I love living a lifestyle that revolves around my health and well-being. Finding a new organic restaurant to try is the highlight of my week. When I’m having a rough day, a good Pilates class or a trip to the farmer’s market quickly and easily lifts my mood. Anything and everything I can do to enhance my wellness, I’m all for it.
But here’s the kicker: I work at Starbucks. Not exactly what one pictures as the center of health and well-being – I know!
The truth is, I love Starbucks! I think they are a great company. Not only do they offer a variety of options for all palates, (I prefer the unsweetened green tea lemonade), but they strive to help local communities and have an eco-friendly attitude. Every day we compost the coffee grounds and give discounts when people bring in reusable cups. This year Starbucks even launched a stronger version of their hot cup, which is lightweight plastic and reusable up to 30 times! The company is even making strides in community support by working with responsibly grown and ethically traded coffee. Additionally the loan programs and support centers provide resources, expertise in sustainable farming and financial aid to the farming communities in Costa Rica and Rwanda. My favorite thing is the Global Month of Service. Here employees and customers alike get together annually to volunteer in local neighborhoods and work with the Ethos Water Fund.
While I wouldn’t necessarily make a full meal out of the food on offer, with whole grain options, steel cut oatmeal and full leaf teas, the company’s attempt at nutrition and education is clear. All foods are free of high fructose corn syrup, dyes and artificial flavors, making it easier to find a treat I can happily enjoy. And while not organic, they have come out with a new fresh pressed juice product - Evolution Fresh, which is a huge step in educating the public on the benefits of juicing.
Wellness encompasses many things, including enhancement of your health, nutrition, environmental awareness and sense of community, but it also involves the enhancement of our soul. Aside from everything else, simply showing up to work increases my daily dose of wellness. The overall optimism within the store and the aim to increase the happiness of everyone who walks in is a trait I admire. A bad attitude is one of the worst qualities a company can have and we all know bad attitudes can be just as contagious as a smile.
I am proud to say that my experience with Starbucks has enhanced my wellness. I’ve been treated with immense respect, made lasting friendships, increased my work experience and witnessed just how far that smile can go. In this economy having a job, especially one that I enjoy, contributes to my overall wellness. So, next time all you see is that little white cup full of corporate coffee, look again - there’s more to that Siren’s Eye and your $5 coffee than you think. - Kirby Duemig