Coffee is the second most sought after commodity in the world. There is no denying that coffee has a large impact on the environment. Unfortunately, that impact is mostly negative. Many factors involved in coffee consumption and production are harmful to our planet. However, this does not mean that we have to give up our daily coffee. Instead, we can become more mindful and make small adjustments to make our coffee habit more sustainable.
1. Coffee beans
Buying coffee beans is the first step you can change to make your coffee habit more sustainable. The choice you make when selecting coffee beans can make the most significant contribution to your sustainability efforts. This will not only influence what type of coffee production you support, but also the social and economic effect on the coffee producers. Therefore, you should pay attention to labels that are Fairtrade or organic. By opting for Fairtrade coffee, you can support coffee farmers around the world and help protect the environment. You should also buy your coffee beans locally to reduce negative environmental effects of transportation.
2. Use more sustainable preparation methods
There are a lot of different methods and appliances to prepare your coffee. However, some of these appliances create an incredible amount of waste. Pod-machines, such as Nespresso, consume a lot of energy and produce waste that often cannot be recycled. More sustainable alternatives include drip coffee makers, the French press or aero press. If you prefer filter coffee, you should use reusable filters that are made out of metal or cloth. This will prevent additional waste from paper filters.
3. Buy a reusable coffee cup
Many coffee shops sell coffee in single-use plastic cups. These cups are not very environmentally friendly as they are often not recycled properly. If you are prone to buying takeaway coffees, you should bring your own refillable cup or flask. Coffee shops usually offer incentives for customers who do this and you may even get a discount on your coffee. However, if a disposable cup is unavoidable, you can use a 100% compostable coffee cup.
4. Reuse coffee grounds
Reusing coffee grounds does not necessarily mean putting them back into your coffee machine. To get as much use as possible out of your purchase, you can use the grounds for other benefits. Coffee grounds can act as a skin exfoliator, plant fertilizer and deodorizers for your fridge.
5. Milk and sugar dispensers
In order to avoid additional waste, you can use glass dispensers for your sugar. Single packaged coffee creamer and sugar creates a lot of harmful waste in the environment. By switching to glass containers, you not only reduce waste but you can also recycle them once you are finished with them.
6. Dispose of coffee grounds in compost bins
Approximately 6 million tonnes of coffee grounds get sent to landfills every year. To prevent coffee ground build up, you should use a compost bin to dispose of your grounds. These must be composted for around 100 days before you can use them as fertilizer.
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