Filed under: Energy + Climate, Waste + Recycling | Tags: Conservation International, deforestation, Good magazine, Good Sheet, postconsumer waste, starbucks
As a full-time working mom of two toddlers who happens to also be getting a master’s degree, I am fueled by my daily coffee. Today, it was Starbucks. While waiting for the barista to announce, “Grande non-fat mocha for Liz,” my eyes scanned the counter and fell upon “Good Sheet.” This is a folded mini-newsprint communications piece that Starbucks started offering on a “take one” basis to its customers. “Good Sheet” is defined as “a series of graphical explorations of some of the major issues facing us this election season and beyond…[with a purpose to] help inform you and stimulate conversation as you head to the polls on November 4.”
“Surely green means good in Starbucks’ evaluation,” I thought to myself while picking it up, perusing. And, there on the back cover I spotted it — a blurb about coffee farmers and climate stabilization. As a member of the CEP project’s agriculture group, the blurb’s focus on deforestation was particularly intriguing to me. It said, “Nearly 20% of the world’s carbon emissions come from deforestation – more than all cars, trucks, plans and trains combined. So Starbucks is working with Conservation International and coffee farmers to protect tropical forests surrounding coffee farms. For every acre of tropical forests protected, we can help keep up to 100 tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere.”
Sweet! My caffeine addiction is contributing to climate protection! But…wait a minute…Starbucks is telling me this on a printed piece of paper? This message about doing good and opposing deforestation? Huh? On a piece of paper? Yes, it’s made of 45-50% postconsumer waste paper, but why paper at all? Shouldn’t the CSR “message” and “messenger” be in alignment? Or is sharing the message success, no matter the medium?
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