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Starbucks Goes Green, Offers Custom Drinks

Though the country may still suffer from nearly 10% unemployment, we have begun a recovery and so has Starbucks. Late last month, the company announced that its SoHo, NYC, store on Spring Street is registered for LEED certification as part of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Volume Certification pilot program. The design is a blend of a turn-of-the-century dry goods warehouse and the mercantile-inspired Starbucks location at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

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The renovation used locally sourced materials and reused and recycled parts, with countertops, the espresso bar and the chair rail made of repurposed white oak a number of barns in Somerset, Pennsylvania. The community table is also made of repurposed wood from Somerset, Pennsylvania and the flooring is made from reclaimed wood metal bending company. The bar casework, wood seat roundabouts, and metal stools were manufactured in Long Island, while the community board was built from metal repurposed from old espresso machines. The wallpaper next to the bar area was made of reused burlap coffee sacks from Starbucks roasting plants and the artwork was done by local artist Peter Tunney.

In addition, the store uses LED and CFL lightbulbs, dual-flush toilets and low-flow faucets to cut energy and water consumption. According to the announcment,”Waste generated during construction was diverted from the landfill,” and the flooring from the prior store was saved to be used in another store. Finally, all paints used in the store are low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and water-based.

In a few May announcements, Starbucks also announced initiatives to help bring customers into stores during the warm weather. The publicly traded company announced on May 4 that it was launching However-You-Want-It Frappuccino blended drinks in all retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. The program allows customers to choose between different types of cow’s milk or soy, as well different syrups and toppings. Among some of the new, suggested flavors are the: Extra Coffee Caramel Frappuccino, with caramel syrup, whipped cream and a swirl of caramel sauce (hello sugar: skip lunch if you drink this one!; Mocha Light Frappuccino, a lower calorie option, with 100, 150 and 200 calories in a Tall, Grande, and Venti, respectively, thanks to the use of skim milk, and coffee light syrup base; and Soy Strawberries & Crème Frappuccino, a coffee-free, soy version made with strawberry sauce, crème base, soy milk, and whipped cream (no to coffee but yes to sugar.

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