Coffee. It’s the only thing that gets some of us going in the morning, and sustains us throughout the day. Most people aren’t picky about the coffee they drink, so long as it does the job, but did you know that with a few small changes you can make over your coffee routine to be more eco-friendly, and help to make the world a better place? What a great way to start the day! Here are just a few tips to help you get started:
- Go Organic. Did you know that non-organic coffee beans are treated with chemical pestisides, just like non-organic fruits and vegetables? Gross, I know. Choose organic coffee, like Jim’s Organic Coffee, The Organic Coffee Company and Newman’s Own Organics, and you won’t have to worry about those pesky pestisides getting into your system.
- Buy Fair Trade. Fair Trade certified coffee, such as The Roasterie, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Higher Ground Roasters, Café Campesino and Kickapoo Coffee Roasters, directly supports a better life for farming families in the developing world through fair prices, community development and environmental stewardship. A fair trade label ensures:
- Fair price. Family farmers receive fair prices for their harvest, and premiums specifically earmarked for community development projects.
- Environmental sustainability. Harmful agrochemicals and GMOs are strictly prohibited in favor of environmentally sustainable farming methods that protect farmers’ health and preserve valuable ecosystems for future generations.
- Fair labor conditions. Workers on fair trade farms enjoy freedom of association, safe working conditions and fair wages. Also, forced child labor is strictly prohibited.
- Direct trade. Importers purchase from fair trade producer groups as directly as possible, eliminating unnecessary middlemen and empowering farmers to develop the business capacity needed to compete in the global marketplace.
- Democratic and transparent organizations. Fair trade farmers and farm workers decide how to invest fair trade revenues, and proof of a democratic process is required.
- Community development. Fair trade farmers and workers invest fair trade premiums in social and business development projects like scholarship programs, healthcare services and quality improvement training.
- Use reusable filters. Reusable gold coffee filters serve two purposes – they are better for the environment, and, they make your coffee taste less bitter. Double win!
- Avoid single cup brewers. It’s no secret that single cup coffee brewers continue to grow in popularity – more convient, and so many coffee flavor varieties to choose from! – but, these single pod packages require a lot of packaging, which results in a lot of waste that isn’t likely to biodegrade. So, pull your old coffee machine out from the back of the cabinet, use your new reusable filter, and brew yourself some locally-purchased, organic, fair trade coffee tomorrow morning. The extra two minutes to prepare it probably won’t disrupt your morning flow much.
- Recycle the coffee grounds. Instead of throwing out the used coffee grounds from that delicious cup of coffee machine coffee you just made, repurpose them instead! How? Well, it just so happens that PopSugar.com has 15 different suggestions, from making soap or body scrub to fertilizer and pest repellant. Check out all the different uses for your old coffee grounds here.
Hope these tips help some people get started greening their coffee routine, and if you’re already taking steps to do so, what are some of your favorite tips and tricks?