There is no doubt that Starbucks is a major contributer to our landfills. Just look at any garbage can within close proximity to the ubiquitous mermaid logo and you'll find it full of their cups.

I was surprised when I brought my used Starbucks cup from the morning into the same location that same day. I just wanted to refill it with coffee but I was greeted with confusion and stares. "Are you sure you don't want a new cup? It's no problem for us, " mentioned one barista.

I was just trying to re-use, you know, one of those "Three R's" we were all taught in elementary? The manager even huffed that I should always mention the syrup before my order, because it's an extra charge. Since when did a company worth billions become so cheap?

After a five-minute explanation and an acting out via hands, I received my re-filled cup and left with just a little more piece of mind.

Yeah, I can be doing more to stop crap from entering garbage dumps, but it's a small addition to my recycling and public transit use.

But exactly how much waste does Starbucks spew?

In 2003, Starbucks emitted 295,000 tons of carbon into the atmosphere. However, Starbucks locations in the U.S. alone have doubled since then. The company has yet to release an up-to date report on their carbon footprint. Also, the company decided to ignore an additional 81,000 tons of carbon dioxide emitted when transporting coffee materials and disposing of solid waste, such as coffee grounds and cups.

But what about the revolutionary 10% post- consumer fiber cups of theirs- or the 60% recycled sleeves?

It's better than nothing. The motive behind these changes, implemented in 2006, are not what you may think. "We're facing environmental risks posed by climate change that could negatively affect many aspects of our company, including our ability to procure coffee," says Jim Hanna, environmental affairs manager at the Seattle Starbucks.

For this corporation, climate change equals less coffee being produced and unpredictable product. Also, as the bodies of water dry up, so will the supply used in the production of beans.

Keep in mind that the "eco friendly" sleeve saves Starbucks 1 million dollars in packaging costs per year, since their disposable cups would no longer need to be doubled up.

But no one is a stranger to the fact that the Starbucks company produces so much waste and is motivated solely by profit. It's just one of many. Edward Thurlow said it best circa 1800:

"Did you ever expect a corporation to have a conscience, when it has no soul to be damned and no body to be kicked?”

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