Is BC Ferries Guilty of Greenwashing?

After spending 8+ hours loading, unloading, moving, hosing, smashing, fixing, taping, more taping, and more hosing, all of our ship-y science-y things were in order yesterday for the upcoming research expedition. On the ferry ride home, I noticed something that was potentially dubious:

What do you think – this may or may not be a case of greenwashing (i.e. the coffee supplied to BC ferries could very well be roasted locally – see a Terry post on Greenwashing here), but I’m calling bullshit.

Why do we care about locally produced goods? Well, primarily for two reasons:

  1. If it was produced locally, then less energy was required (and therefore, less pollution as a result) to ship these goods halfway around the world before landing in your grubby little hands (or, in this case, my grubby little hands). This reason should appease environmentalists (i.e. tax loving pinko’s, greeno’s, commies, whatevsies).
  2. Producing goods locally helps to stimulate the local economy (i.e. we don’t ship hard earned North American jobs overseas). This reason should appease business types (i.e. pro-life, law hating, gun toting, steer riding wo/men).

Now, in no way does roasting the coffee beans locally lend itself to reason #1, and perhaps it only somewhat lends itself to reason #2 (I’m somewhat skeptical that either many roasting plants are required to meet BC Ferries quota of beans, or these plants subsidize very much of the local economy).

My verdict: a roasted cup of bullshit. BC Ferries: shame on you.

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Dave Semeniuk spends hours locked up in his office, thinking about the role the oceans play in controlling global climate, and unique ways of studying it. He'd also like to shamelessly plug his art practice: davidsemeniuk.com

2 Responses to “Is BC Ferries Guilty of Greenwashing?”

  1. Hayles

    You’re forgetting reason number three: it tastes better. You don’t see a lot of it here in Vancouver, but if you go to Seattle or San Fran the truely good cafes have their own roaster in the back room, and you can watch through a little glass pane as they prepare your beans daily. You’re right though — it all still comes from South America.

  2. Dave Semeniuk

    You don’t see a lot of it here in Vancouver

    One of my favorite haunts is Trees on Granville and Hastings – they also roast their beans in house. If you’re sitting outside, and the breeze is blowing down the alley, you can spend a summer afternoon sipping coffee and taking in the sun rather contently while the aroma of freshly roasted beans (and on occasion, freshly evacuated urine) fills the air.

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