June 16, 2008, 9:37 am
Starbucks prides itself on how green it is. No negative externalities here — and it proudly advertises on its website its commitment to “Environmental Stewardship.”
I wonder, though, about its total effect on the environment.
On most mornings I stop by my own local coffee shop on the way to the office, park my car (Honda Civic or my wife’s Prius, being an environmental snob), and run in for a coffee.
On the route I drive by the local Starbucks and notice that — whether it’s 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. — there are at least 5 cars lined up at the drive-in window spewing forth exhaust fumes. Those fumes contribute heavily to pollution — I figure each car has to be there for at least 5 minutes of extra pollution.
I don’t care if the customers want to add to the price of their mocha lattes the value of the 5 minutes that they spend sitting in line; that’s their business. But I am bothered by the apparent hypocrisy of the company advertising green yet indirectly generating all the extra pollution.