Green coffee

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Did you know that worldwide 1.4 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day? I don't know how many cups of tea are drunk, but it must be an equivalent number.

I have often thought about how sustainable a cup a coffee actually is while sipping my morning latte.

The beans may be harvested from area that was rainforest, but a person or tribe who gets paid very little for them. They are transported great distances, such as from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica to a cafe in Brunswick Street, Melbourne, Australia.

Energy is required to roast the beans, grind them, and operate the coffee machine.

Some things to consider for "making your coffee more green":

  1. Use a reusable mug, or have your coffee in a cafe in glass or mug. Avoid throwaway cups.
  2. Use a reusable filter, percolator or plunger if you brew at home.
  3. Buy and drink locally. Supporting local producers and economy will also reduce the carbon emissions from transport.
  4. Buy and drink fair trade coffee. Fair trade ensures that the farmers that cultivate your coffee and tea are getting paid living wages and are working in safe conditions.
  5. Buy and drink organic coffee to reduce pesticide use.
  6. Use loose coffee or tea. Coffee (and tea) bags waste resources such as paper, string and plastic.
  7. Compost your coffee grounds and tea bags.
  8. Only fill the kettle with the water you need. This saves energy and time.
  9. Use a kettle on a gas stove if you have one. Electric jugs and microwaves use more energy to heat the water.
  10. Purchase your sugar in bulk. Don't use individual servings wrapped in paper.

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This article is part of Greenprint that identifies strategies, actions and approaches for moving us towards a sustainable future.


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