Borrow-A-Mug gets a Revamp

It happens to all of us: we’re on our way to class and realize we have just enough time to stop for a coffee. But we forgot our mug.  And then in hits you: BAM!

Borrow-A-Mug is there to help you out, conveniently located right on our way to the coffee-line. And this fall, BAM is getting a revamp, thanks to a new partnership with the Green Fund, Chartwells Canada and UNBC Ancillary Services.

“We wanted to have more consistent branding for the program, and get more people using the service,” said Angela Kehler, NUGSS 2014-2015 President, a longtime BAM volunteer, and the 2014-2015 BAM coordinator. Angela was the driving force behind the revamp, and managed to secure multiple sources of funding to get it going.

BAM started in January 2012 as an Action Group through the PG Public Interest Research Group (PGPIRG) as a way to reduce the amount of disposable cups that are used on campus by providing a sustainable, renewable alternative.

Historically, the clean cups are organized on a cart outside of Tim Hortons in the Winter Garden and outside of Degrees in the NUSC building. Dirty cups are returned, and every morning volunteers collect the cups to be cleaned.

Cups have been donated and decorated for years, but “not everyone digs the DIY look of them”, says Kehler. “We wanted to make this more mainstream. Plus, we have a lot of volunteers spending a lot of time making sure this program runs on campus,” she said.

With the funding, BAM has been able to purchase a set up uniform mugs for the service, as well as a new wall to display the mugs, to increase accessibility.

Deanna Rach, BAM co-creater, said this initiative is also a sort of succession plan for the service. “Finding a way to increase BAM’s visibility and usability, and building capacity so that it continues in the future was important to us,” Rach explained.

To help build the program’s capacity, BAM has developed a partnership with Chartwells and Ancillary Services, to help assist in washing the mugs – reducing the dependence on daily volunteers.

“There’s a push on campus towards Zero Waste, and this program is a tangible, visible way towards achieving this goal,” said Rach. “We’re excited to have Chartwells as a new partner, and appreciate their support of this student initiative.”