Starbucks Coffee Co. is big on small changes that make a difference. You may be familiar with their initiatives to build Green stores and reduce waste through recycling; but they encourage customers to participate as well. Here are three Starbucks ideas they hope will encourage coffee drinkers to make the world a Greener place.
Turn a Starbucks Bag into a Free Cup of Coffee
If you buy ground Starbucks coffee by the bag, don’t get upset when you run out during a crucial fit of caffeine withdrawal. Simply grab that empty coffee bag and run to your local Starbucks. Returning your empty bag helps keep Starbucks waste out of your local landfill; and in exchange for your act of Green-ness, participating Starbucks outlets will give you a cup of coffee absolutely free.
You must redeem your bag for a cup of coffee within 30 days after the “Best Before” date printed on the bag.
Starbucks Coffee BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug)
Starbucks serves up a lot of coffee. That’s tons of paper cups; which means a whole lot of trees going down in the process. If you drink your coffee in the shop, they will serve it in a reusable glass mug; but if you get your brew to go, you probably carry it out in a convenient paper cup with a plastic lid. In an effort to get customers to see the Big Picture, Starbucks invites you to calculate the number of cups of coffee you drink per day. Then they ask you to take a pledge to reduce your waste by drinking your coffee from a reusable cup. The site keeps a running tally of how that one change is making a global difference.
To encourage this Green behavior, Starbucks offers a 10 cent discount when you bring in your own travel mug for a coffee fill up. That 10 cents may not seem like much, but think of it the way you think of your reusable grocery shopping bag. At best your grocer might give you a nickel for using your own bag; but you know you’re helping to reduce the plastic in public landfills. Starbucks will give you a dime instead of a convenient paper cup; but you get to help them save lots of trees, and that makes the effort worthwhile.
Starbucks Coffee Grounds for Your Garden
According to a National Gardening Association report, 2009 saw a 19% increase in home and community gardening over the previous year. Many home gardeners also go the natural route of composting organic materials into natural fertilizer instead of using chemically enhanced alternatives. According to Ecospree.com, coffee grounds heads the list of 75 Things You Can Compost, But Thought You Couldn’t.
Coffee grounds are easy to compost. You simply brew your coffee and throw the grounds into your compost heap. That system works well if you make your coffee at home; but what if you grab your cup of Joe on the way to work? That’s where Starbucks comes in. They instituted the Grounds for Your Garden program over a decade ago. All you need to do is ask and your local Starbucks will gladly hand over their used coffee grounds. Be sure to bring your own container, just in case they don’t have one available.