It's the Environment, Stupid.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Green Ads

Another reason I like getting the print edition of the NY Times (or looking through someone else's when they're finished with it) is the ads. Not the stacks of glossy booklets stuffed in the middle of the Sunday paper, but the ads that fatten up the individual sections of the papers - full page ads like the Starbucks ad on A27 (5/21/06).

The ad isn't flashy. It is just text and small logos on a pale green background. The larger green text reads: "It's a matter of degrees." Then smaller text continues: "It may seem a bit unusual for a coffee company to take out an ad about climate change, but frankly, it's a subject we all need to consider. The earth is getting warmer, and continued warming will affect the livelihoods of the farmers growing coffee and is already changing global weather patterns, agriculture, energy costs, and the environment. In the last 30 years, the earth has experinece twice as much drought; plants and animals are going extinct; and Greenland's ice sheets are melting at twice the normal rate, jeopardizing the world's coastlines. It may seem like three separate occurrences, but they are linked, each a consequence of climate change. Starbucks is committed to taking care of the world we live in, which is why we've teamed up with Global Green USA, the American affiliate of President Gorbachev's Green Cross International. We invite you to join us in taking action on this very critical issue."

On the lower half of the page is a spiral, compact florescent light bulb pointing to more text: "If everyone who received this newspaper today switched one lightbulb in their house to a compact flourescent light, it would be like eliminating the emissions of approximately 89,000 cars for one year. Find out what you can do at"

I know there's tons of people out there who love (read: hate) Starbucks as much as they love Wal-Mart, and I'm sure the ad doesn't tell the full story, but acknowledging climate change, and taking action by creating a new partnership with, surely can't be all that bad.

On the next page, A28 is a BP-Chase ad (this one is a little less than a full page, there are two articles surrounding it.) In the middle are travel-type icons one with a gas pump that says, "Here" announcing a 5% rebate at BP; one with a fork, knife, spoon and plate that says, "There" announcing a 2% rebate on travel and dining; and one with a shopping bag that says, "Everywhere" announcing a 1% rebate on everything else.

Below is an explanation next to a photo of the green card with a BP logo on it. "New card. Great rebates. Get cash or gas back. Now there's a credit card you can use here, there and everywhere. And you can earn cash or gas back every time you use it. It's the BP Visa Card from Chase. When you apply now and are approved, you can earn doube rebates for the first two months." Of course it goes on to tell you what number to call to apply and so on. (See this Tree Hugger post about green credit cards.) All I have to say about this one is - great timing. Who wouldn't want money back on gas? Or gas back from buying gas? And since the card is literally green, it makes you just feel good about having it in your wallet - right?


  • One of our good friends used to be a manager for Starbucks, and we of course teased him mercilessly. He isn't the type of guy to buy into corporate mumbo-jumbo, so I was surprised when he actually defended Starbucks on certain fronts.

    I still won't spend my money there, but I have to look into their policies a little more carefully. It sounds as if they have made strides in recent years to take better care of their bean growers and leave a lighter footprint on the environment.

    While they have a long way to go toward being green and sustainable, I have to give credit where credit is due.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 09:21  

  • Full disclosure - I have worked at Starbucks a barista. I also have friends that work at Starbucks.

    I am critical of the company (mainly for over expanding and attempting to take over the world, making the art of coffee less of an art and more of a mass produced good, and lessening their commitment to customer service.)

    But I do admire some of their efforts at getting into fair trade, and an increasing commitment to 'green', not to mention offering full benefits to part time employees and hiring from within.

    there has been a great starbucks discussion over at greenLA girl

    By Blogger Amy Marpman, at 10:51  

  • This is cool check it out

    By Blogger Unknown, at 11:02  

  • Have you heard that Green Cross International has a new chairman?? He is Polish Jan Kulczyk

    By Anonymous John, at 14:09  

Post a Comment

<< Home