Don’t get me wrong here. I love Starbucks. I must visit the store about 4 times daily. I grab my coffee flavored coffee, dump a sugar in the raw and go back to being productive at work.

Today was different. Right after work, I had to head off to do some outdoor rock climbing, my usual Wednesday activity. I had no water, and no time to stop at Harris Teeter. Starbucks sells water. So I take the plunge and grab two of their “Humanitarian” waters. I fork over the WAY overpriced $1.50 per bottle and headed off to the mountains.


Well curiosity hits me, and I read the label:


AWESOME! This water helps CHILDREN get clean water. I assume some despotic third world country where they drink muddy rain run off. On closer inspection…

Slightly larger. As if they’re gloating and calling us stupid to our faces. So for every $1.50 I spend on really average spring water, (Dasani tastes better and is essentially filtered tap water) Starbucks will donate $0.05 to support Humanitarian programs in COFFEE GROWING communities. So…

For Every Bottle of Ethos water you buy, Starbucks will donate 5c to support humanitarian programs in coffee growing communities, providing clean, safe water to those in need.

Essentially those poor underpaid farmers where Starbucks buys their coffee from can get clean water, so they can stay healthy and farm more beans… But what about the children on the front of the bottle? Are they the slave laborers that pick the coffee beans with bloody overworked fingers?

To delve deeper, One dollar and Fifty cents can be divided up into 30, 5 cent chunks. So Starbucks in their “Humanitarian” efforts is giving 1/30th of the purchase to communities within their best interest AND pocketing the other 29/30th profits.

Lets summarize:

  • The bottle says “Helping Children get clean water”
  • The marketing all screams charity, humanitarian efforts world peace.
  • The not so fine print says they pocket the cash and give a measly 5 cents per bottle sold to communities that grow coffee.
  • Starbucks is bold and brutally honest while being horribly deceptive in all it’s marketing to this water, and calling it’s customers stupid humanitarian hippies to their faces.

Fair would be 50 cents per bottle sold given to the communities that have crappy water. Better yet, for each bottle they sell here in the US, send a bottle to the communities in need. They’ll still make ass loads of cash and be genuinely charitable, not marketing swine turning a profit on the kind hearts of it’s customers who don’t read the labels.