Are you an avid coffee lover with people feeling concerned that your consumption habits are not the most environmentally friendly? Well, you can rest assured that the fact that you are considering your consumption habits, as well as reading this, means you are already a conscious consumer and so the rest of the work will just be small behavioral adjustments and adaptations.
Therefore, creating awareness around how our behavior as consumers affects the environment can be a large feat. This is to reassure you that you are encouraged to continue with your love of coffee drinking. However, there are various ways in which you can do it with more environmental consciousness.
Some of these tips and suggestion seem simple and obvious. However somehow as humans, we often hesitate to implement simple changes out of fear of convenience. We are also realizing that our impact on the environment is becoming more than just an inconvenient truth (pardon the pun) and so we need to actively look for ways to remedy it. Hopefully, this guide can be of some use to you on your journey to becoming more eco-friendly.
Eco-pods Are Possible
Many households have a coffee maker of sorts, with a recent rise in the popularity of pod coffee machines. The traditional style of pod made use of plastic and aluminum, which can take between 150 – 500 years to break down in a landfill. This does not mean your new wedding gift was a wasted purchase. More and more conscious coffee supply and apparatus companies, like Black Ink Coffee Company, have devised eco-friendly pod solutions that make use of recyclable materials instead of plastic. Now you can feel better about saving money on takeout coffees and brewing at home, as well as helping to save the planet in doing so.
Re-use Your Coffee Grounds
If you make your coffee using a filter, french press, espresso machine, or drip, you will likely have a lot of throw-away coffee grounds. While this is organic waste, and not bad for the environment, there are savvy ways you can make use of this. Coffee grounds are great fertilizers as they contain ingredients that are helpful for healthy plant growth. Another creative use for used coffee is to make your own body skin scrub. How about putting your old coffee grounds in a jar and storing them in the shower? Every few days you can apply some to dry or acne-prone skin areas, just as you would a store-bought skin exfoliator.
It Does Not Mean The End Of Takeaway Coffees
If you love the daily, weekly, or perhaps more sporadic ritual of getting a takeaway cuppa joe, you are not alone. Coffee chains and independent stores around the world thrive off people’s love of takeaway or sitting down in a charming cafe.
For there is something about the comforting smell and warmth as you step into your favorite cafe. Or the cashier or barrister greets you by name, knows your order. Because then suddenly, you have a skip in your step as you make your way to work. That’s that steaming brew in hand.
However, one of the biggest impacts on our planet is the use of single-use plastics. The first prize is to take your own reusable, takeaway coffee cup, flask, or mug. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on your preferences. Ceramic, stainless steel, glass, take your pick. Many cafes offer incentives if you bring your coffee containers such as a discount on your order or a complimentary treat. If helping the environment is not motivation enough, let saving money be the reason you start bringing your own cup.
You can also submit to your local coffee spot using plastic lids, by raising it with management or by asking for your coffee without the plastic lid. The same goes for plastic spoons, stirrers, straws, and bags. Once cafe owners start noticing the trend in consumer behavior and feeling a sense of pressure. I mean then they will likely upgrade the container options to more eco-friendly materials. Never feel that you don’t hold influence as a customer. Your voice and business matter to the providers you support.
The same also goes for sit-down versus carry-out. Are you in a rush or can you rather sit down and enjoy your coffee. Because saving one single-use takeaway cup today? This simple practice will also encourage you to slow down in your life, which is never a bad thing.
Being a regular coffee drinker does not need to harm the environment.
However, there are small ways in which we as consumers can improve our habits to reduce our carbon footprint. Hopefully, this discussion has shed some light on the simple adjustments we can build into our daily routine to be more eco-friendly in our actions.