Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Hey, Starbucks, Take the Lead, Please!

Starbucks declares that it shares my concerns about the environment and strives to be a good steward. I have no reason to doubt the company's sincerity even if it may be profit motivated; after all, climate change affects terrain and growing conditions in coffee-bean producing places so Starbucks' bottom-line could be affected, but doesn't our commitment to every cause begin in healthy self-interest? So I welcome Starbucks to an important cause: the earth and us on it. I also challenge Starbucks to lead by posting a sign reading,

Idling cars release polluting particles. Join us in good environmental stewardship. Select a parking place, turn off your engine, and come inside. Thank you.

Snapshot by Al Griffin: "Somewhere in Alabama," 2010
The line of idling cars waiting for service at Starbucks' drive-through windows may be tempting, but it isn’t good for us, the air we breathe, or the earth we hope our children and grandchildren will enjoy so together, let's take one small step for mankind: just commit. Pledge not to add a few seconds or minutes of pollution by avoiding drive-through lanes.

I am so committed to this small, easily taken step that I created a petition at www.change.org. Please visit the site and sign your name.

Your signature merely commits you to park your car and walk inside Starbucks and every other fast food place you visit. Here is the text of the petition:

Climate change is fact. A major cause is man-made carbon emissions, including those from personal and public automobiles. An idling engine emits as much pollution as a vehicle does when driven. Not being one of several cars in long lines at drive-through lanes is one positive act to help reduce carbon emissions. So please, commit to find a parking place and walk inside.

Perhaps with commitments from many people, i. e., with many signatures on this petition, we can ask businesses to join us by offering an incentive to those who shop inside. A reduction of 5% before taxes might add up to mere pennies for consumers (just 25 cents on a $5 tab), but such an incentive would prove the business's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, to live green, and to clean up the air we breathe. Together, we can make a difference so please stop your engines, especially during summer months when lines are longest.

Join my cause please, Starbucks and McDonald’s and Arby’s and Hardee’s and Burger King and frozen custard stands and all those other places where you can choose to pollute or get a bit of exercise. For my part, I’m parking and turning off the engine.