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Our business system owns more than nine million coolers and vending machines. These vending machines and coolers are by far the largest estimated contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within our systemwide operations. They produce three times the estimated emissions of our manufacturing facilities and more than five times the emissions from our fleet.  – Coca Cola Corporate Website

I was thinking today of how to reduce our carbon foot print.  When I first came to the US at age 7, I was surprised to find ice cubes in all of my beverages. I didn’t really like them, nor do I to this day. But I learned in America, people like their beverages at near freezing point. The same is true of most office buildings indoor temperatures (as most women will attest). And they like their cars big; big engines, big trucks, big gas tanks. 

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When I traveled to Japan, I learned that many of their beverages are served at room temperature. And today, I began to wonder how much energy we could save by changing our tastes to prefer warmer beverages and warmer interiors, smaller cars. 

I’m still digging into the figures (which are pretty hard to find), but I’m astonished to see how quickly the increases in energy prices are changing driving behavior in the US and in Japan (petroleum demand has fallen in the US by about 2% month over month). And should these prices for oil stay at three digit levels, it’s likely that these changes will become semi-permanent, and change the culture of the gas guzzler.

It will be interesting to look back on this time with the culture we have in 25 years to see what changes were triggered by both the global warming panic and the energy crisis of the 2000s. I wonder if we’ll be drinking luke warm beverages in compact electric cars.

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