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Does Mother Fool’s Coffee Shop In Madison Care About The Environment?

October 11, 2014

Not for the first time as I walked past Mother Fool’s coffee shop on Williamson Street have I asked perhaps the most obvious question.  How can all the spray painting from aerosol cans that takes place for the large murals on the outside wall fit into the crunchy, environmentally-friendly types who stop in a for a cup of java?

The Wisconsin State Journal today pictured the latest creation that was painted and mentioned in the caption there have been at least 100 murals on the wall–thanks to aerosol paint cans.


Graffiti artists Billy McCoy, left, and Rob Foster add paint to a work-in-progress on the facade of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse in Madison, Wis. Friday, October 10, 2014. The pair, who have spray-painted the wall more than 100 times over the last 13 years, say the current work will have a Halloween-themed design when finished. John Hart — State Journal.

Madison is certainly  striving to be eco-friendly.  As a city we bike more than the average person in the nation, strive to improve our transportation systems, and are working at finding new ways to recycle even kitchen refuse.

So it strikes me as odd that so many seem to praise and encourage the use of aerosol paint being used over and over again for the sake of–lets be honest–forgettable art that is not destined to last but just be a sight until the next spray cans are bought for another–well, (lets be honest again) forgettable image.

I am sure some are already saying, but Mr. Blogger, in the scheme of worldwide environmental destruction there is no real harm in using a few cans of spray paint for the walls of this coffee shop.  But given that the mindset of so many who live here is ‘Think Globally–Act Locally” should then mean we walk our talk.

On one occasion over the past couple years I was walking as the paint was being applied for a mural and the stench was strong.  I was glad to be walking and moving way from the source of the smell.  Sure the wind whipped the scent way, the paint dried, and many probably never pondered as they looked at the end result to ask how repeated aerosol spray paintings in Madison play havoc–in its own way with all the other causes–to the glacier melts at the north pole.

‘Think Globally–Act Locally” needs to applied at Mother Fool’s.   There are far more greener ways to create art.

  1. Todd Runderproot permalink
    March 16, 2015 4:48 AM


    Seriously, choose your battles wisely friends. Otherwise you end up splitting hairs on the dark side of the moon. AEROSOL FROM PAINT!?! AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!

  2. Max Bolt permalink
    October 11, 2014 8:59 PM

    I suggest a seance discussion with Vincent Van Gogh.

    And then some analysis of the toxic output of roasting coffee beans.

    And then a chemical analysis of the soles of your shoes that you rub on the sidewalk.


  3. October 11, 2014 6:46 PM

    Environmentally, I think most spray paint companies no longer use CFC’s as propellants. But, yes there are still solvents that are not desirable in large quantities.

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