Kill the Cup: A Look Back

Kill the Cup ended one week ago and it is time to see how the challenge panned out.  The mission of Social Ventures for Sustainability, a nonprofit organization and mastermind behind the Kill the Cup Challenge, was to celebrate environmentally friendly consumer behavior and inspire social innovation on college campuses.


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Participation from each of the eight universities is measured in two categories: Social Awareness and Waste Reduction.  Although official results won’t be revealed until November 17 and final grand prizes will be announced on November 23, Anna Ginsky, who signed Miami up for the challenge, was happy with the awareness Kill the Cup brought to campus.

Ginsky, the president of Green Team and the National Association for Environmental Professionals on campus, said, “For it being the first year I think a lot of people heard about the challenge and a lot of people participated”.

Miami University recorded more than 2% participation in the challenge.  The percentage may not be enough to win the grand prize, but Ginsky noted that most companies hope for 2% growth each year while Miami was able to accomplish the same growth in just one month.

Even with that success, Ginsky is not holding her breath. Because this is the first year for Kill the Cup to challenge universities, a few kinks in the system still need to be worked out.  For example, the Social Awareness category is measured per capita.  This means that the number of photo uploads from first time participants is divided by the total population of each school.  Unfortunately, this method of accounting for participation tends to favor smaller schools.

Social Ventures for Sustainability is aware of the issue and willing to make some changes to level the playing field.

One change being made for next year’s challenge is the creation of two participation categories, one for smaller universities and one for larger universities.

With that in mind, Ginsky stated, “As a first year inaugural challenge, I think it went well and we are well positioned for next year,” she added,  “Next year we would stand a really good chance to win.”

Ginsky encourages dropping the single-use cup habit even though the challenge has ended.  She believes that people notice the actions of others.  If you continue to practice sustainable behavior, you are promoting that behavior and can be confident that you are spreading change and awareness through your actions.

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