So this weekend I had the great pleasure of roaming around Manhattan, popping my head into generally closed-to-the-public spaces as part of the annual Open House New York. Among my favorite stops was a small shop in the East village called Build A Green Bakery. Apart from its divine chocolate-chip cookies, the bakery has made a small name for itself for being environmentally conscious, in everything from its supply chain to its ultra-green storefront. (Take a virtual tour and check out the materials they used).

I am thrilled that Build a Green Bakery is making such noble attempts to combat energy waste and pollution, but they are just one drop in a very large sea of bakery/cafes. Meanwhile, I am watching Starbucks stores breed like bunnies in surrounding Manhattan office buildings. I am beginning to think that Starbucks has a corporate rule of thumb: if you are at one Starbucks location and you can’t see another from where you are standing, someone better get a-buildin’. And now the Seattle-based chain hopes to launch 40,000 new stores worldwide, tripling the current number.

Now if only Starbucks, like Wal-Mart, would catch the green bug, then we might really have some change brewing.