This Minnesota Rotary Club kept over 20,000 cups out of landfills—while raising money for good causes.

When thousands of Minnesotans gathered for weekly lakeside concerts in the town of Excelsior last summer, they were doing more than enjoying good music to support local causes.

They were also keeping single-use cups out of the landfill.

“Our goal is to raise money and give it away,” says Laura Hotvet, about the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club, which, as part of their mission, hosts the Excelsior Concerts in the Commons series every summer. In 2023, their concerts raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes.

But the Club’s goals go beyond just raising money. Another key tenet of the organization is to protect the environment, so when Laura heard about reusable r.Cups, she knew immediately they’d be perfect for their concert series, and she convinced the Club to make the switch from single-use cups to reusable r.Cups.

“r.Cup was extremely well received by our concert goers.”

Laura Hotvet, Excelsior Morning Rotary Club

“It went very, very smoothly.”

The concept of reusable cups was new to everyone involved with the concerts, so the r.World team was on hand before, during, and after each event to make things easy and clear—for both the Rotary volunteers and the guests.

“As people were handed their beverages the servers would say, ‘When you’re done, please put this into the r.Cup bin,’” Laura said. With r.Cup return stations set up strategically around the park, people understood exactly what to do—especially when they returned week after week for more concerts.

“The collection rate was astounding,” says Laura. Her team had hoped for 70 percent of cups to be returned. Instead they collected 96 percent—which Laura credits to their very receptive audience.

“The collection rate was astounding.”

Laura Hotvet, Excelsior Morning Rotary Club

People loved it.

“It was extremely well received by our concert goers,” says Laura. She’d walk the park during concerts to greet guests and collect their cups. “People would say, ‘Thank you so much for doing this. This is amazing. We’re so thankful your organization took this on.’”

By the end of eight weeks of concerts, the Excelsior Morning Rotary Club had diverted more than 20,000 single-use cups from ending up in landfills.

“I’m really proud of us.”

“Our venue is small compared to some of the stadiums where they are using the r.Cup program,” says Laura, “but our community was very excited about the opportunity to avoid the throwaway culture at our events.”

She adds: “The metrics about how we impacted the Earth are pretty incredible. Not just by diverting from the waste stream, but also all of the carbon emissions prevented, the water saved. Environmental sustainability is one of the core tenets of Rotary International, and by implementing the reusable cup program, we are doing our part.”

“I’m really proud of us,” says Laura. “We were on the forefront of bringing r.World to Minnesota. I’m pretty proud of us for doing that.”

A better future is in your hands.

Ready to eliminate waste at your event by switching to a reusable cup program?