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Hey, you’re here, you made it! Congratulations on making it this far. I’m assuming the majority of people who saw this post only read the headline and then formed an opinion. It’s okay of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I’m here to offer you another perspective on this story.

Sure, fast food restaurants and major corporations tend to have only one thing in mind, money. Hence the phrase that is often used to describe corporations; put profit before the people… and the environment. In most cases, this is true, but, should we remain jaded to even the victories from these corporations or should we celebrate these successes, remain hopeful and keep on keeping’ on by voting with our dollar? You see, as the consumer, whether you are aware of it or not you have a direct say in the business practices of these corporations, and that say comes from where you decide to spend your dollar and if you really choose to put your money where your mouth is.  

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What Are They Changing?

McDonald’s has now announced a definite timeline to its goal of completely eliminating plastic and foam cups from their restaurants. By the end of the year, every soft drink holder will be made with a packaging made from fiber or certified recycled material. This same design will incorporate all of the packaging in use from the brand by 2020, according to their website.

Starbucks is taking similar action in the U.K. This February, customers will be charged about 7 cents for each paper cup in 20 to 25 stores in central London with the hopes of motivating the customers to choose reusable mugs instead. The money raised from the cup fee will be donated to an environmental charity and behaviour analyst, Hubbub, who is dedicated to “investigating how the public can be encouraged to choose reusable drink containers.” Another incentive given from the company is a discount of 34 cents to those who do bring a reusable cup of their own, which will encourage those who frequent Starbucks to bring their own mugs! We can only hope that these reusable mugs are made from sustainable materials.

But I Don’t Eat At McDonald’s Or Starbucks…

Sure, many of you probably don’t eat at McDonald’s or Starbucks because of their unsustainable business practices and unhealthy food and drink options, good for you! But, guess what? This is exactly what has caused these two major corporations to make this type of change. Yes, they still want your money and they are still, most likely, all about profit before people, but because they have lost the revenue from consumers like you, they are scrambling and trying to find a way to continue making tons of money. They know that in this day and age, many people are waking up to the fact that we can no longer continue doing things in the same old fashion if we want to have a chance at saving our environment.

So, with this awareness, they might think something along the lines of, “hey, if we stopped using foam and encouraged reusable cups, maybe we could gain back some of those lost customers and get our profits back up.” And you know what? They probably will. Because this type of thing is very important to some people and for good reason. However, if some of us continue to boycott such establishments,  they may start serving soda sweetened with Xylitol, or switch the oil they use to cook their fries, perhaps they may switch to hormone and antibiotic free meat products. The bottom line is that they will do whatever it takes to stay in business, a great example is the launch of their recent  vegan burger to appeal to a larger consumer base. But the irony here is that as we continue to wake up and do our part for our environment, the animals, planet and ourselves, these establishments will cease to exist.

At least on their way out, and that’s because  they are making the changes that we need to see big corporations make in order to truly change the way we are currently doing things here on planet Earth. As awareness increases, so do these changes. They go hand in hand. 

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So, just because they are doing something positive, does that mean that we should go and spend our money there? Not necessarily, but should we celebrate even these small successes? Absolutely. One step at a time and these times, are indeed changing. Let’s remain hopeful, because the opposite is projecting the negative, the lack, the destruction and with that kind of energy how can we expect anything to really change?


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