Best Choices For Sustainable Coffee Mugs

sustainable, reusable coffee mugs

When you’re trying to be more environmentally conscious it helps to buy products that you know you can use more than one time. Keeping in mind what products you can and cannot recycle is important. If you’re the kind of person who likes to frequently drink coffee on the go, you may think that your paper travel mug is recyclable. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Paper travel mugs, the type offered by most coffee chains, are not recyclable because they have a thin plastic coating that prevents the cup from absorbing the coffee and getting soggy. That is not a good thing for the environment. If you want to truly help the environment while feeding your coffee addiction then the thing you need to have is a reusable travel mug.

Benefits of a Sustainable Coffee Mug

A sustainable coffee mug is a great thing to have because it is a small, but effective, way to minimize your waste footprint on the world.

Another benefit, depending on where you like to get your coffee, is that you can get a discount when you bring your own coffee cup. This may not work in all major chains, but it is certainly worth asking about, especially at your local coffee shop.

KeepCup Toughened Glass & Natural Cork Reusable Coffee Cup

A travel mug does not have to be aesthetically pleasing in order to be worthwhile, but it is certainly a bonus. The KeepCup reusable coffee cup is so pretty that it has actually inspired some inferior knock-offs. However, the knock-offs are not of the same quality.

This mug features a natural cork grip to prevent burns. It has a tempered glass body with a white non-spill lid. It is a fantastic eco-friendly travel companion.

Joco Glass Eco-Friendly Travel Mug

This tempered glass travel mug from Joco also has Instagram-worthy aesthetics. While there is nothing to confirm this, allegedly the design of the body of the mug makes for easier mixing of creamer and sweeteners. Like the option from KeepCup, it features a completely transparent glass body, with a silicone grip and a top with matching colors.

HereandNowPottery Large Reusable Mug

If you want a truly unique travel mug then it does not get more unique than these incredible handmade mugs from HereandNowPottery. Each mug is completely handmade and fired with a lead-free white glaze to keep your coffee-drinking experience a safe one.

These mugs are eco-friendly thanks to the fact that they leave zero waste behind. The company even uses an energy-efficient kiln that heats the ceramic material up to a stone quality. This prevents the mug from being able to absorb moisture from the coffee. Not only does it keep your coffee warm for long periods of time, but it looks beautiful too.

Yeti Rambler

If you are looking for a mug that can hold up to 20 ounces and get you through your morning routine, this option from Yeti is what you are looking for. It features a rather plain, no-nonsense design. But don’t let that put you off. This is a workhorse coffee mug made of stainless steel. While the lid does not prevent spills or leaks, it is magnetic, meaning it will lock tightly to the body of the mug. This mug will keep your drinks hot or cold for hours thanks to its double-walled insulation. Best of all, if it should become damaged, there’s a five-year warranty!

bioGo Cup

Sustainable replacements for common products often come with compromises. Fortunately, the bioGo Cup does not come with such compromises. This cup uses rice husk fiber, ditching the typical glass and stainless steel designs. One thing that it has that many travel coffee cups don’t have is a flip function on the lid. It is not spill or leak-proof, but it does offer a further degree of protection than many of the lids used on other travel mugs.

BruMate Toddy

One of the biggest drawbacks to most travel mugs is that they usually do not have leak or spillproof lids. That feature alone would make the BruMate Toddy easy to recommend, but there is thankfully much more going on with this mug. It features a handle, which is always a plus. The handle is placed higher up on the body so that it is easy to place in most cupholders.

Its body is specially insulated to keep your drinks hot or cold for up to seven hours. It is also dishwasher safe, which is not found in a tremendous number of reusable mugs.

Contigo Autoseal Travel Mug

This travel mug features a modern design that will keep your drinks hot or cold for up to 5 hours. It has a durable, stainless steel body and comes in a few different colors. It fits most cupholders, and best of all features an autoseal lid, which makes it spill-proof.

MiiR TruEnamel Camp Cup

If you truly want a sustainable travel mug then it does not get much better than a mug from a company that has been certified as Climate Neutral. This stylish and ergonomic mug may not be dishwasher safe, but it makes up for that with its lifetime warranty. On top of that, it features an ergonomic design that works with many cup holders. Its glass enamel design carries no odors from prior drinks.

Circular & Co. Travel Mug

If you want evidence that a travel mug is reusable, then perhaps the best evidence for this offering from Circular & Co. is its own existence. Not only is this travel mug recyclable, but it’s also made up of recycled coffee cups. It, admittedly, only keeps your drinks hot or cold for roughly 90 minutes. However, it is guaranteed to last up to ten years and features a fully leakproof lid.

Stojo Collapsible Coffee Cup

One of the most frustrating things about carrying around a travel cup is the amount of space the cup takes up when you are done drinking from it. This unique, collapsible travel cup from Stojo solves that problem beautifully. With an integrated straw, you can sip to your heart’s content while you are on the go. When you are finished you can simply collapse the cup to a size that fits perfectly in a purse or even in your pocket.

 

6 Tips for Buying and Enjoying Sustainable Coffee

A reusable cup and straw used for sustainable coffee

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 are 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 of 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 of higher quality and more sustainable when you buy it 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

Labels can tell you a lot. Especially the labels on coffee. Labels on the side of your coffee can tell you if it’s organic, fair trade, or if the bag itself is made from recycled materials.

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 the soil are 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.