Archive for the ‘Dining Out’ Category

Day 86 – For Here Cup Please

"For Here Cup, Please"

You know the places: chain restaurant cafes and coffee shops that have a great deal of  “to-go” or “take away” business, but food that is specified “for here” is served with washable and reusable dishes.  A recent trip to such an establishment led to my order of hot cocoa being served in a disposable cup as a part of my “for here” order.  So, alright, I’m a nice person and did not chew the poor girl’s head off, but I did ask why.  She sheepishly admitted that she didn’t want to wash any extra dishes.

Let’s stop for a moment.  Analyze yourself.  Are you of the “no extra dishes” mindset?  If you are, we need to have a little talk.  That disposable cup is most often not recyclable and the cafes I frequent don’t have recycling facilities anyway.  That means that for your coffee, tea, or cocoa enjoyment lasting 20 minutes if you’re able to sit and really enjoy it has a price of a cup spending eternity in a landfill.  I really hope you have a problem with that.

You can do a couple of things to solve this issue.  My first choice is to say, “in a for-here cup please.”  The cute ceramic cups look so adorable and sometimes make me feel like I’m in a cafe on TV.  My second choice is to bring my own cup.  This is a great option if you are ordering a “to-go” or “take-away” drink, too.  Third, your option is to find a place more eco-friendly to frequent.  You may not have an option here, though.  The goal here is for me to teach you and for you to educate others and so on and so forth.  That is how we will activate the winds of change.

Starbucks and Panera have “for-here” cups.  If you know of other places, let me know.  If you bring your own cup to Starbucks, they will give you a 10-cent discount.

Day 5 – BYOC: Bring Your Own Cup

Iced Grande Nonfat Chai in My Own Cup

If we lived in a perfect world and could be perfectly green tomorrow, oh what a world it would be!  In the meantime, we have to focus on making little changes day by day to improve over time.  I have yet to find that perfect cafe or restaurant as far as green food sources, but as I come across interesting tips, I’ll share them with you.

Bring your own cup!  I admit it, I frequent my local Starbuck’s.  Rarely do I see people bring their own cup.  This is such a simple thing to do, plus it saves you money!  Every time you bring in your own cup, you get 10 cents off your order.  It’s as easy as making sure your cup is for hot or cold beverages (never get a hot drink in a cold beverage cup), bringing your cup to the counter, handing your cup to the barista or cashier (they’ll want you to remove the lid yourself and hang on to it), then they give you the discount.  If you’re not sure, just ask.  The baristas as Starbuck’s are trained to be really nice to you.

Other Starbuck’s tips:

If you forgot your cup, but you’re drinking your beverage there, ask for a “for here” cup.  Many Starbuck’s locations have them in all of their sizes now.  The barista may need to reach up high on a shelf or get a small step-ladder out to reach into an upper cabinet, but that’s OK!  Sometimes you have to be steadfast while you’re going green.  Keep asking each time and they’ll learn to store them within reach.

Never use cash or credit – use a registered gift card.  Purchase a gift card for yourself and then register it online.  From that point on, only use that card.  If the balance is low, add money to the card first and then pay for your drink.  If someone gives you a Starbuck’s gift card, have the cashier transfer it to your registered card and only use the registered one.  (Yes, it is cool that they can do that as long as the value is over $5.00.)  Why?  Because this is how you get your perks at Starbuck’s.  If you buy over 30 drinks in one year, you become a gold member and get a coupon for a free drink of your choice in the mail for every 15 drinks you purchase after that.

Finally, while you currently need to be a registered card holder to get Wi-Fi at Starbuck’s, as of July 1st, 2010, it will be free for everyone.

To find out more, go to http://www.starbucks.com/.