Tag Archives: green

The Starbucks Reusable Cup is a Win-Win, Lesson in Marketing

At Starbucks, you can get a reusable, grande cup for just a buck. Yes, $1. It looks just like a grande cup with the signature lid and green writing, except it’s plastic. I dig these hand-held promo tools for a few reasons.

Since these reusable cups are hard plastic, they’re dishwasher safe. Keep it at home and you can enjoy sipping out of the signature lid in your underwear. Or, you can stay warm and hydrated during your afternoon walks by comfortably sipping hot herbal tea.

These green-lettered cups are figuratively green, too. Assuming you are drinking the same amount of coffee / tea, but using less paper and creating less waste, they’re green. One could correct me if I’m wrong about plastic’s greenness and energy used while running a dishwasher. But these cups make me feel green. And isn’t that what’s important?

Finally, there’s the cost savings. The first is obvious (and advertised). You get 10 cents off your cup when you bring your own. Yes, grandes are more expensive than a tall, but you could always ask for a tall in your plastic grande cup. The second (and my favorite) cost-savings is not advertised. Anyone who spends time at a Starbucks to get work done is either a student, entrepreneur, or interviewee. Read: penny pinching. A BYO grande cup filled with your own five cent bag of tea and some self-boiled hot water gets you a seat at the proverbial (and germy) Starbucks table.

Is Starbucks the big winner in it all? I am a walking advertisement every winter afternoon as I take Lucy for a walk and sip hot herbal tea. And I probably pay more for Starbucks now than I did in the past, despite enjoying BYO tea over half the time I’m there. Maybe. Probably. Yes, Starbucks wins.

But I like these cups a lot. And I really like the story I tell myself about being green, hydrated, fiscally prudent.

So the takeaway here? Get one of these reusable Starbucks cups. At the very least, take a less on fantastic marketing.

Do I really have to crank tonight?

Energy is abstract.  It powers lights, appliances, cars.  And even though we pay an electric bill, utilities bill and cash to the gas station, energy remains abstract.

That is, until we think about having to hand-crank a generator.

Thinking about energy like this is valuable.  No, lights aren’t powered by a guy cranking a generator anymore.  But the energy required to power the lights is the same or more.

Why not turn off some lights, especially in corporate office buildings.  So many of them stay on all night.

C’mon.  Let’s give the guy hand-cranking the generator a break.