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New Jail at Kolkata's Alipur!
The conditions are the worse. The jailors even more heartless. The inmates are mute.GO!

Shhhhhchoool Ahead!
A noisy urban environment is made worse by bad planning and carelessness.GO!

Smoke in their eyes
There can be no clean environment where there's dirty smoke.
Today's urban youth know the dangers, so what's preventing them from banishing cigarette from their lives?


"The KeepCup has been a labour of love so we are just thrilled that people have adopted and used the KeepCup and spread the word right around the world. Well done everyone!"

Keepcups are the first "barista standard" reusable coffee mugs. That is, you can walk over to your favourite coffe shop with a Keepcup and they'll fill it up with your favourite brew... and you can have an environmentally friendly, guilt-fee sip!

Learn more about this innovative product which puts bouth recycling and reuse easily and attractively in reach!

Want to know the environmental footprint of your daily caffine dose? The Keepcup site has a calculator you can use, right here...
keepcup.com calculator

Use a Tumbler at Starbucks You save 10¢ and another paper cup every time.

In contrast to the dull responses (or complete ignorance of?) to environmental protection, companies like Starbucks, are doing much to see that the daily drinking habit doesn't come at the expense of the planet.

With schemes like the one above, and developing recyclable cup solutions they have dramatically increased their cups ev credentials. Further, a large portion of their used disposable cups are recycled into new cups. Other innovative efforts like Grounds for Your Garden (started in1995,) offers customers complimentary five-pound (2.27-kilogram) bags of used coffee grounds to enrich garden soil - organic fertiliser!

Starbucks also uses its power as a major coporate to lobby for increased commercial recycling efforts and less waste.


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If you are from anywhere in India, and get your fix from espressos, lattes and frappes, chances are you’re a CCD guy or girl. CCD, the name Café Coffee Day is popularly known by, is our very own Indian café giant, the desi Starbucks, and the place where everyone from top executives to college (and school) kids like to chill while they sip their hot or cold brew. Surprisingly, despite its modern, yuppie image and intelligent clientele, CCD is really out of sync with the times in one area. Greenness.

While no coffee chain in the country flaunts planet-friendly credentials, CCD seems to be exceptionally lax. For example, fast food giants such as KFC and McDonald’s offer take away beverages in paper cups; and so do direct rivals, Barista and Aqua Java – and every other coffee shop we visited. CCD, however, offers its customers the beverage in transparent plastic cups. If that seems bothering, considering that the plastic cups are neither healthy nor planet-friendly, EarthSmiles.net noted that the chain’s outlet at Elgin Road, Kolkata, apparently makes no distinction between take-away and table orders, and serves most customers in the take-away plastic cups – in store!

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Should we care?
Most of us do not think about what we are drinking out of, but rather just enjoy the taste of the coffee. “Taste of the coffee”? Do we realize that the cup we’re drinking from may actually be standing in the way of the best tasting cup, or, even in the way of our health?

There is certainly good plastic and bad plastic. A convenient material, plastic is widely used for food containers, water bottles, baby bottles, plastic wraps, etc. But every type – food-grade or otherwise - is associated with health risks and environmental harm.

Most plastics contain chemicals that are known as hormone disruptors, and these can leach into food and beverages. All plastics are made from petroleum – a non-renewable material, and it takes large volume of landfill space, since plastic products can take hundreds of years to degrade.
Cooool coffee....

To find environmental nirvana, CCD could consider:
Banning use of disposable cups and plates in-store, especially plastic ones.
- Switching to non-plastics / paper containers for take outs (though even these have small amounts of plastic, ie; lining covers)
-Providing incentives to those who bring in their own mugs, and promote sustainable coffee drinking habits with events like a "Bring Your Cup Day"
- Pioneer a resusable coffee mug, such as the Keepcup (see panel alongside)

Have a coffee, then send your cool ideas to jofin@earthsmiles.net

A coffee chain is cold about its cups, and the consumer and planet, lose.
Cold Coffees
By Jofin Jose

Free Chemicals with Every Coffee: A young customer at CCD enjoys her shake, oblivious of the harm to herself and the planet she'll inherit.
The Menu Ad and the Reality!
While the CCD promotion picture (top) shows
two lovely drinks in cool, tall glasses, it's more likely you'll get your drink in these ugly plastic
space cups (lower) and Styrofoam® plate!
The health risk:
Some may argue that the cups are of a good (food) grade of plastic. However, please consider that no plastic may be safe; some plastics are considered "good" or safe because there is no sufficient research to prove otherwise. What most people do not know is that some of plastics contains BPA. Bisphenol A (BPA) is an ubiquitous plastic compound, and previous studies have shown that BPA can migrate from various polycarbonate plastics. Maybe into that coffee you’re enjoying. The chemical is a key building block of plastics from polycarbonate to polyester. In the USA alone, more than 2.3 billion pounds (1.04 million metric tons) of the stuff is manufactured annually. Since around 1936 it has been known that BPA mimics estrogens, and just like the natural female hormones, it too binds to the same receptors throughout the human body. Tests have shown that the chemical can promote human breast cancer cell growth as well as decrease sperm count, among other effects. These findings have raised questions about the potential health risks of BPA, especially in the wake of hosts of studies showing that it leaches from plastics and resins when they are exposed to hard use or high temperatures.

Any form of plastic is prone to chemical leaching (the process by which the solid dissipates or dissolves into a liquid), and this process of leaching starts as soon as the different compounds are brought in contact to each other. In plain terms, the percentage of leaching might be lower if exposed for a smaller period of time; however the process is not delayed or inactive. Hence even an exposure of five minutes would result in a certain amount of BPA intake.

The environmental damage:
Plastic, even cups of the type CCD uses, as it takes forever to decompose. The average time taken by a plastic cup to decompose in a landfill is close to 700 years. And plastic not only adds to landfill space, but used plastic dumped into the sea kills and destroys sea life at an estimated 1,000,000 sea creatures per year! CCD, please don’t do that!! These non-degradable cups, when they are given out as take-away, oftentimes get chucked on the roads – and add material to the blocked/clogged drainage system at some place, for which the Corporation takes the rap, when it floods. And of course – they’re made from petroleum. PCRA isn’t going to be pleased!

EarthSmiles.net did approach a few managers at CCD outlets, and enquired about the policy behind this blatant pollution. While the staff at the Elgin Road outlet, serving in plastic cups in-store, refrained from saying anything at all, the other two outlets approached hardly had any coherent answers, either. “It’s a business decision,” seemed to be the standard reply. Or, “You’ll need to talk to the seniors – I don’t know anything.”

While the store staff may genuinely not have given the issue thought, the corporate management of Café Coffee Day certainly has to take some urgent decisions on the issue. Before it’s demanded of them. EarthSmiles.net’s emails to the chain’s Corporate Office, is yet to be answered, more than a month down the line. Such irresponsibility is not expected of a multi-national group/venture. Certainly, it is bad PR, if anything else. It clearly shows the disinterest of the company towards the environment, and the health of its customers; or perhaps the perceived triviality of the issue.

But can they afford that? With activism being the order of the day, customers will soon be happy to take their sip elsewhere, and negative publicity and ridicule will also gnaw at the bottomline. Every profit-driven company needs to know this… it’s the customer who decides whether and from where to take the sip. For us at EarthSmiles.net, it won’t be CCD.