Written by Jeff Lund @alaskalund
Every time I’ve driven through Canada on my trips between Alaska and The World (the Lower 48, Down South) there has been construction and the law says you must turn off your engine. No idling. Americans love to idle. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel and produces more emission that contribute to smog than stopping and restarting your vehicle. Personal-vehicle idling wastes 3 billion gallons of fuel and generates 30 million tons of CO2 annually.
While there are some places we can’t avoid the idle, one place we can, is when we confront one of the biggest lies in modern society: The Drive-Thru is convenient. It only allows us to further isolate ourselves because why stand in line on your phone when you could be in your car on your phone, right? The biggest benefit of the Drive-Thru is the ability to be sitting down because a factless study by Factoid Nation reported that all healthy lifestyles start in the seated position.
Anyway, to clarify, I’m talking about using the Drive-Thru for coffee. If it’s fast food, it makes sense that people wouldn’t want to go inside because why would anyone care about poisoning earth when they poison themselves?
In the interest of full-disclosure, I love me some In-N-Out Burger but only have it at the one north of Sacramento on the way back from fly fishing in the Redding area. Chipotle is also one of my must-haves when I’m down in the Lower 48, but that’s not the same as the traditional fast food that functions as either a guilty-pleasure cheat snack, or pre-meditated obesity. Now that I live in Ketchikan, Alaska, my options are McDonalds and Subway – neither of which I have entered since high school.
Anyway, if, like Dean, you are concerned about making a conscious effort to reuse a travel mug rather than contribute to the amount of cups out there polluting gutters, empty lots, interstates, landfills or oceans, you have to go inside.
But this could be a frustrating exercise in waiting to order and waiting to pick up, because if the barista doesn’t believe in cutting, you might have to watch six, 400-calorie pumpkin somethings get made – for people who don’t really like it but have been waiting months to be able to post on social media about it – before you can get your large coffee.
This ultimately leads us back to the reality that by being better and more efficient with your morning routine, you can brew at home while saving money, saving earth, saving time and saving yourself an overdose of seasonal fads.
Our Coffee Club can get you a bag off coffee at $13.50 + shipping and deliver about 30 cups... This beats the coffee shops 30 cups for $90... but hey, I'm not here to sell you but it does me no good to keep this info to myself.
I timed myself this morning, and it took 32 seconds to grind beans, load the maker, add water and hit a button. Then, I didn’t have to wait for it to brew. I could do other productive things on my way to being ready for the morning. Danny has shown, with his trusty dry erase board and marker, the cost effectiveness of brewing the majority of coffee at home and he’s a former P.E. teacher!
Though I live on an island in southeast Alaska with more woodland creatures than people, I am not advocating isolation. There is a time and place for the coffee joint, no doubt about it. But when it comes time for coffee on the go, the Drive-Thru is a no.