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Starbucks Water Story Breaks

October 6, 2008

In a shocking turn of events, the environmental rhetoric of a giant corporation has been shown to not be wholly supported by its actions. Starbucks likes to nod to the growing water crisis in the world by selling “Ethos” water, but as it turns out, they’re unnecessarily wasting millions of gallons of water every day.

An investigation into Starbucks water usage by the UK Newspaper The Sun found that every store keeps a tap of fresh water running at all times in order to prevent germ buildup and for washing utensils and dishes. The Sun estimated that Starbucks wastes “enough daily water for the entire 2 million strong population of drought-hit Namibia in Africa or fill an Olympic pool every 83 minutes.”

The consumer is presented with a choice here: either be horrified whenever this or a similar story breaks and continue to assume that everything is fine so long as there is no sensational news, or to accept that the more responsibility one assigns to a corporation the bigger chance there is of this kind of massive waste. The environmental rhetoric of a company like Starbucks exists to make excuses for inherently unsustainable nature of its operation. Get a reusable mug, make your coffee at home. You still have to defer responsibility to Fair Trade or somebody like that, but nobody’s perfect. We’re certainly not going to stop drinking coffee.

ABC News: Starbucks Wasting More than 6 Million Gallons of Water Every Day

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 6, 2008 9:56 pm

    It’s taken them until now to figure this out?

    I wondered about this subject back in March and emailed Starbucks about it…


  1. Starbucks Caves on Water Wastage « Yale Sustainable Food Project

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