Earth Day and My Free Cup of Coffee From Starbucks

Today is Earth Day – A day set aside for all of us to pay attention to our Mother Earth and to think of ways to stop trashing her the way we do. The dark side of me asks…  Are we really doing that?

It seems as though most folks are happy to say that this is an important day, a positive social-environmental event.. is it?

I’m sitting at my desk this morning, and I’m drinking a free mug full of coffee that I got from Starbucks. (Yes I said FREE).. As Starbucks has a promotion running that they will fill up your reusable coffee mug if you bring it in. Nice right? Sure, they are participating today by encouraging people to use their own eco-friendly resources.

Let’s take a moment to think about just this aspect.. Eco-friendly; resources that are sustainable, made from recycled products, ones that don’t inflict less harm on the environment (yes we’re talking about saving Mother Earth here). Yeah, I’m happy that a company like Starbucks is doing something good. I would agree that by doing so, they are cutting back on the number of  cups that get thrown away. Fantastic.

But really, all of this just makes me think about what other companies could do, and moreover, what our government is NOT doing. Here’s just one example of one company that is making an effort to do something, and  yet as a whole, our country is the last in line on the eco-friendly train. Why is that? Why are we as an industrialized and “advanced” nation the last ones to make a serious effort to get with the program? Why?

Well, all it takes is to look at what drives us – Money. BIG corporate could care less what happens to the environment, or any other result of their doing business other than the bottom line, and their returns. They care more about what the stockholders think and react to than any other factor. All they care is how much money they can NOT pay in taxes, and their profit levels.

There was a PR push years ago that most big companies started using, and they called this “corporate responsibility” and a few other terms. Its all bullshit really, as most are just reading from the same playbook, just saying whatever will appease the masses. Regardless of their efforts (which for the most part is a weak recycling program), most are still using the same eco-unfriendly resources that they used to. Trucks and diesel fuel. Think about that for a moment.

I saw a TV show last night while I was at the gym, and its all about how the world is going to change dramatically as our main fuel source (OIL) is running out.  I’m not surprised to hear that the good ol USA is the least progressive when it comes to enacting real legislation on becoming efficient. More importantly, our whole system of growth and use of fossil fuels is going to fail dramatically, and soon!

While we lead the world in so many things, we’re far from making any serious changes in our overall “system” of life and lifestyles that would enable us to continue forward. We’re in last place people!

Europeans have been DEMANDING that their countries move away from fossil fuels for years, and have also DEMANDED that their local resources become sustainable and based on renewable energy sources. From that, their governments responded by investing heavily in Solar, Wind, and Biodiesel. HOW ABOUT THAT? Biodiesel was on a serious growth pattern until BIG Oil’s PR campaign derailed that. What a sham(e).

ISN’T IT ABOUT TIME WE DEMANDED SERIOUS ACTION (NO MORE DEBATES) ON SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY?

I think so… Time we told our respresentatives in Washington, DC that we don’t care about making the wealthiest people that much more wealthy. We no longer care about who’s party is an elephant or a donkey, we just want real resources put to our benefit.

We want to ensure our futures and the health and prosperity of our children and future generations too. I don’t want my kids growing up in a trash dump, nor do I want them to become educated and not be able to find a job, or have problems getting to a job because they can’t afford the cost of fuel.

Sweden has pledged to become free of petroleum by 2020. They are going to get there because their people DEMANDED it. They want clean air, safe drinking water, and efficient means of travel.Now I’m no genius here, but this makes alot of sense.

I know I just dumped alot of food for thought on your plate… But chew on this for a while and do something about it.

Whatever you do, just do something! Everything we do counts and means something good.

Be well, and Happy Earth Day 2011.

By Louis Wing

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