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How You Can Make Your Coffee Use More Sustainable

Coffee is an ancient art. In the 16th century, it was being grown in places like Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey. As far back as the 1600s, iced coffee and cold brew were being made in Japan; by the 1800s, Algeria also produced iced coffee and cold brew. In the 17th century, coffee finally made its way to Europe as well.

These days, coffee is everywhere and comes in many forms. But that is part of the problem. In modern times, we’ve become more aware of the impact of our disposable coffee cups, as well as the impact of certain planting and harvesting techniques for the coffee itself.

For those with an eye for sustainability, here are six tips to help make your morning coffee more environmentally-friendly.

1. Be Picky

Consider shaking up your routine by looking into coffee alternatives. Did you know 35% of people miss discovering a business because they don’t see their sign? It’s sort of the same with coffee. We can miss alternatives or more sustainable options simply because we’re not reading labels carefully.

Next time you are at the grocery store to buy coffee, take an extra minute to read the signs right before you. A lot of producers will include labels that indicate their coffee is produced more sustainably.

Look for indicative phrases like fair trade, rainforest alliance, organic, and bird-friendly. These are all certifications based on different criteria. For example, fair trade coffee tries to ensure growers and producers are treated fairly and helps protect land and waterways near where the coffee is grown. Decide what is important to you and find the labels that match that.

2. Find Local Sources

If you can get your coffee locally, that is always going to be a big step towards sustainability. The more your coffee has to travel to get to you, the more pollution and waste is involved in producing it.

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find local growers, independent farms, and regional roasters who can make you the perfect cup. As a bonus, you’ll be helping out a local small business.

3. Make Your Own At Home

Going out for coffee is always going to produce more waste than brewing at home, even if you’re buying coffee from a small local cafe. Brewing your own coffee at home is one of the best ways to reduce waste and it should save you some money too.

When making your own coffee at home, stay away from disposable, one-time-use cups. Instead, use a fair trade brew that you can scoop out of a bag. Those one-time-use cups are convenient, but incredibly wasteful.

And while you’re making coffee at home, use a mug! Invest in a great coffee mug that you can use every morning. By doing this, you will not only be reducing the waste from the coffee, but also from the disposable cups you tend to get at coffee shops.

4. Compost the Waste

One last tip for brewing at home: Compost. Tea leaves and coffee grounds are excellent compost. Coffee is actually a superb fertilizer because of the nitrogen content.

By composting leaves and grounds, you will keep waste out of landfills. You can even spread used coffee grounds directly on your garden if you don’t have a way to compost.

5. Reuse Your Filter

While you’re making your coffee at home, find ways to minimize your waste. You can not only reuse your mug and avoid single-use cups, but you can also get a reusable filter to cut down on wasteful paper filters.

Those paper filters aren’t just bad because they fill up landfills; they also sometimes contain things like dioxins that can get into watersheds. Reusable filters are much better for the environment.

However, if you do need to use paper filters, search for ones that are “total chlorine-free” or “processed chlorine-free.” This indicates that they won’t be full of dangerous dioxins that can get into water systems.

6. Tell a Friend

You don’t need to do this alone! Get a friend to go with you for your morning coffee run at a local restaurant or cafe. You could even buy mugs, reusable filters, and more sustainable and environmentally-friendly coffee together.

As you continue trying to change your coffee drinking habits, having a friend to commiserate with can be a huge help. Talk about the best brands or cafes you’ve found, what your long-term goals are, and tips you discover along the way. Sharing the experience can make it more like a fun challenge and less like a burden. You could even try some composting tips together.

A Better Routine for Everyone

No matter how you choose to go about having a more sustainable morning routine, even small changes can end up making a big difference. Don’t be afraid to start small before working on larger lifestyle changes to increase your positive impact.

4 Ways to Go Green This Coming Year

4 ways to go green this year

Going green is not only beneficial to you and your family, but it is also very beneficial to the community you reside in. To start your road to a greener life, you can go digital at home, buy local produce, create a community cleanup day, and help grow a community garden for residents in the area.

By taking these first few steps, you will notice a large change in your community with cleaner grounds to walk on and healthier food on the tables of local families in need. Before you go ahead and dismiss the joys of going green, weigh out the pros and cons of how it could benefit the ones you love.

Community Cleanup Day

If your community is searching for ways to go green and help the community stay safe and clean, conducting a community cleanup day is a sure way to start off strong. In order to make sure everyone is on the same page, the matter should be brought up at a community meeting or posted on flyers around the area. 

The perfect day to get new mattresses with proper bed sizes would be this cleanup day. Your new mattress can arrive and the old can be discarded along with old furniture and appliances. When the day arrives for cleanup to begin, everyone should be paired up with another individual and pick a specific area to start working on. For any furniture or appliances out on the side of the road for pickup, be sure to ask locals if they are in need of any of these items before considering them waste.

Buy Local Produce

Buying local produce is a sure way to not only help your family go green but your neighborhood as well. Your local farmers are almost always looking for new buyers to help sell more of their products whether it be vegetables or even baked goods. This means you can help them and their families make sales while giving your family top of the line organic foods. These foods will keep everyone healthy and happy with new food choices to help your community and family go green.

Go Digital

If you are looking for ways to help your country, city, or state, you can start by switching to digital when it comes to your bills and notices. By switching to digital, you will help decrease the number of trees being cut up in order to have enough paper to send out bills across the state. Although you may not think just you alone can make a real change, all it takes is one more person going green every day to start making a true difference in the world around us.

Community Gardens

Community gardens are a great way to teach children the benefits of growing your own vegetables and fruits as well as how to help your neighborhood go green. In order to make sure the community garden is a success, you will need to create some type of schedule to make sure that the garden is tended to every day. Once it is time to harvest what is grown, everyone should be able to have the chance to come into the garden and pick fresh produce for themselves and their family. Not only will you get fresh produce, but you will be providing food for some of the less fortunate families in your neighborhood.

Going green does not always mean that you have to change your entire lifestyle. Just starting with a few small things can be beneficial, like buying local produce, going digital, creating a community garden, and conducting a community cleanup day. These four things will not only help your home life, but it will also help to clean up your community by making sure all the trash on the side of the road is picked up and also providing healthy organic foods to families with children that are in need of extra food to put on the table. 

To start helping your community, try bringing up green subjects at your next community meeting to see who else wants to hop on board with creating a better area for children to live. You will be shocked at the results of how many people are ready to take a stand on having a healthier environment.