Cool cup.

It’s only been a week since we began our little project, and already I’m learning how much I don’t know.

At Furman’s Parents’ Weekend Saturday, I fell in love.

With a cup.

Apparently, this eco-product snuck onto the market when I wasn’t looking. OK, honestly, how often did I check the green-ness of fountain drink cups? Ummm...never. Except to rant when I got a drink in a styrofoam cup.

Look at this little beauty. She’s perfect. She’s a lovely alternative to the PET cups of yesterday which, while recyclable, were energy hogs.

She’s made from corn. Grown in the United States.

And she’s compostable.

According to the manufacturer’s website, this little lovely is: “...made from PLA plastic derived from corn. PLA [polylactic acid] plastic is a compostable material that when placed in a commercial environment will naturally decompose back to organic elements. Unlike regular cold cups that are made using petroleum, PLA plastic products are made using US grown corn!”

Too good to be true?

In the interest of research, I purchased a fountain drink and brought home my newest eco-find. The company’s website states that the cup is compostable in a “commercial” environment, which is highly monitored and regulated. When I researched the PLA cups further, several sites mention that the cup will compost entirely in 45 days in a commercial composting facility.

But what if I don’t have a commercial composting facility? What if I bury it in our backyard compost pile?

So stay tuned. Today, October 8, 2009...my little lovely cup is getting a new home among the grass clippings and coffee grounds. I’ll let you know how long it takes before she becomes food for my heirloom plants.

(And, yes...that is a bit of Diet Coke in the bottom of the cup.)

tagged under: compost, corn cup, Diet Coke, environment, Furman, recycle, Growing Green, Growing one day at a time