You can now get a (RED) card from Starbucks. Here’s how it works: You can buy the card online, or in a store, and purchase credit on it, just like any other Starbucks card. But there’s a big difference: With every transaction you conduct, five cents is used to buy life-saving medicine for people in Africa who have AIDS. That’s five cents out of their pockets, not yours.

If five cents sounds trivial, keep in mind that, thanks to the people at (RED), almost a quarter of a billion dollars has been sent to buy AIDS medicines, and that extraordinary amount emerged from the sum of “trivial” transactions just like these. This isn’t even charity, it’s just thoughtful commerce. It’s buying a latte with a (RED) card rather than with dollar bills.

I’ve got a (RED) card in my pocket, and every drink I buy at Starbucks this year will be run through it.

As a final note: Starbucks is the rare global juggernaut that seems to go out of its way to do the right thing. Is there another company with its reach that has a comparable record of Goodness? (Think health benefits for barristas, Free Trade expansion, etc.) Email me with your candidate. 

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