Local Governments and Businesses Team up for Clean Water and Coffee

a woman wearing a mask faces the camera and holds a cup of coffee with a Puget sound starts here coffee sleeve
A happy customer!

It’s mid-February, and in many ways 2021 feels like a distant dream from where we’re standing now. Nevertheless, we wanted to take a moment to travel back in time to September 2021, when we celebrated Puget Sound Starts Here Month across the Puget Sound region. Puget Sound Starts Here Month is an exciting time when local governments, community organizations and local businesses team up to raise awareness about the simple steps we can take in our daily lives to help protect water quality.

Examples of each of the 4 different coffee sleeve designs.

In September 2021, Olympia, Lacey and Tumwater teamed up with local businesses and used the Puget Sound Starts Here brand to promote actions for clean water and coffee. In total, over 30 local businesses distributed 42,650 coffee sleeves to customers! The sleeves featured messages highlighting 4 simple actions we can all take to protect local waterways and Puget Sound:

  1. Use a commercial car wash
  2. Practice natural yard care
  3. Report spills
  4. Pickup pet waste

The sleeves were designed by two local female artists, Paige Anderson and Heidi Zarghami. Each sleeve had a QR code linking customers to the Thurston County Stream Team website for more information. It was a hit for both businesses and their customers!

a close up of the backside of the coffee sleeve that says "only rain down the storm drain," with the Thurston County Stream Team and Puget Sound Starts Here logos, along with the campaign QR code.
The backside of the coffee sleeve.

Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters in Olympia was one business that participated in the awareness campaign: “We’d love to keep using these if you have more to hand out!…the feedback so far is great. Customers and staff alike really enjoy the sleeves and would love to see more programs or campaigns use the sleeve idea!” – Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters Operations Manager

Thurston County Stream Team saw an increase in website traffic when they compared the numbers for September across multiple years. In September 2019 and 2020 there were roughly 800 website visitors each year. In September 2021, during the awareness campaign, they counted 1,369 visitors to their website. That’s a 58% increase!

A blue coffee cup with a puget sound starts here coffee sleeves that says "protect waterways and wildlife" is placed on a table in front of two bags of batdorf & bronson coffee.

Partnerships like this one are vital in raising awareness about how everyday activities can make a difference for clean lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound. The participating businesses helped keep this important conversation top of mind for their customers with fun illustrations, Puget Sound Starts Here messages, and a QR code leading them to learn more about the issue.

To learn more about what you can do to help your local waterways visit PugetSoundStartsHere.org.

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