April 29, 2010

Starbucks’ Naked To-Go Cup Hypocrisy.

On a recent Earth Day, Starbucks offered a free coffee to anyone who brought in their own mug.

Greenwashing alert: Did you know: Starbucks serves 99% to-go cups?

I didn’t.

Until Josh Onysko, founder of Pangea Organics, enlightened me to their daily mass-environmental-nonsensical-crimes, recently. He was rightfully going off about how ridiculous it was that they didn’t offer cups for-here. I claimed total ignorance.

Why? Because I haven’t been in one for years. I don’t patronize ’em in airports etc when I’m traveling, either.

I’ve boycotted Starbucks, in fact, since my college days in Boston, when $tarbuck$ swept through even Harvard Square (I went to Boston University, but waited tables in Cambridge) and cleared it of nearly every well-loved indie coffeeshop in a matter of years. With the help of Barnes & Noble (you know, the two team up frequently) the venerable bookstores also began going poof, and even the Harvard COOP was bought up.

But, over the years, I’ve opened up to loving Starbucks, a little, though I still only patronize great local indie coffeeshops (in Boulder, that’s easy—we’ve got one per block, downtown—at least). Starbucks, a few years back, pioneering the 10% recycled content paper to go cup, nearly single-handedly created a market for more eco-responsible to go cups (although all paper to go cups are still lined with plastic, making them neither compostable nor recyclable, and most still involve bleach, which kills our watershed and marine life). Then, Starbucks has been pushing (or, at least, marketing their push regarding) fair-trade coffee. Thing is, apparently, in Starbucks cafes you can’t buy their much-vaunted fair trade coffee to drink on the spot. You can only buy bags of it, or order it online. Still, it’s a step (though many now criticize fair-trade as a essential first step, but not enough to guarantee wages and quality, both. Those critiques push something called Direct Trade, which though wonderful-sounding doesn’t guarantee wages or eco-responsibility. Correct me if I’m wrong?).

My slow conversion to Starbucks’ ever-improving ways is summed up here: It’s Getting Harder to Hate Starbucks.

But then, last week or two, Starbucks marketed the hell out of some “green” initative involving “Bring in your permanent reusable coffee cup, and we’ll give you a free cup of coffee.” For one day. And, of course, word on the street is Starbucks often uses paper cups even if you bring your reusable coffee cup in—you know, so they can measure out the correct amount (then they toss ’em).

Earth Day? Try Greenwashing Day: Starbucks sells that “2.5 billion non-compostable, non-recyclable paper cups each year.”

Your ballsy hypocrisy makes me want to gag, Starbucks:

Join the movement. Bring a reusable travel mug and get a 10 cent discount on any Starbucks beverage, anytime.

One person can save trees, together we can save forests.

For the good of the planet, Starbucks is encouraging everyone to switch from paper cups to reusable travel mugs. One day in March thousands of New Yorkers made the switch. Join them now by taking a pledge to do the same.

Starbucks passion for reducing cup waste did not start with the Green Project. Since 1985, we have offered a discount to customers who bring in a reusable travel mug and will continue doing so. This is just one of the ways we are fulfilling our commitment to environmental stewardship while we work towards a long-term goal of 100% reusable or recyclable cups by 2015. To learn more, visit our Starbucks Shared Planet goals and progress.


Join the Facebook Page:

You know why Starbucks doesn’t have recycling bins in their stores? Because the 2.7 billion — yes, with a B — paper cups they serve each year are non-recyclable. Every venti mocha and grande latte goes directly from your mouth to landfill.

Starbucks has pledged to switch to 100% recyclable cups, but they say they just can’t get it done until 2015.

We say that’s a big, fat, lazy lie.

And way too long to wait. Eco-friendly hot cups, including compostable cups, exist TODAY.

In fact, Tully’s Coffee has been providing compostable cups to customers since 2007!

Starbucks should prove their dedication to environmental stewardship by switching to recyclable or compostable cups by the end of 2010.

You have a voice. If we all demand this change at the same time, Starbucks will have to listen.


If we make enough noise (twitter, facebook wall, emails) we can change the Starbucks Status Quo that is dumping billions of cups each year into our landfills.

In 2003, Playboy did an issue entitled the Women of Starbucks: Warning, Contents REALLY Hot that has nothing to do whatsoever with this article…except that this article is also about Starbucks, and without “Naked” Hypocrisy in the title and image, it would get the usual 100 clicks. 100 clicks ain’t gonna change anything about Starbucks’ behavior. 1,000 probably won’t, either. But 1,000 might inspire a few others to post their own blogs, which might add up to 10,000, which might inspire more and start an inspiration bonfire that might ignite Starbucks’ corporate conscience.

Like PETA (you know, the animal-defenders behind I’d Rather Be Naked Than Wear Fur campaigns and the like), we’re deciding more and more that you can’t effect change if no one pays attention.

Let’s inspire Starbucks to become eco-responsible, and offer for-here cups, and compostable/recyclable paper cups!

Via Youtube:

natashatsakos — April 23, 2010 — I really love Starbucks, but here’s something I’d like to change:

According to Wikipedia there are:
16,635 Starbucks stores in 49 countries
more than 800 in Japan
nearly 1,000 in Canada
11,068 in the United States

Estimating 300 customers per store a day
this means 4,990,500 cups are being dispensed every day.

Thats 1,821,532,500 paper cups a year.

If 50 customers a day in every store were to use reusable mugs,
it would save 150,000 disposable paper cups daily.
Or 1.7 million pounds of paper
3.7 million pounds of solid waste
and 150,000 trees a year.

If Starbucks decided to recycle in their stores,
it would be HUGE.

Enjoy the animation
use the bulletin board to petition
And spread the word


Ask your local Starbucks to recycle
Call Starbucks and ask them to recycle their paper & plastic
Bring a reusable mug
Share this video

A short animation by Natasha Tsakos
3D Animators: Okiemute Inweh & Sean Brissett Jr.

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