Coffee is a wonderful drink that is highly valued all across the globe, and that has been enjoyed for centuries. The history of coffee is rich and full of interesting developments. More recently, folks have become more concerned than ever about purchasing and enjoying coffee in the most sustainable ways possible.
Keep on reading for some ideas on how to buy and enjoy coffee sustainably.
Do Some Research
Coffee is considered to be sustainable if the growing, harvesting, roasting and selling of the coffee product is invested in:
- Conserving nature
- Improving the livelihoods of its growers
- Sustaining the supply of coffee
- Strengthening the demand for coffee
Doing a deep dive into your favorite coffee brands, and investigating things like where they source their coffee, how they reciprocate the community for it, and how they package and sell their coffee is an important part in buying sustainable coffee. It is a healthy habit to know more.
Connect with Local Roasters
Local roasters are the best place to start your coffee journey. Like with fruits and vegetables, coffee is often higher quality and more sustainable when you buy closer to home.
Plus, you can get a much better idea of where the coffee is coming from by speaking directly to the experts at your local roastery. They can tell you about how they source the beans, and the relationships they have with their suppliers.
Check the Label
If you are concerned about the sustainability practices of the coffee brand you like to drink, or lack thereof, then perusing the labels, and the significance of the labels, can tell you a lot.
Avoid Big Brands
As with agriculture, the bigger the brand, the more likely that the coffee comes from less sustainable practices.
Smaller brands and independent coffee roasters have smaller footprints. They take up less space, spend less money and energy, and create fewer outputs. They tend to pay their people more, source their coffee more equitably, and be more concerned for the natural environment.
Use a Plastic-Free Coffee Maker
Keurig coffee machines, and other single-serve brewers, are far from sustainable. They rely on single use plastic pods to brew small batches of coffee. Millions of these pods end up in landfills every year.
Yes, it may be true that single-serve brewers use less water and consume less electricity. But they are notorious for producing a lot of plastic waste.
If you must rely on a single-use brewer, it’s worth looking into recyclable pods, compostable pods, and reusable pods. Cleaning your coffee maker right is also important. However, even the solutions to the original K-cup problem have their setbacks.
Compost Your Grounds
Coffee grounds make excellent compost. Even most coffee filters can be composted. By adding your used grounds to the compost pile, or fertilizing your plants directly, you can sustain the usefulness of coffee.
Coffee grounds in soil is good for:
- Adding aeration
- Increasing organic matter content
- Retaining more water
- Enhancing drainage
From your cup, to the compost, it is possible to purchase and enjoy coffee in sustainable ways. By following some tips from above, and investing in reputable coffee brands, you can be a part of the solution that helps keep quality coffee around forever.