Tim Hortons is Serving a Greener Cup of Coffee

tim hortons green livingEarth Day may be behind us, but there are still a few days left in April, so we’re still thinking green. It turns out that we’re not the only ones. When we think of Tim Hortons, eco-friendly isn’t the first thing that pops into our minds. We might think of their patriotic commercials that never fail to bring a tear to our eyes. We may also think of donuts, or that coffee that helps us make it through the morning with a toddler and a teething baby. It turns out they’re taking steps to green their stores and reduce their environmental footprint.

A Greener Tim Hortons?

Starting this past March, all newly built and renovated Tim Hortons restaurants across North America will be outfitted with energy-efficient Philips LED lighting. By the end of this year, 485 restaurants will have been part of the conversion program. Included in this total are 180 newly built and 270 renovated Tim Hortons restaurants across Canada. The plan is that all of the 4400+ restaurants will have taken part by 2024. That’s a lot of Tim Hortons.

Changing a few lightbulbs might not seem like that big of a deal. With such a large Canadian chain, however, these small changes really add up. By the end of this year alone, the conversion program will result in a projected annual savings of approximately 6.4 million kilowatt hours of electricity. This is equal to the total annual energy consumed by 400 single-family homes, the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 924 passenger vehicles, or the annual carbon dioxide emissions from burning 4.7 million pounds of coal.

Keeping it Sustainable

Tim Hortons publishes annual reports on its sustainability and responsibility. To read the report for 2013 and find out just what the company is doing, and how it’s meeting its goals, visit sustainabilityreport.timhortons.com. Examples of its 2013 goals include increasing the number of restaurants diverting paper packaging materials by 34%, and recycling 230,000 pounds of material through the menu board recycling program.

You might also wonder what’s up with LED lighting. A few years ago we were all switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. What’s the deal with the new kid on the block? There are a number of benefits. LED lighting is one of the most energy-efficient options, typically using 40% less energy than incandescent bulbs. The quality of the light is more pleasant than fluorescent, with less glare. They also last longer – at least 50,000 hours. And they don’t contain mercury, which causes many people concern in fluorescent bulbs.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, we need a cup of coffee.

Photo credits – Calgary Reviews on Flickr and Elsie Hui on Flickr

Amber Strocel

Amber Strocel is the Managing Editor of City Mom Now, the parent network of Toronto Mom Now. She is a writer, podcaster, ardent crafter and green mom, who believes strongly in the power of the Internet to connect and empower. You can follow her on her personal blog at Strocel.com.

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