Starbucks Green Cups Cause Unnecessary Backlash Over Noble Message

Photo courtesy of Patrick Gage Kelley, Flickr

Stepping into Starbucks, the air smells of fresh ground coffee while soothing music plays in the background to keep those working hard on their laptops or reading a novel content. Everyone is sipping away on their drinks, whether they requested regular coffee or one of their signature beverages. If it isn’t Dunkin' Donuts, Starbucks is people’s go-to destination for a great cup of joe.

However, now that the festive season is around the corner, the holiday drinks aren’t the only things that Starbucks released this season; a new cup design arrived, which was the cherry to the sundae. It featured a green cup that is coated with drawings of various diverse people. The artist behind it, Shogo Ota, wanted to convey a message behind his artwork. According to their website, Starbucks explained how their new cup design was meant to represent humanity and connection, “serving as a symbol for stitching people together as a united community.”

When Starbucks released their new cups, some consumers were outraged and utterly disturbed by the company's choice. People blew up on Twitter tweeting and sharing their thoughts on social media about the green cups.

Twitter user Hayley Sommers tweeted out: ”Really hope Starbucks is kidding with this green holiday cup #unacceptable.”

Other Twitter users commented how Starbucks has started a “war on Christmas,” believing that they’re taking away the qualities and spirit of the jolliest holiday. Replacing Christmas lights, snowflakes, Christmas trees, etc. with drawings of people to represent a different message this season.

Unlike those who thrash the company with words, others were intrigued by the new design — viewing the new cups as a brilliant idea. And if not fascinated, then indifferent to the new cups. Some people don’t see what the big controversy is, including myself, because — it’s only a cup.

Starbucks serves their drinks in cups that will soon be thrown out once after it has been consumed. Unless you're a hoarder, this situation shouldn’t be a concern. There is no purpose to waste moments of precious life to harass Starbucks for changing their design on their cups for the holiday season.

Ota went out of his way to create a beautiful piece of art to display on all Starbucks’ cups. The message behind it was clever, genuine and heartwarming — indicating that everyone is equal. The idea can also represent Christmas — people of all types getting together in celebrating one of the cheeriest holidays. A Christmas tree and other holiday aspects shouldn’t be the ones symbolizing what the holiday is truly about, but equality and sharing the holiday with others in festive gatherings.

Starbucks never started a “war on Christmas,” but just – for a few days at least – gave the holiday season a new look and created some thought provoking discussion.

And for the traditionalists, the red cups returned this week.