Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Slightly OT: Issuing a Challenge to Starbucks

I don't often use this blog to talk about non-tech stuff, but this particular issue deals with a company that is close to just about any techie's heart: Starbucks. So please forgive a little non-topical literary license to bring up an issue that is important to me.

Now, I can't live without my Triple Grande White Chocolate Mocha every day. Yes, I understand it is a $4 a day habit. Yes i know they're a legal drug dealer. It's better than smoking. Between that White Mocha and my Venti ice water every day, I am personally responsible for a lot of paper and plastic being consumed on a monthly basis. If you think of all the Starbucks that are out there, and how many drinks are ordered every day... that's a lot of cups.

So let me ask what seems like would be an obvious question: if Starbucks is supposedly so Earth-conscious, and uses recycled cups and cup-holders... why is it not recycling in its own stores? I always bring my cups home so that I can dump them in the recycle bin here... but think of the impact on the planet if every Starbucks put out a separate bin for paper cups, and a separate bin for plastic cups, and did a marketing push in the store to educate people about recycling.

So how about it Starbucks... why aren't you enabling your customers to do more for the planet?



  • Adrian said:

    If you're going to drink it *in* the shop, then use an ordinary reusable coffee cup that they can wash like all sensible cafes do.

    For some reason the US is obsessed about drinking coffee out of badly made paper cups, then worries about how to recycle them, instead of using decent cups in the first place for thousands of cups of coffee.

    January 2, 2008 4:15 AM
  • Perhaps they are following their government's stance on love on the planet... someone elses problem.

    January 2, 2008 7:27 AM
  • Joe said:

    I agree with Adrian, if they really are concerned about the environment, they would encourage the use of reusable containers. Perhaps they could sell a reusable mug, and anyone using one would get a discount on their drink purchase (or charge extra for the disposable cups).

    January 2, 2008 10:15 AM
  • Shawn Oster said:

    You know, Starbucks sells a killer mug that looks exactly like a venti cup.  I have one that's become my default mug wherever I go.  It takes a little while to remember to wash it every night but everytime I forget I feel like a hypocrite so I've gotten pretty good at it.

    I think it's a much better idea to bring a mug rather than only take a half-measure by providing cup recycling.

    January 2, 2008 10:52 AM
  • Yeah, but the problem is, they only give you a $0.10 cent discount for using your own mug. So where is the incentive?

    Since not everyone brings their own mug, they really need to do both.

    January 2, 2008 11:12 AM
  • Marius said:

    $0.10 per use adds up.  Assuming one coffee per day like the post says, that's $36.50/year.  That's 9 of your coffees paid for, right there.

    January 2, 2008 2:56 PM
  • Ryan Walters said:

    I didn't think you could recycle the paper cups, because they have food residue in them. Are you sure they're OK to put in the recycling bin?

    January 3, 2008 3:02 AM
  • Bobby said:

    your concern to recycle or reuse is commendable however, like myself, many just don't give a crap about that type of stuff.  with the exception of some landfill concerns, the supply of paper is quite renewable as there are many fast growth forests + paper recycling available to make more paper cups.  I too have a starbucks/dunkin donuts habbit.  The smart thing would be to brew my own coffee in my own reusable mug.

    January 12, 2008 12:09 PM
  • Clavain said:

    I have to agree with Adrian.

    I just about live in starbucks, and whenever I can I use a normal mug, and let them wash it.

    Apart from saving the planet, I prefer a "normal" mug to a throw away one.


    January 15, 2008 4:41 PM