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 cafe 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”:
- Use a reusable mug, or have your coffee in a cafe in glass or mug. Avoid throwaway cups.
- Use a reusable filter, percolator or plunger if you brew at home.
- Buy and drink locally. Supporting local producers and economy will also reduce the carbon emissions from transport.
- 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.
- Buy and drink organic coffee to reduce pesticide use.
- Use loose coffee or tea. Coffee (and tea) bags waste resources such as paper, string and plastic.
- Compost your coffee grounds and tea bags.
- Only fill the kettle with the water you need. This saves energy and time.
- Use a kettle on a gas stove if you have one. Electric jugs and microwaves use more energy to heat the water.
- Purchase your sugar in bulk. Don’t use individual servings wrapped in paper.
This article is part of Greenprint that identifies strategies, actions and approaches for moving us towards a sustainable future.