Time For Canadians to Boycott Tim Hortons

Time For Canadians to Boycott Tim Hortons

by Lloyd Alter, Toronto on 11. 5.08

tim hortons gravenhurst photo

Two weeks ago I stopped at the Timmys just south of Gravenhurst, shown above, and walked to the edge of their parking lot with the puppy. Two feet beyond the edge of their own parking lot was this view.

That is what Tim Horton’s is like. They sell 80% of the coffee in Canada and they really don’t care what happens two feet beyond the edge of their property. So what if this is the view from the parking lot in the middle of scenic Muskoka.

tim-horton-2.jpg
another view from the Gravenhurst Tim Horton parking lot

The City of Toronto has complained before that it is tired of cleaning it up; Councillor Gord Perks said last year:

The city of Toronto, both in households, in street cleaning and in our parks, is paying for the fact the province will not regulate packaging and will not make the manufacturers and producers of that waste pay the cost of cleaning it up – which means the property taxpayer has to pay for it (and) we have to spend precious dollars from our parks department.”

Timmy’s spokesperson responded that “Tim Hortons urges customers not to litter, has placed recycling bins outside its outlets, and is a sponsor of the city’s annual spring cleanup.”

Now they have gone to war with the City, which wants them to redesign their cup. The City complains that a cardboard cup with a plastic lid screws up the recycling process by contaminating the paper with plastic. The city also wants stores to offer a 20 cent discount for those who bring their own mugs.

Spokesman Nick Javor responded that the company will “absolutely not” redesign its cups to suit Toronto, said Javor, who says plastic lids are the only leak-proof products on the market.

On the other hand, StarbucksScryve Corporate Social Responsibility Rating is “currently engaged with city officials in “very productive meetings” aimed at making their cups recyclable.”

tim hortons corner photo
Did I say they didn’t care about two feet beyond?

Perhaps it’s time for us to tell Tim Horton’s what we think. Perhaps they should provide decent and adequate garbage handling and recycling at all of their stores. Perhaps they should try and cooperate with the City in dealing with their corporate detritus. Perhaps they should put a deposit on every paper cup so that the jerks who throw them onto the ground will be encouraged to bring them back.

Perhaps Canadians should buy their coffee somewhere else until they start taking responsibility for the garbage they generate.

Globe and Mail
and Toronto Star

More on Tim Horton’s Garbage
It’s Time for Deposits. On Everything.
Brewing Up Change at Your Coffee Chain
Green Suggestions for Coffee Shops
Make That Coffee Cup Porcelain, Not Paper
Toronto Considering Deposits On Everything

Plea to Medical Profession | Our Moral Obligation | Dr. Lise Van Susteren

Our Moral Obligation

I am a doctor. A psychiatrist. Over the years I have heard many troubling stories about the human condition. I have worked with individuals who were “on the ledge” emotionally. I have worked with people who fantasize about killing people, and some who have. I have listened to people recount being tortured, abused. I have evaluated the psychological states of foreign leaders who threaten world security. I have heard the details about children who have died at the hands of people who were out of their minds with drugs or illness. People have died in my arms, dropped dead at my feet.

Nothing has prepared me for what I am currently hearing: scientists all over the world warning us about the threat of catastrophic and irreversible climate change.

As a member of several organizations that involve professionals working in the field of mental health, I am stunned that this threat to the health of the planet and the public is so underplayed by these organizations and their members. An official from one leading organization expressed regrets that she was unable to attend a recent forum wrestling with the psychological and mental health aspects of climate change and noted, “no one on the staff is interested.” The person she anointed in her place cancelled.

One of the missions of these associations is to relieve human suffering. As practitioners we help people to face reality. We chip away at their denial knowing it can be a cover for behaviors that destroy their lives. When they see the world more clearly, we urge them to take charge – warning of the dangers of being passive.

Scientists every day are telling us that climate change is happening far faster than anyone had predicted and that the magnitude of the problem is unfathomable. “We have an emergency,” warns NASA scientist James Hansen. “People don’t know that. Continued ignorance and denial could make tragic consequences unavoidable.”

Why are the organizations and their members, those most skilled at exposing the danger of denial and destructive behaviors, so silent about this crisis? Are they in denial themselves? Surely the science isn’t disputed. Surely we don’t believe that destroying life on our planet is “not our problem.”

Our canon of ethics says we have a duty to protect the public health and to participate in activities that contribute to it.

Where, then, are the journal articles, the committee reports, the mission statements, action plans, letters to the editor, presentations, etc that attest to the gravity of what we are hearing? Where are the recommendations that show how to break through denial and get people to change – quickly? Are we not the very organizations to seize upon warnings and confront the world before it is too late?

We see through resistance, excuses, faulty reasoning. We “get” urgency, we “get” life-long consequences. We see the anger, anxiety and depression caused by the mistakes and shortcomings of a previous generation. We know about trauma from repeated exposure to horrifying events. We are trained, indeed we are ethically bound, to respond to emergencies.

What are we waiting for?

We are already seeing wildfires, floods, sea level rise, storms, droughts, risks to our national security, and a mass extinction.

Lethal global overheating – strike the innocuous sounding “global warming” – is not something that may happen in the next century or even mid-century – it is happening now.

All of us, urgently and collectively, have a duty to warn our patients, co-workers, families, neighbors, friends. We have a duty to act – within our professional organizations, in our communities, offices and homes. Climate scientists are desperately trying to tell us to reduce our carbon emissions – to stop building new coal plants, to switch to clean renewable energy, to embrace energy efficiency – to “pay any price, bear any burden.”

Mental health professionals vigorously endorse requirements to report cases of child abuse. It is a legal obligation, but it is also a moral one.

Is it any less compelling a moral obligation, in the name of all children now and in the future, to report that we are on track to hand over a planet that may be destroyed for generations to come?

I respectfully request that we, as mental health professionals, make a unified stand in support of actions to reduce the threat of catastrophic climate change.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lise-van-susteren/our-moral-obligation_b_187751.html

The Declaration of Cumaná, Venezuela | This is a Brilliant Read Based on How We are Currently Functioning as a Society

The Declaration of Cumaná

April 23rd 2009, by ALBA Member Countries

ALBA

Cumaná, Venezuela

We, the Heads of State and Government of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, member countries of ALBA, consider that the Draft Declaration of the 5th Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:

- The Declaration does not provide answers to the Global Economic Crisis, even though this crisis constitutes the greatest challenge faced by humanity in the last decades and is the most serious threat of the current times to the welfare of our peoples.

- The Declaration unfairly excludes Cuba, without mentioning the consensus in the region condemning the blockade and isolation to which the people and the government of Cuba have incessantly been exposed in a criminal manner.

For this reason, we, the member countries of ALBA believe that there is no consensus for the adoption of this draft declaration because of the reasons above stated, and accordingly, we propose to hold a thorough debate on the following topics:

1. Capitalism is leading humanity and the planet to extinction. What we are experiencing is a global economic crisis of a systemic and structural nature, not another cyclic crisis. Those who think that with a taxpayer money injection and some regulatory measures this crisis will end are wrong. The financial system is in crisis because it trades bonds with six times the real value of the assets and services produced and rendered in the world, this is not a “system regulation failure”, but a integrating part of the capitalist system that speculates with all assets and values with a view to obtain the maximum profit possible. Until now, the economic crisis has generated over 100 million additional hungry persons and has slashed over 50 million jobs, and these figures show an upward trend.

2. Capitalism has caused the environmental crisis, by submitting the necessary conditions for life in the planet, to the predominance of market and profit. Each year we consume one third more of what the planet is able to regenerate. With this squandering binge of the capitalist system, we are going to need two planets Earth by the year 2030.

3. The global economic crisis, climate change, the food crisis and the energy crisis are the result of the decay of capitalism, which threatens to end life and the planet. To avert this outcome, it is necessary to develop and model an alternative to the capitalist system. A system based on:

- solidarity and complementarity, not competition;
- a system in harmony with our mother earth and not plundering of human resources;
- a system of cultural diversity and not cultural destruction and imposition of cultural values and lifestyles alien to the realities of our countries;
- a system of peace based on social justice and not on imperialist policies and wars;
- in summary, a system that recovers the human condition of our societies and peoples and does not reduce them to mere consumers or merchandise.

4. As a concrete expression of the new reality of the continent, we, Caribbean and Latin American countries, have commenced to build our own institutionalization, an institutionalization that is based on a common history dating back to our independence revolution and constitutes a concrete tool for deepening the social, economic and cultural transformation processes that will consolidate our full sovereignty. ALBA-TCP, Petrocaribe or UNASUR, mentioning merely the most recently created, are solidarity-based mechanisms of unity created in the midst of such transformations with the obvious intention of boosting the efforts of our peoples to attain their own freedom. To face the serious effects of the global economic crisis, we, the ALBA-TCP countries, have adopted innovative and transforming measures that seek real alternatives to the inadequate international economic order, not to boost their failed institutions. Thus, we have implemented a Regional Clearance Unitary System, the SUCRE, which includes a Common Unit of Account, a Clearance Chamber and a Single Reserve System. Similarly, we have encouraged the constitution of grand-national companies to satisfy the essential needs of our peoples and establish fair and complementary trade mechanisms that leave behind the absurd logic of unbridled competition.

5. We question the G20 for having tripled the resources of the International Monetary Fund when the real need is to establish a new world economic order that includes the full transformation of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, entities that have contributed to this global economic crisis with their neoliberal policies.

6. The solutions to the global economic crisis and the definition of a new international financial scheme should be adopted with the participation of the 192 countries that will meet in the United Nations Conference on the International Financial Crisis to be held on June 1-3 to propose the creation of a new international economic order.

7. As for climate change, developed countries are in an environmental debt to the world because they are responsible for 70% of historical carbon emissions into the atmosphere since 1750. Developed countries should pay off their debt to humankind and the planet; they should provide significant resources to a fund so that developing countries can embark upon a growth model which does not repeat the serious impacts of the capitalist industrialization.

8. Solutions to the energy, food and climate change crises should be comprehensive and interdependent. We cannot solve a problem by creating new ones in fundamental areas for life. For instance, the widespread use of agricultural fuels has an adverse effect on food prices and the use of essential resources, such as water, land and forests.

9. We condemn the discrimination against migrants in any of its forms. Migration is a human right, not a crime. Therefore, we request the United States government an urgent reform of its migration policies in order to stop deportations and massive raids and allow for reunion of families. We further demand the removal of the wall that separates and divides us, instead of uniting us. In this regard, we petition for the abrogation of the Law of Cuban Adjustment and removal of the discriminatory, selective Dry Feet, Wet Feet policy that has claimed human losses. Bankers who stole the money and resources from our countries are the true responsible, not migrant workers. Human rights should come first, particularly human rights of the underprivileged, downtrodden sectors in our society, that is, migrants without identity papers. Free movement of people and human rights for everybody, regardless of their migration status, are a must for integration. Brain drain is a way of plundering skilled human resources exercised by rich countries.

10. Basic education, health, water, energy and telecommunications services should be declared human rights and cannot be subject to private deal or marketed by the World Trade Organization. These services are and should be essentially public utilities of universal access.

11. We wish a world where all, big and small, countries have the same rights and where there is no empire. We advocate non-intervention. There is the need to strengthen, as the only legitimate means for discussion and assessment of bilateral and multilateral agendas in the hemisphere, the foundations for mutual respect between states and governments, based on the principle of non-interference of a state in the internal affairs of another state, and inviolability of sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples. We request the new Government of the United States, the arrival of which has given rise to some expectations in the hemisphere and the world, to finish the longstanding and dire tradition of interventionism and aggression that has characterized the actions of the US governments throughout history, and particularly intensified during the Administration of President George W. Bush. By the same token, we request the new Government of the United States to abandon interventionist practices, such as cover-up operations, parallel diplomacy, media wars aimed at disturbing states and governments, and funding of destabilizing groups. Building on a world where varied economic, political, social and cultural approaches are acknowledged and respected is of the essence.

12. With regard to the US blockade against Cuba and the exclusion of the latter from the Summit of the Americas, we, the member states of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America, reassert the Declaration adopted by all Latin American and Caribbean countries last December 16, 2008, on the need to end the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America on Cuba, including the implementation of the so-called Helms-Burton Act. The declaration sets forth in its fundamental paragraphs the following:

“CONSIDERING the resolutions approved by the United Nations General Assembly on the need to finish the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba, and the statements on such blockade, which have been approved in numerous international meetings.

“WE AFFIRM that the application of unilateral, coercive measures affecting the wellbeing of peoples and hindering integration processes is unacceptable when defending free exchange and the transparent practice of international trade.

“WE STRONGLY REPEL the enforcement of laws and measures contrary to International Law, such as the Helms-Burton Act, and we urge the Government of the United States of America to finish such enforcement.

“WE REQUEST the Government of the United States of America to comply with the provisions set forth in 17 successive resolutions approved by the United Nations General Assembly and put an end to the economic, trade and financial blockade on Cuba.”

Additionally, we consider that the attempts at imposing the isolation of Cuba have failed, as nowadays Cuba forms an integral part of the Latin American and Caribbean region; it is a member of the Rio Group and other hemispheric organizations and mechanisms, which develops a policy of cooperation, in solidarity with the countries in the hemisphere; which promotes full integration of Latin American and Caribbean peoples. Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to justify its exclusion from the mechanism of the Summit of the Americas.

13. Developed countries have spent at least USD 8 billion to rescue a collapsing financial structure. They are the same that fail to allocate the small sums of money to attain the Millennium Goals or 0.7% of the GDP for the Official Development Assistance. Never before the hypocrisy of the wording of rich countries had been so apparent. Cooperation should be established without conditions and fit in the agendas of recipient countries by making arrangements easier; providing access to the resources, and prioritizing social inclusion issues.

14. The legitimate struggle against drug trafficking and organized crime, and any other form of the so-called “new threats” must not be used as an excuse to undertake actions of interference and intervention against our countries.

15. We are firmly convinced that the change, where everybody repose hope, can come only from organization, mobilization and unity of our peoples.

As the Liberator wisely said:

Unity of our peoples is not a mere illusion of men, but an inexorable decree of destiny. — Simón Bolívar

Published in: http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/analysis/4390

Tim Hortons Refuses to be Environmentally Responsible … As Per Usual

tims-collection1
PACKAGING

Tim Hortons gets a reprieve on new waste rules

Coffee chain and fast-food outlets reach a compromise with the city, but grocery retailers and bottled-water makers are not included

JENNIFER LEWINGTON AND JEFF GRAY

Bert Marotte

November 13, 2008

Tim Hortons and other fast-food outlets yesterday won a five-month reprieve – but grocery retailers and bottled-water makers did not – from tough city proposals to reduce consumer packaging waste.

In a compromise struck during a 10-hour debate, the public works committee unanimously agreed to more talks with Tim Hortons and its competitors – but only until April, 2009 – to find a recycling solution for disposable coffee and hot-drink cups that now go to landfill.

“This allows industry and leaders like Tim Hortons to sit down with the city on how we are actually going to reduce the volume of garbage going into our garbage dumps,” said committee chairman Glenn De Baeremaeker (Ward 38 Scarborough Centre.) “How do we get 365 million coffee cups out of the garbage stream and into the recycling stream?”

But by a vote of 4-2, the committee rebuffed moves to delay other proposals in a report by the city’s solid-waste department, including a 10-cent discount for consumers who avoid using a plastic bag at the checkout counter. The committee also held to a proposed ban on bottled water at civic centres, effective immediately, and at city facilities in three years.

After the vote, which heads to council for debate in early December, a spokeswoman for grocery retailers expressed dismay they had won no relief.

“I hope saner minds will prevail,” said Kim McKinnon, Ontario vice-president of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors. “What they’ve done here is cause a huge economic burden on the grocery retailers … consumers will feel the multimillion-dollar impact.”

Nick Javor, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for Tim Hortons, expressed relief at the committee vote, but did not commit to specific actions.

“We have to go back and do more work,” he said.

The original staff report – which at the insistence of Mayor David Miller avoided calls for new taxes – won praise from environmentalists and universal opposition from industry. The report called on the fast-food industry to develop reusable take-out containers by 2010, and also switch to all-recyclable disposable take-out containers by the end of next year. (The city will start accepting polystyrene foam and plastic bags in blue bins in December.)

The plastics and food-industry groups repeated warnings yesterday that the city plan would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to business, and ultimately to consumers. City officials maintain the financial impact would be small. Industry groups also warned of possible legal action.

Stephanie Jones, the Ontario vice-president of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said the 20-cent discount for customers who bring their own mugs was “punitive” and would leave the coffee shops – especially small mom-and-pop operations – out-of-pocket.

“Where is the city’s research? I personally went to Costco, and if I buy a sleeve of 12-ounce paper cups and a package of lids, I pay just over 10 cents [per cup],” she said.

According to a report by city bureaucrats, hot-drink cups with a sleeve and a plastic lid range in cost from 13 cents to 27 cents. Tim Hortons already offers a bring-your-own-mug discount, but only 10 cents.

The city says Tim Hortons’ current coffees cups are unrecyclable because the plastic lids contaminate the paper recycling stream. The coffee giant refused yesterday to help pay for the estimated $3-million in new sorting equipment needed to process the cups.

Mr. Javor said Tim Hortons would support the city if it approached the province to seek funding for the new equipment. Yesterday’s compromise includes a recommendation that the city ask the province for the financial help.

As of yesterday, Mr. Javor’s name now appears in the city’s lobbyist registry. The Globe and Mail reported on Tuesday that, despite meeting with city councillors last week, Mr. Javor did not appear in the city’s on-line lobbyist registry that tracks contact with city officials.

Lobbyist registrar Linda Gehrke would not comment if she is still investigating any possible breach of the rules by Mr. Javor. A conviction for a first offence could mean a fine of up to $25,000, but Ms. Gehrke says she is taking a lenient approach as industry adjusts to the rules.

Saving the planet

Some recent moves by other jurisdictions:

PLASTIC/PAPER

SHOPPING BAGS

Seattle: A 20-cent-a-bag “green fee” on plastic and paper bags, set for Jan. 1, is on hold pending the outcome of a referendum later next year.

San Francisco: It was the first city in the U.S. to impose a ban on plastic shopping bags, followed by Oakland, Calif., and Portland, Ore.

Ireland: A tax on plastic grocery bags, the equivalent of 34 cents a bag, was imposed in 2002, prompting a 90-per-cent drop in use.

Vancouver: A ban is under consideration, after Metro Vancouver (22 area municipalities) decided to work to discourage use of disposable bags.

BOTTLED WATER

Seattle: A mayor’s executive order banned city departments from buying bottled water, effective this month.

Metro Vancouver: It launched a campaign in September to encourage tap water use over bottled water, with a goal to reduce consumption 20 per cent by 2010.

Charlottetown: It was the first city in the country to ban bottled water from municipal facilities, in 2007. In August, London, Ont., imposed a similar ban. Vancouver and Kitchener-Waterloo are considering bans.

FOOD AND BEVERAGES

Seattle: A ban on polystyrene foam takeout containers comes into effect Jan. 1.

San Francisco: Disposable takeout containers must be biodegradable or suitable for compost or recycling.

Turner Valley, Alta.: In April, became the first municipality in Canada to ban polystyrene in food packaging, such as foam cups.

Jennifer Lewington and

Bert Marotte

Moratorium

Dear Members of City Council,

Please direct staff to review the possibility of placing a moratorium on all new commercial drive-through operations. This would be one strategy towards designing our city for people not cars.

A city designed for people not cars would have multiple town centres linked by green spaces, walkways and/or bicycle paths.

Benefits of multiple town centres:

  • Increased opportunities to access services, products, employment and entertainment within our communities
  • The development of a strong, highly diversified local economy, which would increase job opportunities.
  • Natural development of support networks for the disabled, elderly, young children, new immigrants etc.
  • Physical activity becomes a part of our daily routine, thereby improving overall health, air quality and decreasing the stress placed on our health care system.
  • Increased safety, as there would be more eyes on our communities thereby decreasing the overall need for police officers
  • Stronger communities

Designing cities around cars not people is expensive!

The cost of non-renewable fuels will continue to rise. This will impact the cost of living and the cost of running our cities.

  • We place ourselves in jeopardy, when our city is not highly diversified or built on a local economy.
  • Road and bridge infrastructure are expensive to build and maintain
  • Educational programs which promote better health are expensive, as they receive funding from all levels of government. Incorporating healthier lifestyles into our daily routines would achieve greater success and be cost effective.
  • The future costs of dealing with the impacts of climate change should not be ignored

Hopefully, in the near future, you will also consider levelling the playing field to encourage the growth of a diverse local economy and placing a moratorium on the widening of our streets.

As councilors you have the opportunity to place a unique stamp on London vs. a global stamp. Dare to dream!

As councillors, you are entrusted to do what is right for the majority. Please redesign our city for people not cars.

Best wishes,

Teresa Rutten

Opinion – We have Failed.

We have failed. We have failed to imagine the cost of convenience. We have failed to imagine the cost to our environment, to our health, and to the health of our children. All of these were unintended consequences. So let’s imagine change. Let’s remember that we have done this before when we agreed that smoking didn’t belong in the workplace and that kids on bikes needed helmets. If we could imagine this discussion in the future we are facing – we would recognize that drive-thrus are already a thing of the past.

Trae Robinson

Annual tons of CO2 per person

Annual tons of CO2 per person

Check this out for reflection:

Annual tons of CO2 per person:

Ethiopia: .01

India: 1.1

China: 3.2

Sweden: 5.6

France: 6.2

UK: 9.4

Japan: 9.7

Germany: 9.8

CANADA: 17.9

USA: 19.8

It’s us, the one billion affluent people of the world whose footprints are crushing the planet.  Do we have the discipline to step more lightly?  We are losing respect of our international community.  The mass consumption of our society has created an epidemic of obesity, asthma, respiratory problems, etc.

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