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College Coffee Shop Goes Green

By Lookout Staff

November 20 -- The Starbucks coffee shop on the Santa Monica College Campus is not only seriving up strong brews, it's giving students a lesson on what it means to go green.

Established on campus in 1988, TCBY/Starbucks has been certified as a "Green Business," thanks to several of owner Mike Eghbali's environmentally sensitive business practices.

"Not only are his coffee beans fair-trade certified, but used coffee grounds are collected and then composted in the college's industrial vermi-composter, which uses worms to transform food waste into a nutrient-rich compost that is then used to fertilize the campus grounds," said Genevieve Bertone, SMC's sustainability coordination project manager.

To further reduce waste, Eghbali purchases recycled paper napkins, and his printing paper contains 30 percent post-consumer content recycled material. All to-go containers are recyclable or compostable in compliance with the City of Santa Monica's Non-Recyclable Food Service Container Ban.

The shop's administrative staff has been refilling printing cartridges instead of throwing them out when they're empty -- saving money as well as the energy, water and petroleum used to produce the plastic for the cartridge.

TCBY also serves pre-packed organic sandwiches from Organics To Go and has been stocking reusable travel mugs personalized with each employee's name, and

TCBY/Starbucks is the first food establishment on campus to achieve Green Business Certification. The certification program is a partnership between the City of Santa Monica and Sustainable Works, a nonprofit program housed at SMC that trains SMC students and Santa Monica residents and businesses to be environmentally conscious in their living and work practices.

Eghbali displays his Green Business Certificate on the wall adjacent to the cashier counter so students waiting in line to order can read about how a green business on campus is run.

"I feel great about this certification," Eghbali said. "After I learned about this program, it made me more and more interested to get involved. My next project is the Coffee Spot (the other food business he operates on campus)."

College officials say this certification is one example of the many things SMC is doing to encourage its vendors to go green. The Green Business Certification program serves to verify and promote green businesses throughout Santa Monica. More information can be found at http://www.smgbc.org.

"I feel great about this certification,"
Mike Eghbali

"Not only are his coffee beans fair-trade certified, but used coffee grounds are collected and then composted in the college's industrial vermi-composter
Genevieve Bertone

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