Heroes

Customers Were Not Prepared For What Their Coffee Shop Refused To Do

The morning coffee. The afternoon coffee. Any coffee. The getting of the day's cup(s) of coffee is basically a sanctified and inviolable ritual. To break its rules would be to upset the very fabric of society, to end order and peace on our city's streets. Right?

Because we're really all just this lady:

Blissed out from yoga, trying to get our decaf coffee on.


The kind (or grouchy) coffee person will give it to us with that little paper sleeve without our even asking, and we'll wander out into the noonday sun and drink it slowly, trying not to burn our tongue.

This social experiment aims to snap us out of our automatic apartment-yoga-coffee-office routine.

(Or, y'know, whatever your routine is. My day certainly doesn't start with yoga. What am I, a flexible rooster?)

A coffee shop asks its customers whether they want their beverage "for here or to go," and when someone says they'd like it "to go," the guy behind the counter asks for their to-go cup.

What's that? No to-go cup? Jeez, that's too bad — because they're not offering paper or plastic cups anymore.

Just miles and miles o' mugs.

People are a little bit surprised.

But they take it in stride. At least, these folks did. (Must not have been filmed in New York?)

In the video capturing this little project, most people stall for a minute, unsure of what to do.

Then they say, "OK, for here then." And they just go on living their lives.

It's funny to watch. But what's really great is how little happens.

There's a very good chance that if we changed the behavior of businesses, we awesome individuals could save 160 million cups per day. And I like how easy that sounds.

Want that obligatory holy-cow number again?

That's how many cups we're using every day for our mocha-choca-latta-ya-yas.

But this isn't a lecture from Professor Boringpants. (He's on sabbatical.)

This is an impassioned inquiry into the invisible hands that shape our everyday behavior. We're not here to ask, "Why aren't you a better person who brews a fair-trade coffee at home every morning and carries it in a BPA-free thermos to work?"

No, we're to ask:

Why do thousands of businesses give us 160 million pieces of garbage that we then have to throw in the trash every day?

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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