Going (a lighter shade of) Green

They’re going green.

That’s the campaign, anyway. The cups and packaging container are now made of vegetable fiber instead of styrofoam and wax paper. They give a discount on drinks if you have a refillable cup.

But there’s problems.

The discount is only available if you buy their cup. Bring your own, you don’t get the discount. You have to pay extra for the biodegradeable packaging.

Once items are packed into a landfill, air can’t get to them – so a normally biodegradable paper bag may last nearly as long as a plastic eyesore. There are no recycling containers for the bottled water still sold here, or for the cardboard the pizza still comes in. The freaking laundromat has recycling bins – why can’t one of the largest employers in the region figure this out? Without those specific waste streams, the “biodegradeable” label may relieve your conscience, but it’s not helping the environment.

And let’s not add in the energy footprint of shipping the food here, the inevitable waste at the end of the day, or of maintaining this climate-controlled building.

Ultimately, the most “green” thing the customers could do would be to bring their own lunch from home.

You won’t hear advertising campaigns about that. Because businesses are interested in green. It’s just not environmentalism.