I go to Starbucks almost every week. Not because I particularly love their products or their brand, but because it’s a nice shop in a central location where I can get comfortable and enjoy time with my friends who come and knit with me on Sunday mornings.
I almost always (except those darn forgetful days) bring my own cup and order a tall shaken green iced tea, my favorite drink (unless you count the green tea frappucino, a delightful indulgence). And while sipping my tea, sans disposable straw, I always look around and see that everyone else in the shop is drinking from a disposable cup.
The question is: Why? Why don’t the baristas ask, “For here or to go?” like many other restaurants? Why aren’t in-store customers given nice ceramic mugs or glass cups to drink from? Why do we have to bring our own cups if we are going to stay in the store and want to avoid disposables?
In this day and age, this shouldn’t even be an issue. I have thought of it for a while now, but after seeing this post at My Plastic-Free Life and this one at EcoYogini, I realized it was time to stop thinking about it and start doing something.
My first step was writing a letter to Starbucks about their disposable cups. Why, I asked, aren’t in-store customers offered reusable cups? Why are disposable cups the default? I was pleasantly surprised to find this response a day later:
Thank you for letting us know about the waste in the store. Hearing feedback straight from our customers is invaluable. I will be forwarding your comments on to the appropriate department here, as well as the management of the store to make sure that the appropriate actions are taken to address this issue.
Thanks again for letting us know and giving us the opportunity to improve something in our stores.
Then I got on Twitter and wrote them again, encouraging them to please offer reusable cups to all in-store customers. And that’s when it occurred to me: F L A S H M O B. I think it can be intimidating for people to see a link to a customer service contact page and think about how to compose a letter to a company. And then it just doesn’t get done. BUT – it sure is easy to drop in to a Facebook fan page or Twitter page and leave a quick note. Something like, “Hey, please offer your in-store customers reusable cups instead of defaulting to disposables!” See. Super easy, right?
So please join me this week and let’s flash mob Starbucks! Drop a quick note to them on Twitter (hashtag #starbuckslesswaste) and on Facebook and tell them what you’d like to see. (For you Canadians, the FB page is Starbucks Canada and the Twitter page is @StarbucksCanada.) Be kind and respectful and supportive and show them that their commitment to greener business practices will bring in a whole slew of loyal customers who want to see businesses take waste reduction seriously.
Ready, set, GO!