Starbucks should be ashamed

Starbucks plastic wasteI took this photo outside a local Starbucks. Why don’t they offer a recycling bin for just the plastic cups?

“Garbage and recycling bins, water filtration systems, shipping pallets, sheeting and automotive battery casings are just a few of the products that can be made out of recycled polypropylene.” (Source.)

Starbucks has said they are committed to the environment. But they are not committed to recycling – at least in my part of Colorado. C’mon, big guys – step up and do this – all over the USA, at least.

And here’s the beauty of feedback… I linked to this post on Facebook, and a friend reminded me of a great action in response to Starbucks’ failing. We can help them. Bring your own mug or cup!


China is better than you think

China gets a bad rap for how bad it is, environmentally. Their negative reputation is true in some cases – but not all.

A few weeks ago, I was in Hong Kong (admittedly the most western-leaning part of China… but still China). I saw this great sign on a container for plastic utensils. Starbucks was simply asking the potential user to consider going without – for the sake of the environment. I’ve never seen that in the States (in the case of plastic utensils).


Don’t go there

Yes, it’s true – I think Starbucks just made a mistake.

I get their weekly emails, and last week’s featured their new flavored coffees: “Natural Fusions“.

I’m showing my bias here – I don’t like flavored coffees to start with. (Those Frappuccinos and such – well, that’s a different matter. I like those. But they aren’t really coffee.) But my take is that those who like flavored coffee (or flavoured, if you are in the English-speaking part of the world) should add syrup to their freshly-brewed cup. Just like your neighborhood coffee bar would.


An espresso machine for everyone?


I had to take issue with my friends over at Starbucks.

You see, I have some friends in Africa who don’t have electricity. And the nearest coffee beans are a day away. (Not a good situation in which they should start drinking espresso.)

Yes, I know – there are espresso pots that can be cooked over an open fire. But when was the last time you saw that done?


Small change


Here’s a way you can help the environment in a small way… say no to a cup insulator sleeve the next time you get coffee-to-go.

You will:
– save that much addition to the landfill
– save the coffee shop the cost of the insulator
– save the transport costs for that insulator sleeve to the shop and to the landfill
– prevent trees from having to be chopped down

You say, “I don’t want to burn my hands!” Well, take a moment at the shop to let the coffee cool. You can’t drink it that hot, anyhow! Use the extra time to pray, to enjoy looking at the people in the line or to read the newspaper.

If everyone would do this, thing of the cumulative difference it would make!

Ironically, this sleeve says, “Do as little as possible.” I would add, “…to the environment.”


Starbucks VIA review


Starbucks has a new instant coffee called “Via“. (I mentioned that back on February 19.) So it took a while for the free samples to come. It took a while longer for me to try them. The perfect opportunity came when I spent a weekend with two buddies who aren’t coffee addicts like me.

Verdict? Amazing. It certainly has to be the best instant in the world. It comes in two flavors: Colombia and Italian Roast. I like Colombia best. (I prefer strong flavors, so I was surprised at my verdict.) It has none of that gritty instant-coffee-taste. There’s not quite the depth of flavor a fresh-brewed cup has, but considering that Starbucks squeezed that much taste in a tiny packet, I am fully impressed.

Each little single-serving packet costs about 83c. That’s a little bit much for my budget, so this will not be a regular part of my coffee-drinking experience.

In the package, there was a coupon for free shipping with any order from I thought that was pretty minor bonus, but then I stopped to consider that the samples were free… I was just being ungrateful.

If you can afford it and need that convenience during travel, get some! My only tip is to pour boiling water after you have put the powder in the cup. That will allow your coffee to all be used and will not allow steam to cake it at the lip of the package.

Disclaimer: via the Starbucks Twitter feed, “Starbucks VIA is available in Seattle, Chicago, London, and online (US only).” So your supermarket may not carry it yet!


Starbucks instant coffee?!



Yes, it’s called “Via”.

Of course I ordered the free sample, and Starbucks will get some free advertising when I blog about what it tastes like.

I think Starbucks is brave for trying such a thing (making an instant). It’s a bit like Ferrari coming out with an economy car.