Promoting, but not following, ‘GOOD’ policies

We get our morality from pamphlets.

By that we mean when we order our Grande, 2 pump Vanilla, Non-Fat, Extra Hot Lattes, we want to receive a brochure that informs us on culture, politics, sustainability, and how to generally be “good” people. This, the basic mission statement of GOOD Magazine, has now come to Starbucks in the form of GOOD Sheets, small one-page handouts that started earlier this month.

Each Thursday, a new GOOD Sheet will drop onto the coffee shop scene. So far, we have seen “Carbon Emissions” and “Healthcare,” providing us with interesting tidbits like, “Scientists predict that 97 percent of the world’s coral reefs will be wiped out if global temperatures rise by more than 3 degrees Fahrenheit,” or “In 2005, the most frequently prescribed therapeutic drug class was antidepressants,” to brighten our morning.

Exclusively at Starbucks, GOOD Sheets have been introduced in the midst of the Starbucks crusade to remove merchandise in the stores, returning to its coffee-based roots. Clearly exceptions can be made to teach their customers how to care.

But Starbucks, in educating its consumers, has not yet educated its own corporate decision makers. GOOD Magazine has on more than one occasion written on the benefits of fair trade coffee, which Starbucks only occasionally supports. Worse, Starbucks’ recent move to brewing its house blend fresh every half hour, and its subsequent announcement that “we’ll be pouring out more coffee than most people serve” isn’t exactly a proud declaration of the company’s commitment to social consciousness.

This effort cannot completely be faulted, though. It is possible that these brief informational propaganda pieces will actually be just the right sized ethical capsules for a Starbucks regular to swallow. Maybe the right Starbucks employees and the world’s coffee drinkers will read these sheets and the world will benefit.

And so in conclusion, this week we can look forward to sipping our lattes, reading about immigration, and becoming objectively better people.