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Mike Westcott 120 Views

“The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Our “acorn” is the reusable coffee mug; the “forests” we’re creating are communities of businesses and people working together to live more sustainably.

Each year in the US, about 60 billion single-use cups end up in landfills. Small businesses routinely spend $1,000 or more each month on this largely avoidable expense. And the toll of this waste on our planet is equal to a year’s worth of CO2 emissions from over 1.3 million cars.

Meanwhile, Americans are increasingly concerned about the environment but often feel powerless. So, what can businesses do when incentives like “10 cents off for bringing your mug” simply don’t work?

As members of the Wellwith purchasing co-op, businesses buy eco-friendlier cups for less. As members of the Wellwith rewards network, customers can skip single-use items altogether at co-op businesses and be rewarded with exclusive discounts and nonprofit donations on their behalf.


Sounds good in theory, right? And customers have *told* us these incentives would make them more likely to reuse. But how does it play out in the real world? Here are some numbers from our first pilot in Lake Orion, Michigan, which launched March 22: 102 app downloads, 28 account holders, 19 reward redemptions, and 251 mug-using / point-earning visits! (This is our key metric — users are changing behavior…) And now we want to bring Wellwith to Grand Rapids and beyond!

What I Will Do With $5,000

We would use the $5k to purchase the hardware needed to launch Wellwith at 12 new member businesses, including in Grand Rapids. Specifically, each location requires an Amazon Fire tablet and a device that enables customers to simply scan their mugs to earn points (just like an iPhone user can scan her phone to pay with Apple Pay). Not only would these funds help with cash flow as we grow but they would also help us continue to learn as we implement our solution. Thanks for your support!

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About Mike Westcott

Hi! I’m a born-and-raised Michigander with a love for the outdoors and an interest in behavior change and conscious consumption. I did my undergrad work at U-M and it's great to be back in Ann Arbor! I love traveling, biking, dogs, cooking, and coffee. When we use a mug instead of a single-use cup, that choice can have a ripple effect in helping us live more mindfully and make healthier choices in other areas of our lives, too. That's what really excites and motivates me as I build Wellwith!

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