Decoding Unions

If you didn't know about unions before, you almost certainly got an earful on December 9, 2021. That was the day that a Starbucks in Buffalo, N.Y., voted to form the company’s first union. However, despite the long and intense history of unionization in the United States, the conversation surrounding workers’ rights—especially within the service industry—is only recently becoming significantly mainstream. Combine an arguably unprecedentedly visible labor movement with the highest public approval rating of unions in almost 60 years, and it’s clear that both understanding and reconceptualizing the way that the coffee industry views labor and workers’ rights has never been more crucial.

Green America Celebrates Black History Month

The 1st of February signifies the commencement of Black History Month, a time to honor and emphasize the importance of learning and celebrating Black history and culture. This year’s theme is “African Americans and the Arts.” While Black History Month takes place in February in honor of the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, the observation is a call to engage in a deeper understanding of Black history – one that highlights the entirety of the Black community and culture and subsequent infinite contributions to the world beyond the simplified study of only a few vastly known heroes.

The Pros and Cons of Calling Out Names with Drink Orders

"Can I get a name for that order?" is a phrase that is on constant repeat for most baristas. For others, the action of handing a customer an order number ticket is so routine they could do it in their sleep. While the ramifications of a café’s chosen process for drink identification tend to fly under the radar, the barista community has passionate opinions on the proper way to match drink to customer, revealing the topic to be much more contentious than it would seem at first glance - and one that can cause even deeper consequences by unintentionally causing harm to customers.

Inclusivity in Coffee Julien Langevin: Cupping and Community in the Face of Mental Illness

Julien Langevin has been immersed in “coffee nerdery” since they began dreaming about steaming milk shortly after starting their first barista job. Julien’s passion for coffee grew rapidly from there, eventually transforming them from the high school student whose morning commute to school in their hometown of Auburn, Maine, would not be complete without a stop at Tim Hortons, into the 2022 United States Cup Tasters Champion and founder of Tomato Coffee Class.

Inclusivity in Coffee Addison Mathis: Queerness and Vulnerability on the U.S. Barista Championship Stage

Addison Mathis had written and revised countless scripts leading up to the 2023 United States Barista Championship (USBC), but when they completed their final rewrite of the ending just a week before the competition, they had no idea that their words would have such an outstanding impact. Their powerful routine both represented and resonated with the queer coffee community.

JUSTICE4VIV: Student Protests Revive Calls for Firing of AOK Library Circulation Manager

Since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, flyers calling for the firing of Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery Circulation Manager Paula Langley have circulated around the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus. On April 21, 2022 UMBC students organized a demonstration at the AOK Library demanding Langley’s firing. Chants of “Fire Paula Langley” and “Justice for Vivien” could be heard from the protesters.

Eco-friendly Home Improvement at a Discount

Get free money to pay for your eco-friendly home improvements—like water heaters and cooling systems—thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act.

A number of IRA incentives are geared towards helping people with modest incomes to make sure that everyone benefits from going green.

If you were thinking of updating your home—from A/C to hot water heater to stove—now is the time to take advantage of tax credits that will save you money as you help to save the planet.

Green America Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15 marks the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of Hispanic and Latin Americans’ history and culture and an opportunity to recognize the important contributions made by those in the communities. This year’s theme is “Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America.” Hispanic Americans are the largest racial or ethnic minority in the United States, constituting 19% of the total population.

Preparing for Household Climate Resilience

How to prepare your home for climate change's disasters.

13% of Americans reported facing economic hardship due to climate change in 2022, according to “The Impact of Climate Change on American Household Finances,” a recent US Department of the Treasury (DoT) report. Americans experienced these challenges during a year in which DoT calculated the cost of climate and weather disasters in the US to have totaled more than $176 billion—the third most costly year on record.

4 Sustainable Foods to Green Your Cooking

By replacing high emission ingredients with these four sustainable foods, you can promote sustainability for your kitchen and the planet.

Sustainable foods are a great way to make an impact in your daily life—in your own way. Finding your true green is all about the intentional choices you make in your unique sustainability journey. What you bring into the kitchen is no exception—in fact, it is a powerful way to lower your household’s carbon footprint.