Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anatomy of a Starbucks Coffee Cup

Around 8:30am at the office.

Zzzzzz..... head dozing off early in the morning. The cup of coffee I took before leaving home is not kicking in my system.

Coffee... I need COFFEE!!!!

So, I head down the cafeteria and grabbed a cup of Starbucks coffee. After a few sips, WOO HOO!!! I'm feeling the caffeine flowing through my veins and now I'm refreshed and energized.

I then noticed something on the coffee sleeve. It said "Starbucks is committed to reducing our environmental impact through increased use of post-consumer recycled materials. Help us help the planet." Also written are the following:

60% post-consumer fiber sleeve
First-ever 10% post-consumer fiber cup

I then looked at the cup and I found the information about the recycled part. Also, the lid that they are using are recyclable. Below are the pictures that I took to show the details of the recycled/recyclable parts.

Starbucks coffee sleeve.
Fiber cup (10% post-consumer shown at the bottom)
A closer look of the cup
(apologies... blurred picture. I took this using my cell phone)
Lid of the cup

This is a good thing and I hope the other coffee cup makers and coffee shops will follow Starbucks lead on this.

I just found information regarding the Cup Recycling program at Starbucks by Global Green USA at There are lot of very interesting information written by Cindy Tickle. Please visit this link for the full article.

But if you really want to help the environment, a better choice is to use a reusable mug (similar to the pictures shown below) to drink your coffee, tea or other beverage of your choice. You will not produce any waste and you can reuse the mug everytime you want a refreshing drink... just don't forget to clean it after each use. :)

Reusable Mug
Reusable Mug available at the office

Monday, September 7, 2009

CNN Video: Recycling, Energy Efficiency

The CNN video below shows information about recycling, energy saving and innovation here in the U.S. and in the Philippines.

The 1st part of the video is about billboards. One billboard uses the sun to show that the sea level is rising. Then it shows how the Philippines is recycling billboards to bags. I was in the Philippines last June 2008 and I saw a lot of billboards along EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) and C-5 (Circumferential Road 5). The billboards are huge and there are several of them on different roads around Metro Manila. From what I heard, the billboards are changed frequently and with the Philippine presidential election coming in 2010, there will be more billboards to be put up.

The video also shows Terracycle. A few months ago, I wrote that Terracycle is recycling Caprisun pouches into bags and other products. You can view my previous post using this link.

The next parts of the video are about energy efficiency and innovations. It features T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, VA. where they recycle rain water and shows that their school building have solar panels and energy efficient roof and windows.

The Empire State Building's plan for energy consumption is also featured. The plan is to install energy efficient lighting, upgrade the windows and install new heating and cooling systems. These activities will provide around 38% reduction in energy consumption for the one of the most known building in the world.

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