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Selfless selfies: Miami students ‘Kill the Cup’

Photo by Katherine Hoggett

By Corinne Hazen, For The Miami Student

Miami University is killing cups - disposable drinking cups, that is. The Kill the Cup University Challenge is now in full swing.

Miami currently ranks third, by a tenth of a point, among the eight universities that are competing for a greener footprint.

Promoted through the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi, the Kill the Cup competition is a waste-reduction competition, Sustainability Education Coordinator and graduate student at the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability Anna Ginsky said.

To participate is simple. Upload a picture or "selfie" of you or someone you know drinking a beverage such as coffee, hot chocolate or tea, from any location, out of a reusable cup to

Each week one winner will be chosen to receive a $50 gift card from Amazon. At the end of the month-long challenge, an iPad will be the final prize, which will be given away to a randomly selected participant. So, the more you upload, the better your chances are of winning.

There is just one rule. You can upload only one photo per day, Monday through Friday.

"By promoting the use of reusable versus single-use cups, we are promoting waste reduction and resource conservation," Ginsky said. "It's a great cause to get behind. And if we win, we will receive $4,000 to put towards an environmental cause on campus."

Certain dining locations on campus such as Dividends, Bell Tower Café, King Café, Tuffy's and Emporium, have teamed up with the challenge. These stores allow people to purchase coffee in a reusable mug, making it that much easier to participate.

Sophomore Brittany Johns, head of the sustainability committee for Alpha Kappa Psi, said her main role in the campaign has been to get the Farmer School of Business involved.

"It is very easy to brush off environmental issues, especially because we are not immediately affected by them," Johns said. "This being said, the real way to make a difference is by changing the behavior of individuals. Drinking coffee and tea is something a lot of people do everyday, and so by just tweaking a daily activity [using a reusable cup rather than a disposable one], you can make a tangible difference."

The winner for week one of the challenge was Vinny Cirrito, an employee from the Physical Facilities department. Ginsky said the next winner will be announced this Sunday night.

Sophomore Rachel Cacchione participated in the challenge and believes it is a positive endeavor for the university. She decided to participate in Kill the Cup after learning about it through her involvement in the Dean's Student Advisory Group.

"They sent us a picture of all of us holding our [reusable] cup and told us we could upload it," Cacchione said.

Cacchione said she hopes the challenge gains more campus-wide attention, so that it can truly be successful.

"I thought it was a cool concept of helping the world and just showing how many cups are being saved through every picture taken," Cacchione said.