City Hippy

The diary of our struggle to live a green and fair life.

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CityHippy has posted its last post now (I now work for EMP plc, run At Home magazine online and more and personally blog over at Why? Click here to find out. We might be back. Keep our RSS feeds, keep us bookmarked, sign up for the news alert on the right. You never know...

We are dedicated to exploring how to live a greener and more ethical life. City Hippy is a growing collective of writers bringing you two types of content:

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Monday, October 31, 2005

NEWS: Starbucks Challenge Awards

After reading through 133 participating blogs, with 135 challenges taken in 11 countries, 24 states, and Washington DC, City Hippy and green LA girl have each picked a winner for the first month of the Starbucks Challenge.

City Hippy's choice: Thanks for not being a Zombie.
Not-Zombie took loads of challenges -- all with awesome, detailed descriptions and thoughtful commentary. City Hippy found the posts thorough and humourous -- especially the post where Not-Zombie mentioned the "man in colonial dress riding a Segway" -- we spent a good 10 minutes chuckling at that image.

Award: Fair trade yummies (coffee, tea and hot chocolate from

green LA girl's choice: Dirty Greek
In addition to taking a couple challenges himself, Dirty Greek fielded questions (insults?) not only about the Challenge but also about fair trade in general from less-than-knowlegeable people on The Wolf Web. Dirty Greek got a lil help from J_Gatsby, who in frustration ended up calling naysayers "plebian fucks." Tee hee!

Award: A 2 lb bag of Monkey & Son Velvet Hammer fair trade organic coffee.

What did YOU help accomplish through the Starbucks Challenge? Starbucks sat up and took notice, contacted us, then admitted that they weren't living up to their "legendary service" promises. Cindy of Starbucks acknowledged Starbucks had a "break down in customer service."

So all North American stores, regional VPs, and international market presidents got emails "reminding" them about the coffee press policy for customers requesting fair trade. Cindy also forwarded bloggers' feedback to relevant district managers for follow-up.

The effect of these efforts on Starbucks' part? Mixed, to say the least. Some challengers have since noted that their Starbucks has gotten markedly fair-trade friendlier; others, not so much. At the last challenge green LA girl took, the barista flat out lied to avoid French-pressing a cup of fair trade coffee.

Cindy says that she'll present the findings of the Starbucks Challenge to Starbucks' Retail Operations and Communications team, "so we can find a solution." We'll keep you posted on that promise.

So -- The challenge challenges on! New prizes to be announced shortly -- We're determined that one day, Alabama and Utah will participate.

And even if you're not "challenging" any more because your store's passed the test, we hope you'll ask for fair trade coffee every time you go to Starbucks. After all, Starbucks says that if consumers demand it, they'll make fair trade coffee more easily avaliable -- though as of now, we question how Starbucks is measuring this demand....

Have a fair trade day

City Hippy and green LA girl

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At 10:13 AM, Blogger Meghan said...

Great! I will try this tomorrow!

At 10:21 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Cool Meghan...look forward to hearing how it went.



At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey there

I managed to get a fairtrade
coffee at Starbucks on the strand.


At 12:25 PM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Cheers Maz

Thanks for taking part.



At 5:35 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

how can I get the nifty corner banner you have for MPH for my food blog?

At 4:28 AM, Blogger George H. Williams said...

I'm honored to be chosen!


You like me! You really like me!

At 7:12 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hey Lauren

Have replied by is very easy I promise. Just a code snippet.



At 7:15 AM, Blogger City Hippy said...

Hey G Zombie

Hahaha...gimme a couple days to rustle up the box for the prize...really tasty stuff though!



At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You guys rock. Yay.


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