I recently came across Cuppow, a very cool invention created in Somerville. Co-founder Joshua Resnikoff gave me the low down and wrote a haiku.
What is Cuppow?
Cuppow is a plastic lid that transforms the everyday canning jar into an affordable and eco-friendly travel mug. It's made from BPA-free and phthalate-free food grade polypropylene, and comes in both wide mouth and regular mouth sizes. The regular mouth size also has Straw-tek (TM), which allows any normal plastic straw to pass through the sippy hole - great for smoothies!
Actually it was my wife's stroke of genius! I had always loved using canning jars as a glass, and one day while on our way to a farmer's market I ended up spilling coffee all over myself. She said "why isn't there a little lid for those?" We got home and I tried googling one to find it, simply so I could buy it, and nothing like it existed. So we recruited some friends and built it!
How is it environmental?
There are a lot of great options for travel mugs out there, but most of them are over-built: either made of a ton of plastic, made overseas, or just too expensive. We're utilizing the canning jar, an inherently environmentally friendly item: a cost effective, easily available, durable platform made from food-grade glass (a 100% recyclable and renewable resource). Our adapter allows the customer to decrease their overall plastic footprint in general, and in the future we are moving to 100% post-consumer plastic to keep as much unnecessary waste out of the landfill. Ideally this product will allow a customer to never have to use another paper cup nor buy another crazy travel mug again!
On top of that, our entire supply chain is located within Massachusetts - Cuppow is manufactured right here in state! - so we end up decreasing our company's pollution by not having to initially ship product across oceans. We've also committed ourselves to giving 5% of profits toward charitable organizations that focus on outreach and education in recycling, clean water, and social responsibility. So far these include the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Hurricane Sandy Relief, and the Clean Vibes Trading Post (the latter sponsorship is an organization that incentivizes recycling via rewards for patrons of music festivals, etc). Not only are we trying to make products that are inherently better for the planet, but we want the purchase of those products to further that cause.
Tell me a bit about you and Aaron.
(Aaron on the left, Joshua on the right)
We are both engineers by training, mechanical design for him and bioengineering for me. Despite this we actually approach problems very differently, but in a way that ends up being complimentary and has allowed us both to concentrate on excelling at the parts of the business that we prefer. Although this is not ever a perfect cross-section, generally he focuses on maintaining our supply and manufacturing lines while I concentrate on developing our brand through retail recruitment, interviews, etc. We had been friends for a few years prior to going into business together, and - luckily for us - we've been able to carry that forward and develop a partnership that has been super effective at executing on our shared vision.
What's your favorite coffee shop to bring your Cuppow to?
Tough call! We got a ton of initial support and love from Sherman Cafe and Bloc11 in our own Union Square; I probably split my americanos between them as a function of who has the shorter line. Occasionally I like to hit up the Longwood Clover food truck, and every now and again I'll even take my Cuppow into Starbucks.
Bonus: write a haiku or poem about Cuppow
Jars almost perfect
Spill free sipping while moving
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Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
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