3 Ways to make your Coffee Habit more Sustainable
In honor of Earth Week we wanted to give you some tips to make your coffee habit more sustainable. Since drinking coffee is often an everyday routine, making small changes can have a profound impact on the environment. We’ll show you how below!
Invest in a Reusable Filter
Many of us are familiar with the convenience of a single serve coffee machine. 25% of households have ditched the coffee pot and rely on the quick brew a single-serve machine provides (1). The most popular of these is the Kuerig, and with this machine comes plastic K-cups. These pods are designed to be used once and thrown away, they cannot be recycled or composted.
This has led to a new epidemic of plastic pollution. K-cups are small, but their impact is mighty. The amount of K-cups that have been thrown away could wrap around planet Earth 10 times(1). If that isn’t bad enough, the pods take between 150-500 years to fully decompose (2).
The best way to kill the K-cup and all the pollution that goes along with it is to invest in a reusable filter. These reusable filters are easy to clean and 100% BPA free. Using your own filter allows you to save over 70% compared to buying K-cups. Save money and the environment all in one fell swoop with reusable filters (3).
Buy Fair Trade and Organic
Fair trade coffee is a way to support farmers, roasters, and communities in developing countries and ensure they are getting paid a fair wage for their work.
In recent years, a flood of low quality beans hit the market driving the average price paid to farmers for their coffee crop to an all-time low. This has made many farmers leave their family farms in order to look for a better job.
Since the price is so low, the quality of beans are also low. The beans are often produced with heavy pesticides and fertilizers so they grow faster and in a greater quantity. Since the soil is so damaged from the years of chemical exposure, the beans do not pack as much nutrients as an organically grown plant. The beans also have a more bitter and dull flavor compared to its fair trade counterpart (4).
Fair trade beans are grown in slower conditions under rainforest canopies and grow in areas where the soil is healthy and has a complex nutrient source. This is what makes your fair trade cup of coffee have robust flavors and a remarkable aroma.
Every dollar you spend is a vote. So vote for fair treatment of workers and land in developing countries. Remember great coffee is not cheap!
Bring Your Own Mug
Grab and go has become a trending part of our society. We are constantly running from one place to the next, and barely stopping long enough to refill with caffeine along the way.
As convenient as picking up a new non-reusable cup might be at work or in the drive thru, try to bring your own cup. This not only combats waste and pollution, but some companies give you a discount for bringing your own coffee mug.
For more on sustainable coffee check out what Volcanica Coffee is doing to support fair trade efforts here!