Monday, December 05, 2005
A Cup Of Joe
I'd grown accustomed to waking early on Saturday and Sunday mornings, going for a run, and then heading to the neighborhood Dunkin' Donuts for a medium vanilla hazelnut coffee, black. It was an essential part of my pre-studio ritual and, as Jake Berthot told me in graduate school, "without ritual, [artmaking] is only prayer." The Dunkin' Donuts ritual, though, will have to be replaced with another: brewing coffee at home.
In my continuing quest to mitigate negative environmental impact - thus, my shift to an unusual brand of hunter-gatherer vegetarianism, "green" household products, renewable energy credits and organic foods - I am now forced to swear off the double D, not only because they don't offer shade-grown, organic coffee, but also because the chain refuses to adopt paper cups. Instead, Dunkin' Donuts insists on sticking with cups of the Styrofoam variety, serving 2.7 million of these non-biodegradable vessels a day.
Of course, it's best to avoid disposable cups altogether. Using ceramic or reusable plastic mugs is not only environmentally friendly, but potentially cheaper. Some chains, Starbucks included, offer discounts to customers who carry their own beverage container.
If you're shrugging and thinking, "Come on, this is more granola than using canvas sacks at the grocery store," keep the following statement from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in mind. "Even 500 years from now, the foam coffee cup you used this morning will be sitting in a landfill." That just ain't cool.
Photo credit: "Mobil Dunkin' Donuts," Oil on canvas, 2002, by Bruce Mitchell