As I sipped my Starbucks coffee, I wondered how environmentally friendly the double-cup thing is. I loved those little corrugated cardboard cup insulator rings when they came out, because they provided the needed insulation for your hand when holding hot coffee in a paper cup, eliminating the need for Styrofoam™ cups which are oh-so-nasty for the environment. But sometimes they just give you two cups instead. Seems wasteful, and since white paper cups are produced by a bleaching process (which risks rivers and streams), maybe worse than Styrofoam. And then I saw it. The Starbucks quote:
The Way I see It # 289: So-called “global warming” is just a secret ploy by wacko tree-huggers to make America energy independent, clean our air and water, improve the fuel efficiency of our vehicles, kick-start 21st-century industries, and make our cities more livable. Don’t let them get away with it.” ~~Chip Giller, Founder of Grist.org, where environmentally minded people gather online.”
Ironic. A message about environmentalism on that double cup. I wondered if it was repeated on the second cup.. the one on the inside. Nope. That was #280, from John Moe, Radio Host and author of Conservatize Me (no URL). This environmental message was only on the outside cup; the one that represented an unnecessary waste and the one that tipped the whole situation onto the side of more-hazardous-than-styrofoam. Mere kismet, or serendipity?
What I noticed most was that URL for Grist.org. Very effective advertising, despite the ironic placement in this case. That URL so prominantly placed at the end of the quote, as if a call-to-action for the reader left wanting more clever environmental thinking yet already at the bottom of the Starbucks cup, with no more to read than a disclaimer distancing Starbucks the corporation from anything this particular environmentally friendly guy might have said on their cup. And not just a URL, but one helped along by Starbucks the corporation when they printed that little blurb “…Grist.org, where environmentally minded people gather online“. The message is clear. Starbucks is the place where environmentally friendly people gather, but Grist.org is where environmentally minded people gather online.
The URL was attractive, but the framing of that URL was a motivator.
Yes I did go to Grist.org. How could I not? I sit in Starbucks with my Starbucks coffee and my laptop computer and I write to warm up my mental processes, and here was an attractive cup-side advertisement with a powerful call-to-action and I just logged in to the t-mobile wifi network so… I simply had to go to grist.org. And I am glad I did. I now know something I never would have known, had I not followed the urging of the cup-side advertisement:
There’s more on grist.org. You can check it out yourself. If nothing else, it will give you something to talk about next time you are in Starbucks, gathering with your environmentally friendly friends and associates.