By Angie Burkhart |Staff Writer|
The consumption of Starbucks’ sugary, coffee-licious beverages has become a popular trend, that, if consumed once a day, has the potential to cost you up to $1,460 a year.
Starbucks, once attracting what Dan Neil of the Los Angeles Times calls “affluent, college-educated progressives, the so-called latte liberals,” has become a commodity, and even a fashion accessory for some college students.
Despite their wide customer base, some of the brand’s loyal customers may not be so aware of its impact on their wallet and health, as well as the environment.
As a college student on a budget, have you ever wondered what your Starbucks habit is costing you weekly, monthly, or even annually?
CSUSB Student, Cesar Perez, who estimates he spends around $25 a month on Starbucks, stated, “I sometimes need some good caffeine to wake me up,” and he’s not alone.
Kathy Kristoff of CBS MoneyWatch gave insight into the habit in terms of its effect on your wallet, suggesting “if you buy one $4 latte each day, that coffee habit will set you back $28 a week, about $120 a month and $1,460 per year.”
Kristoff went on to state, “keep that up for five years and you’ve slurped away $7,300, not including any money you might have earned by investing your cash instead.”
Starbucks may be affecting more than your wallet; drinking these concoctions in excess may prove to be problematic for your health.
“If your daily routine includes swinging by Starbucks for a quick latte, you may be well on your way to diabetes, obesity, or both,” stated organicconsumers.org.
But what has coffee got to do with diabetes and obesity, you might ask.
This is because the items on their menu range between 5-640 calories, which means some potentially meet the calorie intake for almost one full meal, without any nutritional value.
Aside from the lack of nutritional value, you may be surprised to know that “a Starbucks grande coffee has 320 milligrams of caffeine, over four times the amount of caffeine in a Red Bull,” or that “the Trenta is slightly bigger than your stomach with the capacity to hold 916 millimeters,” as stated on businessinsider.com.
It’s not all down hill from here—however—Starbucks is known for its tendency to be environmentally aware and sometimes friendly.
Tiffany Hsu of the Los Angeles Times pointed out that “rather than dump its coffee grounds and unsold baked goods into landfills, Starbucks is trying to be more productive with its food waste—by transforming it into plastic and laundry detergent.”
As a Californian, you may be particularly interested in knowing Starbucks makes an effort to conserve energy, and perhaps more importantly, water.
According to starbucks.com, they have taken measures such as “installing efficient fixtures; monitoring consumption to identify spikes in water usage and targeting leak repairs; and upgrading the water filtration systems,” in their stores.
Furthermore, “Starbucks is moving its bottled water operation out of California amid the historic drought,” according to NBC News.
Like anything, moderation is key; if you drink responsibly, you can keep your Starbucks habit from burning a hole in your pocket and your calorie count.