SUNY Oswego is Battling Disposable Cup Waste with Their “Perk Up” Campaign


Perk Up with Cupanion Rewards
Perk Up with Cupanion Rewards

Last year, we took reuse to the next level at SUNY Oswego with their “Tap In” program that they ran during Recyclemania. Since the launch of the program at the beginning of February 2016 SUNY Oswego has eliminated 33,720 disposable bottles from going to landfill, which is pretty amazing.

This year SUNY Oswego and their Office of the Sustainability decided to launch their ‘Perk Up” campaign which is aimed at eliminating disposable cup waste. The way SUNY Oswego executed their program was by handing Loyal Cupanions (which are good for both hot and cold beverages) to students that downloaded the Cupanion app.

Perk Up Campaign Poster
Perk Up Campaign Poster

With the app students can track how many disposable cups they saved from going to landfill as well as earn rewards. If the students have the app and bottle from the previous year’s campaign they can track both cups and bottles saved.

Each time a student scans they earn 10 points (up to 10 scans per day) once a student gets to 500 points they get a free beverage voucher. If the students save their points and get 1000 points they could redeem their points for cool sustainability swag.

Why is SUNY Oswego’s Program so Successful?

So far, SUNY Oswego has eliminated 2,159 disposable cups from going to landfill and they continue to see growth in their numbers. There are a few key reasons why SUNY Oswego’s programs are such a success:

Perk Up Loyal Cupanion®
Perk Up Loyal Cupanion®
  • The team at SUNY encourage their students to download the app first before they give them their reusable. Educating students about the program before they get their reusable encourages engagement beyond that initial encounter. A lot of college and university campuses have people giving away stuff to students on a regular basis. Engaging students with the app before they walk away is crucial to creating meaningful dialogue about the impact they can have by making one small change in their daily habits.
  • Rewarding new users. During the initial launch period of the ‘Perk Up” campaign, each week the Office of Sustainability rewarded a random new user with a prize. The user had to have downloaded the app for the first time within that week. This help reinforces the students decision to the download the app.
  • Free drinks.When SUNY Oswego launched the campaign the Office of Sustainability handed out free coffee, hot chocolate, or tea. On the basic level, students love free food and drinks, it’s a pretty well known thing. But on a higher level of thinking, this is a pretty brilliant idea. Students get instant gratification by receiving something free as soon as get their mug and download the app. This pushes the idea that if you use a reusable mug (and the Cupanion app) you will be rewarded.
  • SUNY’s program is very impressive, they are really trying to make meaningful change on their campus. If you are interested in bringing a Cupanion campaign to your office, campus, or event contact us to learn more.

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