7 ways your daily latte is killing everything from the environment to your wallet to free will
1) Unfair business exploits: Starbucks is a corporate giant (revenue is in the billions), and thus can and does undertake less than ethical practices that give it an edge over smaller, fairer-minded business. It can afford prime real estate with the profit it reaps. It opens several stores near existing ones to put competing stores out of business. (Starbucks has opened an average of 2 stores a day since 1987). It can afford to offer unbeatable deals, even at the expense of profit; then, when the competition is unable to survive, it is free to exploit consumers as it pleases – often without them even noticing.

2) Exorbitant prices: Starbucks charges upwards of $4 for a latte, up to 6.5 times more than the amount it cost them to make it. Over the course of a year, purchasing a single latte a day adds up to a yearly expense of around$1,500. Over the course of a lifetime, that adds up to $100,000 sacrificed from your wallet. That could have bought you a VERY nice car, an average house in Buffalo, NY, or paid for most of college.

3) Caffeine: one average grande contains 320mg of caffeine, more than four times as much as a Red Bull. The average coffee drinker drinks 27oz a day = 1.7 grandes = 7 Red Bulls. That can’t be healthy.

4) Delicious, deceptive treats: A single slice of lemon loaf has 470 calories, more than a Big Mac from McDonalds. A grande java chip Frappuccino also contains 470 calories, as well as 66g of sugar (1/3 cup). That's twice as much as in a comparably sized Pepsi.

5) Waste of paper: Starbucks uses 2.3 billion paper cups annually. The cups may be made of a small percentage of recycled material, but the cups are not themselves recyclable. So not only are close to a million trees removed from this green earth, but their waste (50 million pounds of it annually) is filling landfills worldwide. On top of that, due to the waterproof coating, the cups take forever to breakdown, and when they do, release potentially harmful gases, further insulting the balance of nature.

6) Manipulative “deals”: The treat receipt program. You buy a drink in the morning and receive your receipt. You nowneed” to return in order to “cash in” your receipt for $2 off a cold coffee that you otherwise would most likely not have purchased (a tricky way to make spending money look like saving money). Not to mention their loyalty programs where you have to go a certain of times a month to “earn” a free drink. Hundreds of thousands fall victim to this habit training scheme.

7) Cancer: Prop 65 requires Starbucks by law to display a sign notifying consumers that “chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity, including acrylamide are present in coffee.” The National Institute of Health warns “There are more carcinogens in a single cup of coffee than all the potentially carcinogenic pesticide residues in the average American diet in a yearThere are thousands of chemicals in coffee, and over half of those tested have been found to be carcinogenic.

Over half of Americans drink coffee every day. Don’t be one of those doomed souls. And if you really can’t live without it, at least don’t feed the green, many-tentacle-d behemoth that is Starbucks: make your own damn coffee. Reclaim your life.

*All data in this article is technically true and correct. Facts have been mixed and matched to produce the best results, and thus may have been taken out of context. The views expressed in this article do not represent the views of the author.*