Tuesday, April 8, 2008

My love/hate relationship with Starbucks.

My girlfriend and fellow Starbucks addict emailed me this article the other day: Starbucks Contradictions Irks Caffeine Addict. It's written by an NBC news corespondent who talks, tongue-in-cheek, about his addiction to Starbucks, how much money he spends there, how much waste he creates with his habit and and the irony of Starbucks' supposed commitment to the environment. All while wondering where he's going to come up with money for his kids to go to college. It's worth a read. "Not funny 'ha ha'." as Ellen would say, but funny in a "hey, yeah, that's true" sort of way. We got a giggle out of it and, even more so, out of the comments that the readers left. Over and over they flamed the guy for spending so much money on coffee and pedantically explained to him how he could save that money - and the environment - by not going to Starbucks and, instead, putting the money into an interest bearing college fund.

Ya think?

The man is a reporter, I think he's smart enough to figure this out. It's not like he works for Fox News. (ba-dum-bump...thank you, thank you everyone!!)

I think my comment to my friend was something like "Obviously there are a lot of people out there with nothing better to do than to make comments about others perceived stupidity... Now I'm going to go blog about this." hahahahahaha....

So here's where I make some confessions.
  1. I love Starbucks. Well not Starbucks in particular, but yummy, sinful coffee drinks in general. They make me happy, not to mention nicer, in the morning. It just so happens that Starbucks is, um, everywhere, and is therefore the easiest place for me to stop.
  2. I love it so much that I broke down and started going back even after I promised a friend I'd never go there again because of an idiotic and inconsiderate statement they put on one of their cups.
  3. I love it so much that I go even though I know they put mom and pop stores out of business.
  4. I don't bring my own mug because I go through the drive-through. And I don't get out of my car and go inside in order to use my mug because it's inconvenient. (GASP!)

I know it's socially and environmentally and morally wrong, but I just can't help it. My addiction is cyclical. I get a cup one morning and it's so yummy that "oh, well, I deserve it - I'll go again this morning" and that one cup turns into 3 or 4 cups per week. And then a scone starts joining the party every once in awhile until I start feeling bad because:

  1. I'm getting fat. Who needs to waste 2 or 3 hundred calories per day on a cup of coffee?
  2. The kids we are adopting from Ethiopia could probably eat for a whole day on that $3.
  3. Those cups just keep adding to the landfill.
So I make a promise (I don't know - to myself?) that I'll only stop at Starbucks one day each week. And that works...er....well it doesn't. Then I make the promise that I'll only stop if I go inside and bring my own mug. And that works...um...well you get the picture. Eventually I just have to go cold turkey and prevent myself from stopping there at all costs.
I was on week 4 of my no-Starbucks diet yesterday when I had to run into Target before work to pick something up. I happened to have my coffee mug in the car, so I brought it in with me and used it at the S'TargetBucks (Dude. I should totally copyright that!). It was easy and it felt good. So this time I really mean it! I will stop stopping at Starbucks all the time. If I do go once in a while, I will bring my own mug. And I'll even submit my idea to them for a way to use mugs even when going through the drive through. (Sorry, it's top secret.) (Yes, I'm kidding, it's just too long to get into.)

And, finally, the whole reason I remembered to write this post was because of this cutest Starbucks-waste-cutting idea I saw this morning on the Etsy shop Jacqueline Knits:

The coffee cup sleeve! I think it kinda almost makes up for the fact that you're carrying a paper coffee cup instead of your own mug.


Jessica said...

Lol. A good read. I too am addicted to Starbucks, but we don't have one with a drive through and I've been keeping their venti plastic cups because they don't sell a reusable venti sized cup. But I'm with you. I can't give it up either.

Bad Human? said...

I'm fortunate I suppose in the fact that I don't really like coffee so I don't have Starbucks all that often.

I remember watching a show on the Fine Living Network where this dual income couple with two kids was trying to figure out how to afford a vacation home and I kid you not by cutting out their daily caffeine fix they were able to do it. I thought that was insane because like most people I never truly thought about how much it adds up even over the course of a month.

But a neat way to help you control the "addiction" is to purchase yourself a giftcard at Starbucks and then you are forcing yourself to budget how many cups will get in a any month. Once the card is used up you have to wait until the next month and since the cards can be reused you won't be going through a continuous supply of little plastic cards.