Cream? Sugar? Reusable coffee cup?
I’ve been miffed more than once by the thoughtless way a barista (or baristo … is that the term for a male cafe worker?) hands over a double non-fat triple shot no whip mocha latte.
Not so much by her technique, but by her lack of questioning. Whatever happened to “Is this for here or to go?”
Because if it’s for here, why not take your brew in big cozy mug? You’ll be saving a cup and one of those cardboard hand-scalding protector thingys from the landfill. AND, often times the person behind the counter will warm up the mug with hot water and THEN put coffee in the cup.
But maybe that leisurely lifestyle doesn’t apply to you. There’s no time to sit and read in a coffee shop; your boss expects you at work pronto! Why not consider investing in a reusable mug? There are bazillions of sweet designs and you’ll be helping to save the world. PLUS, your mug will make you more distinctive, likely upping your coffee-drinker prestige to one of those special individuals addressed by the barista by name.
Intrigued? Here’s more info from a rockin’ website Sustainability is Sexy about “The Basic Problem with Coffee Cups.”
Yesterday, the Sierra Club released its “cool schools” ranking of the most eco-awesome colleges and universities in the country. Last year the University of Colorado at Boulder ranked #1. This year, #13.
CU wasn’t the only one on a roller coaster ride. According to a blog on the Chronicle of Higher Eductaion’s website:
Dickinson College went from 19th in 2009 to No. 2, and Stanford University zoomed up from 26th to 5th. Yale University went from 14th to 26th, and Emory University fell 10 notches to 42nd.
You might assume from such fluctuations that sustainability programs went haywire in the past year. But little changed, it seems, other than Sierra‘s ranking methodology. Energy issues were given more weight in this year’s survey, Sierra editors say, but that answer probably won’t satisfy the longtime critics of these green ratings.
And the new emphasis on energy sources are what hurt CU. Dave Newport, director of CU’s Environmental Center, told the Camera that the university is at the whims of Xcel Energy, which still relies heavily on coal.
The University of Colorado at Boulder just added a “sustainability certificate” for working folks in its continuing education department.
About 100 sustainability programs — minors, majors, certificates, etc. — have been added at schools across the country just in the last year.
The program fits into a larger trend as green areas of study are booming at colleges and universities nationwide. There are about 200 sustainability majors, minors and certificate programs across the United States — half of which emerged in the past year, said Paul Rowland, executive director of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
CU’s continuing education department is debuting the new “sustainability management certificate” in January to help professionals put a green edge on their existing expertise.
Program Director Geoffrey Rubinstein said he expects the program to attract employees of mom-and-pop shops, larger companies, local government, nonprofit agencies and schools.
“It will be valuable for individuals who want to focus on sustainability in their careers, but also for organizations that recognize the importance of sustainability to the health of the planet and their organizations’ bottom lines,” Rubinstein said.
The University of Colorado is the No. 1 “cool school,” according to Sierra Magazine’s “comprehensive guide to the most eco-enlightened U.S. colleges.”
The list, which came out today, noted the top 10 green schools, including some of the usual suspects: UC Berkeley, Middlebury College, Evergreen State College …
“This ranking is not a surprise, but it is a wonderful tribute to the hard work of our students, faculty, staff and administrators,” said Phil DiStefano, CU’s chancellor, in a news release. “Over the course of the last nearly six decades they have made sustainability a campus priority, and have done the hard work to make it a reality.”
But CU didn’t fare so well on Princeton Review’s list, which came out in late July. The school was no where to be found on the green honor roll, which listed the 15 schools that got top scores of 99. (Also including the usual suspects: UC Berkeley, Middlebury College, Evergreen State College … )
When the Princeton Review debuted its list last summer, CU scored an 88, and in response, school officials questioned the rating’s methodology.
But officials at CU are skeptical about the way the Princeton Review collects information for its rankings, saying the company relies too heavily on anecdotes.
CU’s Boulder campus has a long-standing commitment to sustainability, said Dave Newport, director of CU’s Environmental Center.
CU students in 1974 founded the nation’s first campus recycling program, and in 2000 the school became the first in the country to raise student fees to buy wind-energy credits for campus buildings. Chancellor Bud Peterson is also recognized as a carbon neutrality leader, sitting on a national steering committee.
“CU has been a climate and sustainability leader for nearly 40 years and is so far ahead of other schools I think we get taken for granted by some of these ad-hoc ratings systems,” Newport said.