GOOD

Chipotle Ends the Penny Before U.S. Mint Does

Rounding up or down to the nearest nickel saves time and that's just one argument against the diminutive denomination.

Fast-casual burrito lovers are reading headlines like "Chipotle caught STEALING pennies" this week and thinking one of a few things:


1. OH NO, MY PENNIES! YOU BASTARDS!

2. Surely it's a little more nuanced than that.

3. Hey, great! I hate pennies.

Here's the deal: In high-volume stores in New York and New Jersey, sales were rounded up or down to the nearest $0.05. Chipotle has said that it's a time-saving measure and they don't make a profit on it (since they round both up and down). But some people got angry about it, so now Chipotle will only round down. Because pennies are that annoying.

There are many arguments in favor of the cent going the way of the half-cent (didja know?), but the overarching theme is that they're just not worth it. The Awl excerpted David Wolman's book, "The End of Money":

Pennies, nickels, and dimes can barely be described as money anymore. Legally they are, sure, but they don’t exactly circulate. A store of value? Practically nil. Medium of exchange? Only if you have a boatload of them, which won’t exactly endear you to whomever you’re transacting with. A unit of account? Technically, but I don’t know anyone who uses the hundredths place in his mental accounting. Marketing types will be quick to tell you that consumers treat $2.99 differently from $3.00, but that’s because of the hypnotic power of the left digit. No one cares about the right one anymore. It’s no wonder then that people so willingly pay the usurious 8.9 percent fee to use one of Coinstar’s 20,000 kiosks to convert unwieldy jarfuls of metal into paper money.

In the United States, the question of killing at least the penny and nickel surfaces whenever the price of metals spikes. A few years ago, the cost of making a penny peaked at 1.8 cents per cent, and nine cents for a nickel. The penny has since come down; nickels are still at about six cents apiece, while each of the new dollar coins costs an impressive thirty-four cents. “The current situation is unprecedented,” the director of the U.S. Mint told Congress in the summer of 2010. “Compared to their face values, never before in our nation’s history has the government spent as much money to mint and issue coins.” Never before has the United States faced such “spiraling” costs to issued coinage—more, in fact, than the coins’ legal tender value. “This problem is needlessly wasting hundreds of millions of dollars.”

\n

So, I ask: Who among you restaurateurs will be the first to quit also-maligned nickels? Is it you, Qdoba? Is it?

Is private business a more effective actor in retiring old-timey coinage than groups like Citizens to Retire the U.S. Penny? You bet. But first, people will have to not get outraged about losing a couple of cents of value here, gaining a few there.

Photo via Flickr (cc) user puuikibeach.

Articles
via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
Pixabay

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Cocostation

Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger

Dizaul

Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head

Speakman

Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor

Zomchi

Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet