Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A few people can make a difference

OK, now that I've vented and feel a tad bit better, I'll post a happier story.

Last year, our coffee shop on campus started selling fair trade coffee in addition to the "regular" coffee. I try to limit my coffee-drinking, so I only occasionally indulge (plus there are other shops I frequent more often). The fair trade stuff costs more, so I got used to telling the cashier "fair trade" when she (usually she) asked what I had.

This morning I had just enough time to get coffee before my morning meeting. Armed with my cool travel mug (reusable!), I filled up with the fair trade stuff, went to the cashier, and automatically said "it's fair trade".

"Oh", she replied, "it's all fair trade now."

Wow. I hadn't even noticed.

Turns out that after the fair trade stuff was introduced, there was a huge demand for it. No one bought the "regular" stuff anymore. So they decided to go completely fair trade.

Ianqui has written quite a bit lately about her own attempts to reduce/reuse/recycle/live greener, and at one point (too lazy to look up the link, sorry!) (here's the correct link---thanks, Ianqui!) she talked about whether one person can make a difference. Well, here's proof that individuals, acting together spontaneously (for this was all individual decisions here) can make a difference. I am so proud of my campus!

Now, if I can only get my neighbors to stop throwing trash on my lawn....and stop using so many chemicals in their yards.....


Ianqui said...

What a great story! I find that really heartening.

(FYI: the relevant post was actually a controversial post at The Oil Drum, but I stick by it...)

Siel said...

Where is this lovely coffee shop? We're trying to make the same thing happen at USC in Los Angeles -- no easy task, as most of the coffee is from Starbucks --

Jane said...

Thanks, Ianqui! I'll fix the link so that it points to the right place.

Siel, I'd tell you where this is, but that would sort of ruin the whole anonymity thing. :) We weren't fighting the Starbucks factor though, so that might have made things easier---but I don't know, because we seem to have a pretty socially conscious student body here. Anyway, good luck in your quest!