Green Washing Your Coffee

Feeling good about your Ethos water from Starbucks? Feeling good about the water it provides to poor African companies? How about the green propaganda Starbucks puts around its stores? Good stuff right?

Now how do you feel about Starbucks company policy that mandates employees to waste an estimated six million gallons of water a day? That’s enough to fill an olympic size swimming pool every 83 minutes or provide all of the drinking water needed for the 2 million person population of drought-stricken Namibia.

Odds are good that you’ve seen the running tap where all of the tools of the trade are cleaned while the baristas make your favorite beverage. I’ve seen them. I assumed it was recirculated water. It made no sense that I could be surrounded by so much “green” marketing and have the water running all the time. I was wrong. Employees are not permitted to turn off the faucet. It’s mandated that in Starbucks 10,000 locations world wide these faucets are running constantly during business hours.

Now, let’s talk for a moment about green washing. This is the practice of marketing your product in a manner that will attract socially and environmentally responsible customers to use your product in their effort to make a difference, when in reality, your company is neither socially responsible or sustainable. Think Exxon’s commercials talking about their commitment to the environment and think of Starbucks commitment to Ethos water and providing drinking water for African nations and their commitment to caring for their coffee growers. It’s all bull shit.

That’s right, I threw the BS flag. This marketing infuriates me. There’s barely a shred of truth to it. What little good a company does is glaringly outdone by the amount of damage they do to the environment and the world and we are fed some crap about how responsible they are.

Give me a bright green baseball bat and one swing for each of the 5,500 children who the World Health Organization estimated die every DAY from lack of access to clean drinking water and I’ll fix Howard Schultz and his load of green washing cronies at Starbucks for good.

Deep Breath. Now, A solution.

King five reported last Friday on a nearly totally green coffee shop in Seattle. Check out their report here and stop going to Starbucks for God’s and the children’s sake.