Reusable mug campaign encourages sustainable behavior, draws out staff stories

Friday, Dec 7, 2018

For three weeks in November, the Campus Dining team launched the #LoveAMug campaign to increase awareness about and participation in sustainability efforts on Princeton’s campus and to celebrate the unique backgrounds of staff and departments.

Anyone who brought a reusable mug to the various retail café locations received a fill-up of coffee for two dollars. At this price, coffee in a reusable mug was the best coffee deal on campus.

“With this program, we made the more sustainable option the most attractive option” explains Sustainability Manager Sarah Bavuso.

The campaign was heavily supported through Instagram and Twitter. Individuals were encouraged to share pictures of their mugs and the stories behind them with the hashtag #LoveAMug. Campus Dining gave away a free cup of coffee each day to the most unique posts.

All told, the campaign featured more 65 posts with stories from nearly 40 individuals and departments across campus.

Each day, Campus Dining also posted photos of different Campus Dining staff members to Instagram along with their stories about their favorite mugs, fun and unique mugs with accompanying captions about them, and mugs that related to different events on campus, such as Halloween celebrations and big games for the football and soccer teams.

This engagement generated evposter of instagram postsen more participation and awareness, and the interactions on social media were especially fueled by the cashiers at the various café locations.

Lori Granito, retail food service worker at Chancellor Green Cafe, took it a step further, encouraging customers to pose for photos, which were then printed and posted in the cafe.

The program helped celebrate the diverse campus community through the photos and stories posted online by people all over campus.

Because of the publicity that the program received, there was great participation. At every campus café location, there were significant increases in $2 coffee sales from the previous year’s promotion. This difference shows the success that the social media engagement and promotion of the #LoveAMug program helped create. The program helped raise awareness of the existing 25 cent discount for using reusable mugs in the cafés, and it also encouraged greater awareness of the efforts that Campus Dining as a whole is taking to increase and perpetuate more sustainable practices.