Coffee truly is the drink of gods. It keeps us awake, alert and warm on cold winter days. It provides comfort but also energy and motivation. However, your daily cup of coffee (or five) is not always the greenest drink you can enjoy. Being eco-friendly with your coffee is especially important for big coffee-drinking nations like Australia, the USA, and many European countries. If environment conservation is always at the top of your to-do list, here’s how you can green up your coffee drinking habit and enjoy this beverage with a clear conscience:
Invest in reusable filters
If you’re making your coffee with a paper filter, try to ditch that habit for reusable filters. Why? Well, most of these filters are bleached with chlorine and end up in landfills where they can leave traces of dioxins (chemicals toxic to people). You can get TCF or PCF filters (total chlorine-free and processed chlorine-free) to reduce your coffee’s impact on the environment. But the best solution is reusable filters that will not only reduce waste but also boost the richness and mouthfeel of your coffee.
Bring your own mug
If you don’t have time to always make coffee at home, you can at least bring your own cup to the coffee shop. Standard Starbucks coffee cup needs 20 years to decompose, which is not nearly fast enough. By bringing your own mug or tumbler, you can keep one single-use cup safe from the landfill and still enjoy your coffee to the fullest. Plus, you’ll look much cooler and unique with a personalized mug—it will soon become your trademark in the office and at the coffee shop.
Avoid single-use plastics
Single-use plastic cups and pods are probably the most polluting thing about coffee today. Nespresso and K-Cups are very practical, but they also produce tons of waste, making them a true environmental disaster. Only in Australia, people consume 3 million coffee capsules every day, with just 10% of them being recycled—that’s 8,500 tons of waste added to the landfill yearly. What you can do to help reduce this catastrophic number is choose eco friendly coffee pods from Australia and enjoy top-quality coffee with 100% compostable and biodegradable capsules. These are bio-based, made with natural materials (plant oils & fatty acids), and can break down in your home composting bin!
Reduce energy usage
Regular home or office brewers produce decent coffee, but they can draw a lot of energy in the process. What you can do to reduce electricity waste is switch to a French press, AeroPress, or go with the pour-over method. There’s also the cold brew option. This method of brewing produces coffee with a sweet, mellow, and not-so-acidic flavor, but if you experiment with techniques and beans, you can get just the results that you like.
Get the right coffee
Obviously, not all coffee roasting companies invest the same effort and respect into their craft. Some only care about the profit, while some also take into consideration their environmental impact, paying close attention to their footprint. Make sure to study your local roasters and see which ones invest time and effort into reducing, reusing, and recycling. Focus on those companies working with the best coffee farms in the world that also pay attention to the environment. Look for Certified Organic labels and blends that are free of pesticides. It’s not always easy to figure out where your coffee comes from, but you can ask questions on your supplier’s website or chat with your local barista.
Put spent grounds to good use
Every cup of coffee you make will leave some spent grounds for you to deal with. Most people chuck these into the trash, but not you! What you can do with these grounds is use them as fertilizer in your garden. Those a little more adventurous can also use them as mushroom soil! There are also organizations that collect coffee grounds from big coffee users and reuse them at their facilities. In some cases, coffee grounds can be reused for dying fabrics, creating alternative fuel options, insulating construction materials, etc.
It’s not hard to be more eco-friendly with every habit that you have—coffee drinking included. Use these tips above to boost your green lifestyle and still enjoy your tasty coffee every day.
Photo by Jenny Ueberberg on Unsplash