-Mugs by survey participants. It was also necessary that Lug-a-Mug users were distinguished from non-Lug-a-Mug users in order to segregate the population for the analysis of other questions.

Questions 7 and 8 aimed to discover reasons why people do and do not use Lug-a-Mugs.

Questions 9-11 dealt with the level of education and awareness of first and fourth year engineering students regarding Lug-a-Mugs. We hoped to better understand the role that advertising and promotion have played in influencing students to choose to use Lug-a-Mugs.

Question 12 and 13 were asked to help us to evaluate the feasibility of installing pop and juice dispensers in the Engineering C&D. These questions helped to determine whether students would be willing to adopt a system of purchasing cold beverages in Lug-a-Mugs if these drinks were made available in bulk.

Questions 14-17, the final four questions of the survey addressed the issue of price incentives. We wanted to determine whether students were aware that it is cheaper to buy beverages in Lug-a-Mugs at the Engineering C&D, and if this price difference would influence their decision to use a Lug-a-Mug. The final question aimed to determine how much most students would be willing to pay for a Lug-a-Mug.

How Did We Survey?

When first designing the survey, we considered carrying it out orally at the Engineering C&D. However, we decided that an oral survey might produce biased results. That is, only those cooperative students with time to spare would be willing to answer questions. We thought that the opinions of these students could differ greatly from those of students in a hurry. This issue, along with the fact that oral surveys are very time consuming, led us to the decision to survey a large number of students all at once in their engineering classes.

In March, first and fourth year engineering students were asked to complete our survey during their classes. Prior to this, recruitment letters were sent to engineering professors to obtain their permission to carry out the survey during their classes.

Our survey only focused on first and fourth year students to determine if they have different attitudes to Lug-a-Mug use. We suspected that fourth year students, having been exposed to Lug-a-Mug advertising for a longer period of time, would use Lug-a-Mugs more and be more conscious of their benefits.

In order to obtain a representative sample of those first and fourth year students who use the Engineering C&D, we decided to survey students from all the engineering departments that are operating this term. During the winter term, only four departments ran core, first year courses. Those departments are Chemical, Civil, Mechanical, and Electrical/Computer. Thus, one first year core course was selected from each of these departments. In addition, four fourth year courses in these same four department were chosen to give a total of eight classes. The following table shows the classes we used.

Table I - Classes Surveyed

    Department

    First Year

    Fourth Year

    Electrical and Computer

    E&CE 100

    E&CE 413

    Chemical

    PHYS 125*

    CHE 574

    Civil

    PHYS 125*

    CIV 496

    Mechanical

    ME 123

    ME 533

It was important that the survey was only completed in core classes so that the same students did not complete the survey more than once. The first year classes were all core classes. These classes represented the first year populations in their respective departments. The fourth year classes were not core classes as most fourth year programs have few, if any, required courses. We chose courses with concentrations of students from a particular department according to the suggestions made to us by the undergraduate secretaries of each of the four departments. This choice of classes created a situation in which the chance of the same students filling out the survey more than once was very low.

6.2 Limitations of the Survey

Time Limitations

Time was a restraining factor in gathering data on the can and bottle generation rates of the Engineering C&D. Data was only collected for a three month period (January - March). Since each semester of the school year has different amounts of students and different weather conditions, beverages purchased and subsequent waste produced may be different for each of the three semesters during the year.

C&D Limitations

The focus of our objectives and resulting recommendations were limited by the time and fiscal constraints of the C&D staff and management. This limited our project to suggestions that could be easily implemented and that were cost effective.

Survey Limitations

Demographics

Due to time restraints, all Engineering students, faculty, and staff at the University of Waterloo could not be surveyed. We surveyed only first and fourth year students. There was a difference in attitudes and habits towards using a Lug-a-Mug between first and fourth year students, but it is not clear when or how changes in opinion took place because second and third year students were not surveyed. Without any information on the opinions of second or third year students it is hard to make generalizations to the entire engineering student population. Another demographics limitation was that certain faculties and students were on their Co-op term and were thus not represented in our survey. A final limitation is that only one class for each faculty was surveyed. Students who missed class on the particular day that we surveyed, or students who were not taking the course that we chose, were not represented.

Limitations of Question 8

Question 8 from the survey asked for reasons why students were not using a Lug-a-Mug, but students were not given the option of choosing the reason that Lug-a-Mugs leak. Although many students expressed this option in the form of a comment, it is unknown as to how many students would have chosen that reason if it had been provided for them on the list.

Limitations of Question 9

Question 9 from the survey asked students where they first heard about Lug-a-Mugs. The option of choosing the answer ‘I received a Lug-a-Mug free in my frosh kit’ was not provided. As in question 8, many students gave this answer as the ‘other’ option, but it is unknown as to how many students would have chosen this reason if it had been provided on the list.

Limitations of Questions 14 and 15

Question 14 and 15 asked if price difference was an incentive to use a Lug-a-mug. This question was posed in a vague manner in that it did not state the size of the price difference. By not providing a dollar amount, many students may have marked ‘yes’ it does make a difference, assuming a very large price difference, and vice versa for students who marked ‘no.’

7.0 ANALYSIS OF RESULTS

In this section we will describe the most interesting results from our survey. For a detailed question by question analysis of our survey please see Appendix B.

7.1 The Survey Population

After surveying classes over a two week period, we ended up with 170 fourth and 222 first year engineering students for a total of 392 respondents.

In our methodology we described how we went about choosing which classes to survey. We hoped that our choices would result in all first and fourth year students in the four departments having an equal chance of finding their way into our survey. We feel that in the case of first year students we were moderately successful. Only those students enrolled in one half of the first year Electrical and Computer Engineering students did not have the chance to complete our survey as we surveyed only one half of that class. Our survey design was biased against these students as well as against students who did not attend class on the day our surveying took place. In total we received completed surveys from 57% of possible first year students.

With regards to fourth year students we were less successful. In this case we were not able to survey all classes because we wanted to avoid duplication, thus we chose only one class from each department. In this way our survey was biased against fourth year students who were not enrolled in one of the classes that we chose and those students who did not attend class on the day we surveyed. Additionally classes were smaller and attendance tended to be lower in fourth year classes. The 170 fourth year students that we surveyed represent 36% of the total fourth year student population.

The survey population can be described further based on the answers to question 3-5 of our survey. The following table displays the numbers of respondents according to whether or not they use the C&D and whether or not they use Lug-a-Mugs.

Table II - Lug-a-Mug Statistics

1st year

C&D users

1st year

Non C&D users

4th year

C&D users

Lug-a-mug users

27

21

42

Non Lug-a-mug users

70

99

107

The numbers represent the number of respondents that we had in each category.

We have included three groups in this table:

  1. first year students who purchase beverages at the C&D
  2. first year students who do not purchase beverages at the C&D
  3. fourth year students who do purchase beverages at the C&D

These are the main groups that we have looked at in the detailed analysis of our surveys in Appendix B. Originally we had intended to disregard surveys for any students who do not use the C&D. We decided however, to include the first year students who do not use the C&D because they will likely use the C&D more often in the future. We felt that recommendations could be made in order to cater to these future customers. The analysis of first year non-C&D users however, will only be carried out in Appendix B. For the following main sections of our survey analysis on which our recommendations to the C&D are based, we will only discuss the responses of students who are currently C&D customers.

7.2 Customer Awareness

The main area in which it seemed that customer awareness could be improved was in terms of beverages prices. The Engineering C&D offers a 15 cent discount on hot beverages and soups purchased in a Lug-a-Mug. One question on our survey asked students whether they were aware of this discount or not. Only 40% of first year C&D users and 65% of fourth year C&D users indicated that they were aware of discounts.

A subsequent question asked students to indicate whether or not the price difference would influence their decision to use a Lug-a-Mug. For this question we were only concerned with students who do not use a Lug-a-Mug. The result was that 66% of students indicated that being aware of the price difference would influence their decision to use a Lug-a-Mug.

7.3 Convenience Issues

One of our objectives was to determine why students do not use Lug-a-Mugs. As such, our survey included a question directed at only non Lug-a-Mug users which asked them to choose from a list their top 3 reasons for not using a Lug-a-Mug. The following are lists of the top three choices of the three main groups we analyzed. The numbers are percentages of total responses.

First Year C&D Users

  1. Cold beverages are only available in cans, plastic, bottles 30%
  2. They are inconvenient to carry around 18%
  3. I am not aware of discounts offered 16%

Fourth Year C&D Users

  1. Cold beverages are only available in cans, plastic, bottles 25%
  2. They are inconvenient to carry around 25%
  3. It is an extra dish to wash 14%

Overall the most commonly occurring reason for not using a Lug-a-Mug was that they are inconvenient. In fact, 45% of C&D users chose this as one of their top three reasons.

7.4 Cold Beverage Dispensers

At the outset of this project we suspected that if cold beverages were made available in bulk that Lug-a-Mug use might increase. The results of our survey seem to be very encouraging in this area.

The same question discussed in section 7.3 regarding why students do not use Lug-a-Mugs showed that the number one reason was that cold beverages are only available in cans plastic and bottles. This reason accounts for 27% of first and fourth year responses.

Our survey included two further questions specifically aimed at finding out about student support for cold beverage dispensers. The first question asked students how they would react if pop and juice were not only available in bottles and cans but also in dispensers. The following graph illustrates the responses of all C&D users.

Graph I - If pop and juice were available in dispensers...

It can be seen that 56% of students would use a Lug-a-Mug, 41% would continue purchasing cold beverages in cans and bottles and the remaining 3% would use Styrofoam.

A subsequent question on the survey asked students what they would do if bottles and cans were completely eliminated and cold beverages were only available in dispensers. The following graph shows how C&D users responded.

Graph II - If pop and juice were ONLY available in despensers...

As can be seen, 85% of C&D users said that they would use a Lug-a-Mug and the remaining 15% said that they would use Styrofoam.

8.0 CONCLUSIONS

After having analyzed the results of our survey, we were able to come to a number of conclusions concerning Lug-a-Mug habits of first and fourth year students at the Engineering C&D. We feel that the results of our survey have not only answered the research questions that we posed at the very beginning of our project, but represent a significant step forward in achieving our objectives of determining why more students in the university community are currently not using Lug-a-Mugs and what factors would promote increased use.

Our first research question aimed to find out whether or not engineering students currently use Lug-a-Mugs. From our results we can conclude that only 22% of first year and 28% of fourth year students use Lug-a-Mugs. These figures do not represent a high use of Lug-a-Mugs. Furthermore, considering all the Lug-a-Mug advertising campaigns that have been organized at the university, we expected that more fourth year students would have adopted Lug-a-Mugs.

In our research question diagram we identified a number of incentives to increase Lug-a-Mug use. One of these incentives was to advertise lower beverage prices. We discovered from our survey that only 40% of first year C&D users and 65% of fourth year C&D users indicated that they were aware of discounts. Furthermore, 66% of all C&D users who do not use a Lug-a-Mug and are unaware of discounts indicated that being aware of the price difference would influence their decision to purchase and use a Lug-a-Mug.

Our survey showed that the responses ‘Cold beverages are only available in cans, plastic and bottles’ and ‘They are inconvenient to carry around’ were among the top three reasons for both first and fourth year C&D users not using Lug-a-Mugs.

The idea to install cold beverage fountains at the Engineering C&D was one of our major incentives to increase Lug-a-Mug use. In our survey, if pop and juice were not only available in bottles and cans but also in dispensers, 56% of C&D users would use a Lug-a-Mug, 41% would continue purchasing cold beverages in cans and bottles and the remaining 3% would use Styrofoam. If bottles and cans were completely eliminated and cold beverages were only available in dispensers, 85% of C&D users said that they would use a Lug-a-Mug and the remaining 15% said that they would use Styrofoam. In the second case with the elimination of cans and bottles, Lug-a-Mug use rises significantly.

Based on these conclusions we have developed a number of recommendations.

9.0 RECOMMENDATIONS

We feel that the following recommendations can be used to increase Lug-a-Mug use in the Engineering C&D or as a starting point for further study in this area.

Customer Awareness

We found that many students were unaware of price discounts. Furthermore, many of these students said that price discounts would influence them to use Lug-a-Mugs. Therefore, we recommend that discounts be better advertised by hanging posters in the C&D. These posters might be a very effective way of educating customers. We have designed three posters which focus on awareness of prices, the variety of products that can be purchased in Lug-a-Mugs, and environmental concerns.

Convenience Issues

Many students indicated that Lug-a-Mugs are inconvenient to use. Additionally, many comments we received elaborated on specific problems that students have encountered when using Lug-a-Mugs. Based on these and some of the insights that we have gained throughout the course of carrying out this study, we have recommended that the following issues be studied further.

The first issue addresses the need for further study into the feasibility of a "loaner mug" system. Such a system would replace the need for students to carry their own Lug-a-Mugs around with them on campus. It would be necessary to consider the feasibility of installing a dishwasher in the Engineering C&D and how theft of mugs could be controlled.

Cold Beverage Dispensers

Because of the significant support for cold beverage dispensers expressed by survey respondents, we recommend that the feasibility of installing dispensers should be the focus of further study. As can be seen in our results section, even though many students were in support of cold beverage dispensers they mentioned a number of concerns with this type of a system.

First of all, many respondents were concerned about the quality of beverages sold in dispensers. Secondly, many favourite beverages such as Frutopia and Snapple are not available in dispensers. Finally, more study is needed to examine the cost effectiveness of implementing dispensers. In general, a more detailed study is needed to determine if customers would be truly supportive of installing dispensers and what type of a dispenser system would be most widely accepted.

COMMENTS FROM OUR SURVEY

INTERESTING COMMENTS

Inconvenience and Lug-a-Mug Design

  1. Find a way to keep the lids from falling off.
  2. String to keep lid on.
  3. Food Services mugs leak when you drink from them.
  4. Need better seal.
  5. Clip to hold mug to packsack so it is easier and cleaner to carry.
  6. When I put my Lug-a-Mug in my knapsack it drips coffee all over my papers.
  7. I only use my Lug-a-Mug for coffee because the plastic takes on the coffee flavour.
  8. I use a Lug-a-Mug when I can but sometimes I don't have it with me and must use Styrofoam.
  9. The new mugs do not hold as much as the ones being given out during the first week of school.

Cold Beverage Dispensers

Negative Comments

  1. I usually buy pop or fruit juice in cans or bottles and recycle.
  2. Juice in dispensers are powdered stuff...tastes really bad.
  3. Difficult to purchase good quality juice from a dispenser.
  4. Fountain pop is never as good as canned pop.
  5. Soft drinks out of dispensers are of inferior quality.
  6. Pop from cans is not watered down like dispensers.
  7. People might not trust the quality of cold beverages from dispensers (hygiene, freshness, taste etc.)
  8. I buy V8 and Frutopia which are not available in dispensers.

Positive Comments

  1. I like the juice and pop dispenser idea.
  2. I would like to see a pop and juice dispenser soon.
  3. Get Snapple in dispensers - Lug-a-Mugs galore!

Other Comments

  1. Chocolate milk containers are tossed out, they can't be recycled.
  2. Cups are really insignificant compared to other wastes.
  3. Styrofoam take-out boxes at the Villages are probably a bigger concern than small cups.
  4. I think Styrofoam cups are a small part of the problem.
  5. Cafeterias use those giant Styrofoam trays every day.
  6. Glass bottles are recyclable so they don't pose a large threat.
  7. The C&D should stop using Mother Parker's coffee but that isn't the issue.
  8. I think we should ban Styrofoam cups altogether in the C&D like over in the ERS building.
  9. If you have to use a Lug-a-Mug, you will!
  10. I never drink coffee or tea or any other beverages that may be served in a Lug-a-Mug.
  11. C&D doesn't take Watcard.
  12. What exactly is a "Lug-a-Mug"?
  13. Wasn't exactly aware of the issue.

ENTERTAINING COMMENTS

From Comments Section of Survey

  1. Lucky charms they're magically delicious.
  2. You should collect your cover sheets! Environmentalists!
  3. Hi!
  4. I'm gonna go get one!
  5. Green force rules!!
  6. I like surveys!
  7. Way to help out the environment!

Why do you use a Lug-a-Mug?

  1. Helps me attract wimmin.

Why don't you use a Lug-a-Mug?

  1. They're losers.

Where did you find out about Lug-a-Mugs?

  1. I barfed in one once.
  2. On an acid trip I spoke to God and he told me about them.
  3. Found one on ground.


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