Writer Sees Red in Non-Green Contest

This week Marie King wrote of her displeasure concerning last month’s contest promoted by a coffee chain popular in Canada and the eastern US. She asks why the 25-year old contest can’t “evolve to meet our ever-increasing environmental concerns?” Writing for “The Muse”, an online publication of Canadian university students, she is expressing the thoughts of students increasingly interested in sustainability. The contest of last month, sponsored by Tim Horton’s, featured cups whose rim could be rolled back to reveal messages, millions of which announced prizes for the cup holder. That means that for the month of the promotion, customers choosing to bring in their own cup were left out of the contest. One student reported that even though she brought her own cup in an attempt to save the paper, she was still offered an empty one so she could have a chance at a prize. The writer reported this particular cup is one of the most recognizable pieces of litter across Canada’s roads. The question is asked: With all the coffee shops who are offering discounts to those who bring in their own reusable mug, why should such a wasteful contest promotion not adapt to the times? Her inquiring mind wants to know if there isn’t a green alternative to the rolling of the rim. To be fair, she mentions other chains who also use the paper-wasting contest paradigm. Perhaps Tim Horton’s should run a contest asking for suggestions for greening their yearly promotion. They already have another contest running online, so moving it online is not an alternative. One idea might be to have lucky numbers programmed into the cash register such that the winning tickets or numbers print out on the receipt. Or every purchaser could be given a ticket with a number which they check against a winning list of numbers. Maybe such schemes wouldn’t be quite as fun as the rolling back of a cup rim, but it would at least be green - saving trees, money and litter. That seems like a winner for everyone! If you want sustainable, try any of the great organic coffees below, and you can use your own reusable cup!

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