It seems like everyone’s “going green” these days. Buzzwords such as “organic”, “sustainable” and “fair trade” (among others) are lighting up not only the retail and culinary markets, but the entire coffee culture as well. We like this trend. Coffee is the second largest traded commodity, after oil. Americans drink 400,000,000 cups of coffee a day. Imagine if all of those cups were made from plastic K-Cups. We’d have the issue of excessive landfill waste go public QUICKLY. Luckily, plastic single serve coffee pods are not as popular as Maxwell House or Folgers. Coffee shops like Starbucks are also popular because of their convenience and accessibility. This equals a big win for coffee shops and a big Minus One for the environment. Why? You guessed it: to-go cups for coffee are different than other paper cups: they are coated on the inside with plastic, meaning they are not biodegradable. Environmentally friendly coffee consumption practices are NOT as convenient (and maybe not as fun) as using a Keurig or going to Starbucks. However, they will save you money in the long run; and time, if you believe that time IS money. Here’s a list of three little things you can do to decrease your carbon footprint in a big way:
1. Buy organic and/or fair trade coffee. Think of the little guy! Coffee isn’t grown, picked, and processed on it’s own. And I can’t think of a single state in the U.S. (other than Hawaii) that boasts coffee production. Most coffee is grown in South America, Africa and Asia. Organic coffee means it’s produced without pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. Fair trade coffee help coffee farmers to escape poverty and lead a better life. Through fair trade, farmers are guaranteed a minimum price guarantee for their goods, and long term sustainability (buzzword!) is reached when these farmers are linked directly towards importers, away from middleman offering a lower amount in cash for their crops. Coffee Wholesale sells delicious organic coffee blends such as Organic Colombian Supremo or Organic Costa Rican Tarrazu. We also sell fair trade coffee (that is also organic) in single serve pods (Wolfgang Puck Colombian or Reunion Island French Roast).
2. Stock up on reusable or biodegradable to-go cups/mugs. We love skinny mochas, too, so we understand your possibly irrational Starbucks obsession. You don’t need to swear it off! Just bring your own (clean) to-go container into the local coffee shop. Baristas will oblige and you will be saving the earth a little heartache each time.
3. Trade in the Keurig or single cup brewer for a drip brewer with reusable filter. This will help cut down on waste. Or, stock up on reusable k-cup pods, like the Cafejo My Pod. Not only will you be saving the earth with this move, you will also be saving your wallet! Also, did you know that spent coffee grounds are great for the compost bin? Earth worms love coffee, too.