Whether you buy your coffee on the go or enjoy it at home, hopefully, you end up with the same result – a lovely hot beverage that wakes you up, starts your day off right, or just picks your spirits up. But have you ever considered whether your coffee consumption is good for the environment?
Enjoying coffee at home
One-time-use cups and pods can be detrimental to the environment, and continually buying throwaway pods can get expensive. However, with home-compostable coffee pods, you can enjoy an instant cup of coffee while being kind to both the environment and your wallet. Biodegradable Nespresso pods are made with waste sugar cane, making use of a sugar-cane industry by-product, and can degrade in just 28 days. They are also delivered directly to your door via a subscription service and brew high-quality speciality coffee, so you don’t sacrifice good coffee for convenience.
Another way to enjoy environmentally friendly, top-quality coffee at home is to invest in home-brewing equipment such as an aeropress or cafetiere, which can accommodate reusable filters. Reusable filters avoid the environmental effects of disposable filters, which seep trace amounts of chemicals into the environment. You can go even further with this and grind your coffee manually, rather than using energy from an electric grinder. Another way to enjoy coffee without using energy is to cold-brew.
On the go
One of the best ways to help the environment with your coffee practices is to reduce packaging by buying in bulk. Some stores may even be willing to let you fill up your own container. This way, even if you don’t buy a lot at a time, you’re still minimising packaging waste. To keep your bulk-bought coffee as fresh as possible, store it in a cool, dark place.
An easy way to enjoy coffee sustainably while out and about is to bring your own mug to fill up in coffee shops. This avoids disposable cups going to landfill and incinerators. It can take decades for a paper cup from a coffee shop to decompose, so some coffee shops now offer discounts to customers who supply their own mugs. Another tip here is to vote with your custom. Frequent cafes, roasters and shops that prioritise reducing their impact on the environment. This includes good environmental practices, as well as paying farmers fairly.
After your cuppa
After enjoying your mug of coffee, use the coffee grounds in the garden instead of putting them in the bin, just like with compostable pods. You can compost them or put them straight into the soil. They’ll benefit your plants in a multitude of ways. They enhance the soil and compost with nitrogen, which will act as a barrier to deter slugs and snails. You can also add them to a worm bin, as they provide a gritty texture to help the worms’ digestion.