Reduce, Reuse, Refreshments!

May 17, 2010
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What’s the first thing you think of when you hear Starbucks? Is it their wonderful coffee? Their delicious pastries? Well, what if that cup of coffee was saving the planet? Thats right, Starbucks Coffee Companies are taking every chance they get to help their planet.

Forty years ago, the first Starbucks was opened in Parks Place Market in Seattle. And just recently, they opened another Starbucks just a few blocks away from the original. But this new store isn’t like any other Starbucks, it is almost 100% green and energy efficient. From the paint on the wall to LED light bulbs, this store is just the beginning of green Starbucks stores around the country.

All companies are striving to make sustainability their number one priority. We’ve all heard the saying, “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle,” and Starbucks has used that motto, and other ways to help green their stores. One way this new Starbucks is doing that is by using recycled paper to make their paper products such as cups, cup sleeves, pastry bags, and napkins. To encourage their costumers to recycle as well, they have recycling bins in their stores.

Starbucks is also trying to reduce their water consumption so they are using sanitizing sinks referred to as a dipper wells. The dipper well meets the health department requirements while at the same time saving a huge amount of fresh water. Another way they are trying to reduce their use of fresh water is by using dual-flush and low-flow faucets.

Not only are they trying to reduce their water consumption, but their energy consumption as well, so they are using LED (light emitting diodes) and CFL (compact florescent light) bulbs to help do so. To reduce paper towel consumption, they are using hand dryers that are energy efficient. Starbucks also encourages their costumers to help reduce their waste consumptions, they are selling ceramic mugs and every time you use your ceramic mug, you get 10 cents off your purchase... just as a little reward.?

Now to reusing. When you first walk in, you are already stepping on one of many reused minerals they have incorporated in this store. The floor is made from recycled tile that they reused so it wasn’t wasted. On the walls, they reused coffee bags made from repurposed burlap for decoration. The cabinets are also made from wood that was repurposed off of fallen trees. Even the bar is made wood that was recycled from other buildings. And the leather on the bar strap is from reused leather from old shoes and automobile factories. Although Starbucks tries to preserve all that they can, not everything can be reused, but when they do use new minerals, they make sure they are environmentally friendly and as green as possible. So for the paint and finishes, they made sure they had little to no VOC (volatile organic compounds). Volatile organic compounds are compounds that have a high vapor pressure and low water solubility.

This is just the beginning of a new line of green echo-friendly Starbuck stores. If we all did what Starbucks is trying to do, our planet would be greener and healthier. We just need to follow three simple words; reduce, reuse, and recycle.

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