What’s life without a freshly brewed cup of coffee?
For most of us, drinking coffee is a staple part of our daily routine. It brings happiness, it brings energy, and to some degree, it brings us life. Whether you prefer to have your morning cup of coffee in your home, or you prefer popping in your local coffee shop, there are some great ways to implement sustainability into your coffee practices.
That’s why we’ve made this easy-to-follow guide, discussing all things sustainability and coffee. We’ll provide you with some great sustainability tips, so you can enjoy your coffee while living a greener lifestyle.
1. Purchase sustainable coffee beans
If you drink coffee at home, one way to sustainably drink coffee is to ensure that the coffee beans you purchase are sustainably sourced.
Your first question might be, what exactly does sustainability-sourced coffee mean?
Well, coffee is primarily sourced from tropical regions. These wonderful, tropic regions are home to some of the world’s greatest wildlife and natural beauty. There are magnificent forests, lakes, and rivers which are vital in keeping the planet healthy. These forests absorb masses of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, and this absorption of carbon dioxide is crucial to the climate of the earth. What’s more, these forests release mass amounts of oxygen, which we need for survival.
What ends up happening, is that these very remarkable – and necessary, forests end up being cut down, in order to make room for more coffee plantations. This is what we call deforestation, and it’s a big problem for the climate and the state of the world. It doesn’t just occur with coffee, it frequently occurs with agriculture practices too. What’s more, in order to grow coffee, a huge amount of water is required. This can have a negative impact on the river steams, causing major erosion and water contamination.
This is why purchasing sustainable coffee beans is crucial for sustainability.
In order to be more sustainable, purchase coffee beans from companies and retailers that are committed to fair trade practices. When purchasing coffee beans, check the package and the label for fair trade certifications. Packaging that says Fair Trade Certified, Soil Association Certified, and Rainforest Alliance Certified are a big thumbs up. If you’re still unsure about the ethics of the company, do some research to check whether their commitment to fair trade and sustainability is legit.
The slight downside is that sustainable coffee beans are a little more expensive, so it may not be a sustainable step that everyone can make. However, not all sustainable coffee beans are that more expensive than regular coffee, and depending on the brand you currently use, it could work out cheaper.
The flip side is that while sustainable coffee beans can be a little more expensive, the taste is incredible. They’re usually fresher than regular coffee beans, and the sustainable practices that go into producing the beans makes for an overall greater taste.
2. Choose Reusable or Recyclable Coffee Pods
If you’re a fan of espresso, and have your own espresso machine, then you’ll be very familiar with coffee pods. They’re easy to use, and they produce delicious espressos.
The problem with coffee pods is that they’re typically made out of plastic.
While some of them can be recycled, a lot of them cannot be. They add to further plastic waste, which is detrimental to the environment. Likewise, they’re a product of a single-use society, which refers to the concept that as a whole, we are consuming a mass amount of products, such as plastics, that can only be used once before being thrown away. It’s not a sustainable practice, and should be avoided wherever possible.
There are two ways of being more sustainable with your coffee pods. That’s by ensuring that your coffee pods are recyclable, or investing in reusable coffee pods.
The best materials for disposable coffee pods are aluminum. They’re the best when it comes to being recycled, and are overall better for the environment. They’re still not perfect, though, and they still contribute to excess waste.
In that case, consider purchasing reusable coffee pods. By using reusable coffee pods, you can use any type of ground coffee you like, and place them into the pods. They’re really simple to use, all you need to do is fill up the pod with ground coffee, and do exactly what you would with regular coffee pods.
Not only is it great for the environment – because you’re saying goodbye to single waste plastics, it allows you to have more creative freedom with your coffee.
A sustainable win-win!
3. Invest In A Reusable Coffee Travel Coffee Flask
If you prefer going to your local coffee shop, or a favored coffee chain for your coffee, then a good sustainable habit is to bring your own travel coffee flask.
Think about all the millions of people in the world, who consume coffee, from a coffee shop, every day. Then, think about the fact that the majority of this coffee is consumed in a disposable cup – not all of which are recyclable. That’s a massive amount of waste, and unless it’s recyclable, it all goes to a landfill.
So, to avoid any excess waste, a sustainable coffee practice would be to invest in a reusable travel flask.
This will pretty much be any container that you like, that is suitable for storing hot coffee. This will prevent the use of excess disposable coffee cups, meaning protecting the environment from unnecessary waste. Plus, most coffee chains will actually sell their own version of reusable coffee cups, so if you’re not fussy, you can pick one up on your next coffee commute.
You’ll have to clean your coffee flask at home, but that’s not a big deal when it comes to helping the environment, right?
When it comes to sustainable coffee drinking, there are some great steps that you can implement to live a greener life. Whether it’s purchasing sustainable coffee, buying reusable coffee pods, or making sure you have a reusable coffee flask for the next time you head to a coffee shop, there’s something for everyone.