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La Mo Cafe launches eco-conscious campaign in honor of Justin Ferrari
Justins cup pic1
Caf La Mo barista Robbie Brooks hands a cup of coffee over in one of the new reusable cups available at the coffee shop in August.


— Paper cups used in most coffee houses are not recyclable.

— A single use cup takes 20-50 years to decompose.

— 50 billion single use cups go to landfills every year in the United States.

— If one person used a reusable cup every day it would save 87 pounds of carbon dioxide each year.

—  It takes more than a million years for a polystyrene foam product to decompose in a landfill, according to the EPA.

—  If you had a 15-year-old tree and made it into paper grocery bags, you'd get about 700 – an amount that a busy supermarket could use in under an hour.

— There are about 30 billion water bottles consumed in the U.S. every year and 80 percent end up in landfills.

— 17 million barrels of oil each year are needed to produce those water bottles — enough oil to keep a million cars fueled for a whole year.

— The Earth Policy Institute factors the energy used to pump, process, transport and refrigerate bottled water as over 50 billion barrels of oil every year.


Reusable cups and bags will soon be available for purchase at Café La Mo, a campaign dedicated to not only raising awareness of living more consciously but also honoring a former Turlocker.

Anyone who has recently entered Café La Mo on East Main Street in downtown Turlock has probably noticed a decal on the pastry case. It is a black and white silhouette of a man's face and while it may appear random to some, it holds significant meaning to those who recognize the man in the picture.

It is Justin Ferrari, the eldest son of local couple John and Jeani Ferrari who was tragically killed in a shooting in Seattle three years ago. The decal has started a conversation at the downtown coffee shop, namely between Jeani and the owners who proposed that the still-grieving mother find a way to lighten the anniversary of Justin's death.

In April the owners of La Mo Cafe began a campaign to encourage community members to perform random acts of kindness in memory of Mark Smallwood and his legacy of generosity. Gloria Smallwood began the campaign, with her daughters and co-owners Brityn Butrick and Hillary Smith, in an effort to find a positive way to remember her late husband.

“The response was so great. People did so many glorious things,” recalled Ferrari.

In an effort to honor Justin in a similar light, Gloria suggested Jeani begin a campaign in his honor and Justin's Cup of Good was born.

Justin's Cup of Good is a partnership between Ferrari and the ladies of Café La Mo to inspire locals to use reusable cups in an effort to minimize negative impacts on the environment. Single use cups can take between 20 and 50 years to decompose and Ferrari is aiming to decrease the use of these cups by creating a reusable cup that will be sold at Cafe La Mo.

Like the pastry case, the cup will bear a smaller decal of Justin Ferrari, and on the other side of the cup it reads "50 billion minus one” to draw attention to the fact that 50 billion is the number of single use cups that end up in a landfill in America each year. The cup is an opportunity to not only leave less of a footprint on the environment, but to further a cause about which Justin was passionate.

“He was a minimalist. He was committed to the environment, but he wasn't preachy. He would tell me these things to inform me,” explained Ferrari. “He wouldn’t really like this whole thing, to be honest, but he would like the gesture.”

Prior to the inception of the Justin's Cup of Good campaign, Café La Mo has made efforts to lead an eco-conscious example evident by its compostable cups for cold drinks and recyclable paper cups for hot drinks. The café also offers biodegradable spoons and forks for to-go pastries and food items, all of which have been offered since its opening roughly one year ago. By creating an eco-friendly environment, the owners of the cafe hope to inspire their patrons to continue to make similar choices of their own accord outside of the cafe walls.

“I think it inspires ownership,” reflected Smith, noting that people can find empowerment in their actions by the simplest of decisions, such as using a reusable cup.

The launch of Justin's Cup of Good will coincide with Café La Mo’s release of reusable bags that bear the coffee shop’s name. If profits are generated, they will be donated to the Hope Lives Here campaign of the Turlock Gospel Mission, which is currently fundraising to complete a year-round homeless shelter. However, the goal has never been to make a profit, but rather to spread the word of eco-conscious living and keep Justin’s legacy alive.

“The whole point of this campaign is the power of one,” said Ferrari. “That is what this is about. Everyday decisions and the impact they have.”

Justin's Cup of Good will launch on Aug. 18 and the reusable cups will sell for $3 as will the reusable La Mo bags. Bought together they will sell for $5.