If you have a coffee tumbler, Starbucks
The premium-java chain will be filling customer-provided reusable tumblers with free coffee all day tomorrow. It's one of the many chains providing April 15 freebies, presumably as a way to ease the tax-paying burden.
However, Starbucks is also positioning this treat as an eco-friendly move, since it means that fewer of its signature paper cups will get tossed out.
"While our cup has become an integral part of the coffeehouse experience over the years, it has also become an environmental concern," Ben Packard, Starbucks' vice president of Global Responsibility, is quoted as saying in a press release.
This is an odd tactic, because the company could have waited a week and run this promotion during the more appropriate Earth Day. Maybe Starbucks didn't want to draw too much attention to what it does the 364 other days of the year?
It's not that Starbucks doesn't care. It hopes to make its cups 100% reusable or recyclable in five years. However, when it brags about having served 26 million beverages last year in reusable cups and thereby sparing landfills of 1.2 million pounds of paper, what does it say for the undisclosed impact on the greater balance of its transactions?
Starbucks wouldn't mind if we all waltzed in with personal tumblers. It would be less messy. it would score Starbucks a lot of eco points, and the company would be able to save on supplies.
However, if we're trained to bring in our own coffee containers, why go into a Starbucks at all? Isn't this the kind of psychology that would benefit Green Mountain's
Green Mountain, of course, is no environmental saint. Have you seem those disposable K-Cups? However, using a Keurig brewer would seem to be a more eco-friendly move than driving over to the local Starbucks and then walking out with a single-use venti cup.
OK, so no one is perfect. Disney
However, being green seems to be a major theme for java junkies.
Until any of these chains begin using locally sourced coffee beans -- yuck! -- who are they to appeal to middle-class hipsters and sipsters on eco-friendly grounds?
I'm sorry, Starbucks. I'm not one to look gift coffee in the mouth, but the sector's hypocrisy is getting old.
Walt Disney and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Walt Disney is a Inside Value recommendation. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a Rule Breakers choice. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't fancy himself much of a coffee drinker, even though he lives within walking distance of three Starbucks locations and has owned a Keurig machine for three years. He owns shares of Disney and is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.