Coffee is the fuel and energy source for many people across the globe. Every 24 hours, humans collectively drink well over 2 billion cups of coffee. Further, each year, people throw away approximately 16 billion disposable coffee cups.

Currently, there is an expanding necessity to eliminate plastic straws. But that’s not enough. Luckily, as awareness of living sustainably grows, people are making changes to help. Whether you’re busy at work, on-the-go or at home, you can help with these simple steps.

 

 

1. Get Informed

Staying up-to-date with current trends and movements is the first step. Even a single cup of coffee has a story to tell about how it got to you.

Non-sustainable products, materials and lifestyles don’t just affect the environment. Though coffee prices continue to rise, coffee farmers receive very low pay. On average, they get one to two cents for what will become a several-dollar coffee. This low pay can fuel poverty and hunger, especially in countries where coffee production is high.

Additionally, coffee production uses resources like water. Since coffee uses so much of it, its production contributes to the climate threat.

Shipping, too, requires various materials like plastic to transport the coffee. Some shippers have chosen to transport coffee with more sustainable materials, including polyethylene.

How to Have a More Sustainable Cup of Coffee 

2. Spend Wisely

When you step out to buy a cup of coffee, there are some things to keep in mind.

Buying locally is usually greener than going to the big companies for your brew. You can support a local business while ensuring they are sourcing coffee sustainably.

You can also check for labels that have Rainforest Alliance, UTZ, Fairtrade or Smithsonian Bird Friendly stickers on them. Coffees with these labels indicate different certifications and earth-friendly standards.

How to Have a More Sustainable Cup of Coffee 

3. Skip the Shop

The next step up from going out for a coffee is to not do it at all. Making your coffee yourself is a great proactive step for sustainability. Manual brewing eliminates unnecessary waste such as plastic, so consider a stainless-steel French press or something similar.

Home and your work office are both locations for you to take this step. You can rest assured you’ll always have coffee nearby, and that it will be much less wasteful.

How to Have a More Sustainable Cup of Coffee 

4. Use Better Materials

This step goes hand-in-hand with step three. If you’re going to brew from home, you’ll need to make sure your materials are sustainable.

Plastic is a no-go. Try to avoid it as much as possible. Things like K-Cups are not environmentally-friendly and are incredibly wasteful. Go for something reusable instead, like filters that you can wash and reuse. A thermos or a ceramic mug will last forever and produce minimal waste.

This step still applies to going out for coffee, too. Skip the sleeve, straw and plastic cup. Anything single-use is generally not the best bet.

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Keep those rules in mind with the materials you use for your coffee. You can even reuse the coffee grounds for a number of different things.

How to Have a More Sustainable Cup of Coffee 

5. Start Conversations

The need for sustainable living and business practices grows every day, and quickly too. Many people are aware and trying to help out however they can. Unfortunately, there are also those who don’t realize the urgency. Starting a dialogue is a good place to go from here. Bringing people into the conversation may seem difficult, but every little detail can make a difference.

Having these conversations can lead to a chain reaction. One person realizes the urgency and alerts their friends, who then bring other people into the dialogue, and so on.

Your efforts add up. One cup of coffee isn’t just one cup of coffee. It’s a story that starts with a coffee farmer. It ends up in your hands, and where you take it from there is up to you.

 

About the Author:

Emily covers topics in sustainability and green living. You can read more of her work on her site, Conservation Folks.

 

Are you a coffee drinker?

Share your thoughts and comments with us.

 

“PIN & SHARE”

How to Have a More Sustainable Cup of Coffee - Reduce, reuse, recycle. Keep those rules in mind with the materials you use for your coffee. You can even reuse the coffee grounds for a number of different things.  # Sustainable   #Coffee  #sustainablematerials  #fairtreecoffee  #reusecoffeegrounds