Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Starbuckswashing

According to the Starbucks, they are a ”transnational coffee and coffeehouse chain company based in the United States and the largest coffeehouse company in the world” (Starbucks English website, n.d.). They serve drip-brewed coffee, hot and espresso based drinks, cold drinks and some chocolate favored sweets. By the way, Starbucks is a leader in the green-tag movement. The green-tag movement is an activity aimed at reducing CO2, cutting down the effect of global warming and building wind power plants (Green, 2006). They have taken actions for the environment. However, some controversies about their green activities have come out. They state that their cups are ecological, but their cups are hard to recycle (Conrad, 2007). Then, their partners, who are the coffee bean farmers, complain that Starbucks has never paid enough money to them (Deen, 2002). Moreover, they have deceived the consumers. In fact, do they take advantage of recyclable cups? As you can see, they do not. Many coffee bean farmers complain to them; why? This is because they do not get enough wages to live. They have to be honest; they disguise what they should announce. Therefore, Starbucks should focus on the environmental problems, their partners and consumers.

“Starbucks the coffee chain was born in liberal Seattle in 1971. It has mushroomed to operate 8,000 shops in 34 countries, each week serving 28 million customers” (Organic Consumers association, 2005, para.3). Then, they stated they take the “Green” action for the environment. For example, they announced that they use the cups made of 10% recycled materials (Conrad, 2007), and they also commented that they take advantage of the clean energy plant to supply 20% of their electric power (Green, 2006). In 1989, a man entered the Starbucks and took a brochure. He was the member of NGO and noticed that Starbucks’ bean farms are the same places as the places he supported and he asked Starbucks’ CEO to support poor countries. This was the first step to involving them into Green activity (Starbucks, 2008). Ever since, they have devoted themselves to environmental and social activities. However, their some efforts have not worked. Therefore, controversies about them occurred. Some environmentalists consider that their activities are “Greenwashing” because they do not seem to be “friendly” for the environments or to people. Conrad points to the Starbucks’ cups (2007), and Green claims the pledge (2006). Besides, coffee makers get only 40 cents per pound of coffee and Starbucks’ products contain genetically modified ingredients (Deen, 2002). For those reasons, many environmentalists and consumer organization regard Starbucks as a “Greenwashing” company.

First of all, their activities for the environment are not activities that really help the environment, because they waste resources and make their campaigns too complicated. For example, Conrad claims, in his article, that their cups are hard to reuse with other paper products (2007). They offer a discount if the customer bring his or her cups or tumblers. It seems to be eco-friendly; however, 2.3 billion cups they produced are served annually and emphasized including 10% renewable paper (Conrad, 2007). They say cups are recyclable, but their cups are difficult to reuse because of their coating. Thus, they make the cups too complicated. Further, their pledge that they plan to buy their electricity from renewable sources was announced, but they cannot supply their electric need with a single wind farm (Green, 2006). Actually, wind energy plants are environmentally friendly. Everybody thinks that it works well for the environment. However, they have accomplished their promise. This is because they could not find a wind plant which would cover the amount of electricity they announced (Green, 2006). We usually believe what authorities say; yet we do not think that the authorities mislead us. We are worried about the environment on the Earth and want to manage this terrible situation; however, their campaigns are not “Green” activities more any; our efforts also will become “Greenwashing”. Therefore, they should think of the environment and make their products, not drinks, eco-friendly.

Second, coffee bean makers, Starbucks’ essential partners, complain to Starbucks because Starbucks does not make enough money for their partners. Starbucks’ beans are from Latin America, Africa and Pacific and most of them are small farms. Starbucks states they support their small coffee makers such as high purchase rates toward coffee beans and social supports for the coffee bean makers (Starbucks Japanese website, n.d.). However, according to Deen, “although in 1995 Starbucks promised to pay a living wage to the workers who produce the coffee it sells, the company has done little or nothing to live up to this pledge, OCA charges. Right now, though Starbucks claims to pay 1.25 dollar per pound of coffee, most of that goes to middlemen. Coffee growers are making less than 40 cents per pound of coffee, about one-fourth what they earned five years ago” (2002, para.14). As we can know, it is hard that Starbucks treats the coffee makers fairly. If Starbucks continue their business style for the farmers, their beans will grow well? Consequently, Starbucks should treat their essential coffee bean partners well.
Finally, Starbucks attracts us who are concerned with the eco-activity and health-conscious, but they deceived those who try to act against the global warming. For example, Johnson claims about some companies in his article, ”Though concerned marketing and public relation campaigns, these ’greenwashers’ attract eco-conscious consumers and push the notion that they don’t need environmental regulations because they are already environmentally responsible. Greenwashing appears in misleading product labels ‘all natural’ and ‘eco-friendly’; in television commercials showing S.U.V.’s rolling peacefully through the wilderness; and in the eco-opting of environmental buzzwords like ‘sound silence’ and ‘sustainability’ -- which corporate executives render meaningless though relentless reputation” (2004, para.6). Starbucks also does like that. They say that they are going to get their energy from the wind energy plant, but they cannot do it. Therefore, they still receive their power from nonrenewable plant (Green, 2006). Moreover, although they promote their products as “origins”, they use genetically modified integredients and they neither label nor remove genetically modified materials (Johnson, 2004). Most of us do not know those facts and some customers might believe those. This is because they state that they support the activity to be green. Why do they deceive us? The answer is that they know they can earn money with this activity. However, if their lies emerge, we will not stop to buy their products. So, they should stop lying to us before losing their customers.

However, should we admire their campaigns for the environment? Even if they fail or do not do that. Actually Starbucks is one of the companies participating in the green-tag movement (Green, 2006). Then they have taken many actions for the environment and communities. For example, as you know, they tried to get their electricity from the wind power plant, although they failed. Thanks to those activities, Starbucks are referred as an “eco-friendly” company. Moreover, they build school, a medical support facility and the support center for the coffee makers (Starbucks, 2008). Although this is not their business, they have improved their partners’ environment. Those activities are all for the customers; they try to serve top quality coffee and products. If they do not care about the environment and their coffee bean partners, they would never act on the green activity and support their coffee partners. Further, for us, the customers, to supply the consumers the best quality products, they investigate their new products and improve their items. They may have confidence that they have the power to move people and they respect themselves as the world’s leading company. Therefore, they try to do something good for the environment and announce what they are going to do or should do. We should think of their efforts for the environment, their beans providers and us and respect their patience even if they do not work well.

Do you think that they do something good for the environment? Many are going to say “No”. However, nobody knows whether you are right or not. This is because Starbucks says they support the environment with their products such as their cups, paper napkin and recycle of wasted coffee beans, and they encourage their partners to make better coffee beans, and they provide us with high quality products. This is the “Greenwashing”. We tend to believe what the authorities announce. Actually, we need to work on the green movement because it is the essential task we have to protect the Earth. However, Starbucks, and of course any other company, should take actions for the environment, beans farmers and their guests without their profit. If they focus on the profits too much, they will lose the respectful views of the others. Those are the reasons; their campaigns are so complex, they are not making enough money for their coffee beans makers and they have never announced what they should say. Accordingly, they should focus on their activity whether it works well for the environment, their important partners and the consumers, and focus on the business with the respect as the world’s leading company.


References

Conrad, D. (2007, September 17). More Corporate Greenwashing: Organicconsumers.org/articles/article_7176.cfm> Starbucks’
Cups, Eco-Friend or Eco-Foe?.
Organic Consumers
Association. Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.
Organicconsumers.org/articles/article_7176.cfm


Deen, S. (2002, March 25).USA: Starbucks Bean Not So Green. Corp Watch.
Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.corpwach.org/
article.php?id=2170.

Dunleavey, P. M. (2007, May 5). Being green doesn't mean spending more. The
New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from Lexis Nexis
database.

Green, H. (2006, April 10). It's Little Easier Being Green; Consumers and
companies are giving alternative energy a boost with “green
tags”. Business Week. 3978, 80. Retrieved March 24, 2008,
from Lexis Nexis database.

Johnson, G. (2004, April 22). gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE3D7163Af931A15757C0A9629C8B63&scp=1&sp=marketing+earth+day&st=nyt.>Marketing Earth Day Inc.. The New York Times.
Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://query..nytimes.com/
gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0DE3D7163Af931A15757C0A9629
C8B63&scp=1&sp=marketing+earth+day&st=nyt.

Organic Consumers Association. (2005, January 21). cfm.>Starbucks Under Fire
in Europe for Greenwashing.
Retrieved April 22, 2008, from
http://www.organicconsumers.org/starbucks//underfire012605.
cfm.

Starbucks Japanese website. (n. d.). Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.starbucks.co.jp

Starbucks English website. (n. d.). Retrieved April 22, 2008, from http://www.starbucks.com.

The Movement for Clean Energy

In the article, “It’s Little Easier Being Green; Consumers and companies giving alternative energy a boost with ‘green tags’”, the author talked about the green-tag movement that tries to stop global warming. We can buy a “green tag”, which is designed to offset carbon emission, and then the companies that sold the decals to us pool money to invest for clean energy production. Many famous companies such as Starbucks and Whole Foods got green tags. This is because they try to attract green-tag customers.

Of course, we can take advantage of it as an individual. They believe that the green tag will save the Earth.
Companies will encourage the movement, we all should be involved in the campaign and we have to look for the solutions against the problems they have.

First, Companies, especially factories, should do something for the environment. This is because they emit quite much carbon dioxide, so they should get green certificates. In fact, car factories spew carbon emissions during their production process. Moreover, the cars, which are their product, also release the harmful gas. Therefore, they should work on the serious issue with green-tag activity.

Next, we also have to take part in the movement not only from the business view but also as individuals. This is because we are the people on Earth, so we must take care of our planet. What we can do, for example, is also to buy green-tag and invest these charity businesses indirectly. Further, we need to let people who do not know it yet understand its importance. Although Western countries already practice it, there are few people to do it in Eastern culture. So, we can join the movement.with the tickets that are the way to a clean energy future.

Third, however, we have to overcome some problems. When something new comes, it often faces difficulty. In fact, there are not enough clean energy farms in the world to keep making a lot of electricity. Moreover, charity companies also do not have enough money to build them. Actually, they might be able to collect the fund in the future. To realize this, we should consider it and find out the way to make alternative energy resource.

The business should be done with environmental issues. Our life is also should be led with it. Therefore, companies should support the charity business, we should try to join green-tag movement, and we should solve the problems through the non-profit business. Now, we cannot live without electricity; of course, business does no work. Consequently, the time will come to change our lifestyle.

Reference

Green, H. (2006, April 6). It’s a Little Easier Being Green; Consumers and companies are giving alternative energy a boost with “green tags”. BusinessWeek. 3979, 80. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Lexis Nexis database.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Inaccurate Information from Wikipedia

According to Lengel, “(Wikipedia) is an encyclopedia compiled by the voluntary contributions of hundreds of writers and editors. Anyone can write an article and post it to the Wikipedia; anyone else can come along later and edit the article. It’s a kind of open, voluntary, work in progress. As such, it’s the most up-to-date encyclopedia you’ll find”(2006, para. 6). Today, Wikipedia is the ninth most popular Web site in the U.S.. (Wolverton, 2007). However, it has been argued about for a long time in the academic field. The controversies are whether students should be allowed to use Wikipedia for their projects or paper and whether the academic authorities should be tolerant of it. Then there are some problems here for the use of Wikipedia; anyone can write an articles and edit them freely, but we never know who wrote it, we also cannot figure out whether the information is correct or not and whether the copyright infringement or defamation will occur.

In the academic field, we should not use Wikipedia because we will infringe the copyright, anyone can post and edit an article and it will be inaccurate.
First of all, because of the copyright infringements, we should not use Wikipedia as a reference. Wikipedia is the free encyclopedia, so there might be something wrong in articles. In fact, a lot of articles have been deleted because of the invasion of the copyright. Further, nobody is responsible for editing the articles, so it can be one of the methods of Internet vandalism (Wolverton, 2007). Therefore, we think about the use of Wikipedia before starting our paper.

Second, we never are able to figure out who added the articles to Wikipedia. This is because anyone can write, post and edit the articles. For example, although there is wrong information, it will be never deleted if someone reports it. Further, Lengel states that
Wikipedia is unmediated and clearly not all of it definitive (2006). The problem is the anonymity. Moreover, there are no watchers or censors that verify the information immediately. Consequently, we have to be careful if we look up information from Wikipedia.

Finally, Wikipedia may be inaccurate, so we cannot use the information from Wikipedia on our papers or projects. For example, a prestigious liberal arts school in Vermont forbids that their students cite the sentences from Wikipedia (Byers, 2007). Some educators claim that Wikipedia is not suited for the academic situation. This is because, in fact, all publications are checked or previewed before distributed, but we anyone can post and edit the articles freely on Wikipedia (Wolverton, 2007). It will bring some problems for us. Therefore, we cannot use Wikipedia in public because our papers or projects must be aliared with truth.

Since Wikipedia has been born, it has give us a life of accessible information. We can get the information for free, add articles, edit the articles quickly and cite it for daily life. However, it has some problems, especially in the academic field such as the copyright infringements, free posting and editing policy and the inaccuracy of its articles. It means Wikipedia is no longer useful in the academic field. This is because academic papers and projects need authority and accuracy. Therefore, we should avoid using Wikipedia on our academic assignments.

Reference

Byers, M. (2007, March 8). from Controversy over use of Wikipedia in academic papers arrives at Smith. Sophian. Smith College. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://madia.www.smithsophian.com/ meia/storage/paper587/news/2007/03/08/News/ Controversy.Over.Use.Of. Wikipedia.In.Academic.Papers.Arrives.At.Smith- 2765409.shtml

Lengel, J. (2006, February 7). Authority. Teaching with Technology. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://www.powertolearn.com/articles/teaching_with_technology/ article.shtml?ID=12

Wolveron, J. (2007, January 22).Wikipedia Wisdom.Valley Vanguard. Retrieved April 23, 2008, from http://www.svsu.edu/clubs/vanguard/stories/1141.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Green Against Money

Ecopornography is an advertisement taking advantage of the customers’ interest for environment. It is part of Greenwashing. Generally, the word refers to the activity in which a company or industry encourages making the Earth clean with their products or services. Solar car is one of the examples. This activity makes people realize the problems our planet and we are facing. For example, “‘Green-tag movement’ plans to build wind plants” (Green, 2006.). However, there is an argument about whether Greenwashing really works for environment. Some say the ‘green movement’ is good for environment (Green, 2006). On the other hand, others say it is just ‘Greenwash’, so there is no benefit for the environment (Dunleavey, 2007). Actually, there is no evidence whether the activities work well, except within companies.

Among the activities, we need to think about why going Green’s cost is so high, we should learn how effective Green movements are, and we should remove the profit from “Environmentally friendly” products.
First of all, we have to consider why “organic” and “sustainable” products are expensive. It means that most of us do not know where our money is going. The fact is that we buy these products, but we do not know what our money, which is what we paid for the product, what is used for. All we can do is just guess that it will be used for improving or investing in the farmer’s methods. Although we know it will cost too much to plant the “organic” and ”sustainable” products, we have no idea whether its will cost match with our payment. Hence we need to think more about where our money is going.

Next, we have to take part in the movement not only from a business view but also as an individual if the Green movement is to have the efficiency for the environment. This is why there is no evidence whether the activities work well except companies. We tend to believe what our authorities say. However, it is because of them that the movements become clich├ęd icons (Swift,
n. d.). This must mean that we are controlled; that is why we spend money for the companies using green activity for their profit. So, we doubt what government, scientists or even mass media state.

Finally, companies, including us, should focus on reality going green. Why doe companies put their profit before a clean feature? This is because they realize that the green activity can be the support of their business. Once this movement became popular, companies used it as the means for gaining more money. The fact is that there are great deals of “Geenwashing” (Swift, n. d.). Many industries have made profit with the environmental movement. Therefore, companies should not use this ‘Green’ for the means getting their money.

However, we should think of not only nonrenewable resources but also renewable resources. This is because the overconsumption will cause the lack of resources. For example, the soil, which is a generally renewable resource, will turn into a nonrenewable resource if you use too much before the soil is produced again. It is not bad to think about our health, but we have to care about Earth’s health. Therefore, we have to think of our resources and care about them not to use them too much, and this consideration must lead us to a green movement.

When we, a lot of people, think of something, it can be a trend. Then companies or industries try to take advantage of it for their profits. Although some organizations really work hard for the Earth, It is obvious that there are businesses there. Therefore, we have to think of where our money goes, doubt what authorities say, and practice it without profits. If we hope healthy Earth, we really have to consider what we can do without money.

Reference

Dunleavey, P. M. (2007, May 5). Being green doesn’t mean spending more. The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from Lexis Nexis datebase

Green, H. (2006, April 6). It’s a Little Easier Being Green; Consumers and companies are giving alternative energy a boost with “green tags”. BusinessWeek. 3989, 80. Retrieved March 24, 2008, from Lexis Nexis datebase.

Karliner, J. (2001, March 22). A Brief History of Greenwash. Corpwatch. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=243

Street-Porter, J. (2007, September 13). Spare me these supermarket saints. Retrieved April 14, 2008, from Lexis Nexis database.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spending Money Cannot Turn Green

In the article, “Being Green Doesn’t Mean Spending More”, the author discusses the fact that the American green movement tends to focus on spending money. This is because we are going to buy the products labeled “organic” or “sustainable”. However, the overconsumption will cause a huge use of resources. Moreover, those products are generally expensive, but we do not know where our money is going. If we really want to live in an environmentally friendly way, it is one of the ecological ways to reuse and recycle what we already have. In the article, she states that green movement never means spending too much money.

Before thinking about our healthier life, we should think about the overconsumption of the limited resources. We also have to consider where our money is going. Last, we should refurbish what we already own.

First of all, we should think of not only nonrenewable resources but also renewable resources. This is because the overconsumption will cause the lack of resources. For example, the soil, which is a generally renewable resource, will turn into a nonrenewable resource if you use too much before the soil is produced again. It is not bad to think about our health, but we have to care about Earth’s health. Therefore, we have to think of our resources and care about them not to use them too much.

Second of all, we have to consider why “organic” and “sustainable” products are expensive. It means that most of us do not know where our money is going. The fact is that we buy these products, but we do not know how our money, which is what we paid for the product, is used for. All we can do is just guessing that it will be used for improving or investing in the farmer’s methods. Although we know it will costs too much to plant the “organic” and ”sustainable” products, we have no idea whether its cost match with our payment. Hence we need to think more about where our money is going.

Finally, we should refurbish what we already have if we really think of Earth. This is because we already have a lot of things, but we are likely to throw them away easily.Instead of buying new things, we can fix or remake old things. It is environment-friendly for our planet and also economical for our lives. Consequently, instead of purchasing something new, we should refurbish what we already own.

The green movement might cause better effects because it keeps being green. However, we have to care about our limited resources. Also we do not need to spend our money too much. We have to doubt that there will be more efficient ways. And before buying new products, we should make sure if it is really wasteful stuff. Nobody cares about spending money for just being green, but there are lots ways to do so if we notice and practice.

Reference

Dunleavey, P.M. (2007, May 5). Being green doesn’t mean spending more. The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from Lexis Nexis database

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rights in the Network

In the article, “Controversy blights UN net summit”, the author said that an important UN summit, which is about global internet access, was held in Tunis. About 17,000 representatives from over 170 countries attended the conference. They talked about the technological gap between More Developed Countries and Less Developed countries. Further, the idea of freedom of speech was also focused on as a topic on the conference. While they were talking about it, the director of International Telecommunication Union said that freedom in the cyberworld is essential for an information society. He also stated they have a role to manage the cybersecurity, but they do not have efficient international standards. The summit about world wide net access was ruined by the argument.

We should build the fund to poor countries to keep up with the new technologies, oversee the net access world with the global rule and think our privacy in the worldwide network.

First of all, they should make money to adjust the technological gaps between the rich and the poor. Although many countries noticed the current fund is not enough to catch up with the developing countries, there is little way to make new money. Actually, the documents that described try to help provide information technology for poor countries. However, they mentioned they can supply little funding to do it. Global internet access or its knowledge will solve some problems we are facing now; therefore, if we need to start correcting the disparity, we have to look for sponsors.

Second, we should establish the same rules about the freedom of speech. A representative in China stated that some kinds of websites should be restricted, but they insist on the freedom of speech. For example, we have a lot of video-sharing sites, but it has many problems because of illegal uploading. How can we deal with this matter? We should protect the freedom of expression; consequently, we have to create the regulation against what violates it.

Finally, however, we also must defend our privacy. We want the freedom of speech, but we will lose our privacy instead of getting the freedom. In fact, the secretary general of ITU mentioned that they have a responsibility in the cybersecurity field, yet they cannot find efficient global standards. If there is no guarantee about cybersecurity, we will be in danger of having no privacy. To prevent it, we must consider whether easy net access is safe or not.

The global net access is important to connect the world. Therefore, we need to provide it for poor nations. All we have to do is to fund them to remove the differences, create new rules for the freedom of expression, and discuss about our privacy in the cyber field. We use internet access every day, so we have to think about it. Moreover, it can be used for advantage in the business world. It is convenient for everything; therefore, we have to make rules about easy net access.

Reference is here

Twist, J. (2005, November 18).Controversy blights UN net summit.BBC news. Retrieved March 19, 2008, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/ technology/4450474.stm

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

COMMITTING CRIMES

In the video, a man tried to rob money, and he entered a store. However, there were some customers. He waited for the all customers leaving. Then the time had come. He pointed the knife at the store manager. But it was the time to go to the jail. The manager had learned the martial arts. He was surprised, and ran toward the exit to escape. Then he fell down, because the clerk kicked him. He dropped his stuff, but he did not care about it. He had to escape from there as soon as possible, so he ran way. However, he was arrested because his licence plate was taken a picture with the manager’s cell phone camera. I think both internal and external controls deter most people from committing crimes. We have social values, so we know what is right or not. In addition, we never want to go to jail because it may damage our life that we have spent and we will spend.