Coffee : Are You Being Environmentally Friendly As You Should Be?

By Mark Walters

If you want to drink coffee (relatively) guilt free, here are some ways to make your coffee habit more environmentally friendly:

Drink Less Coffee - It takes 200 liters of water to produce the coffee, milk, sugar, and cup for one regular latte. Therefore, Cutting out just one cup of coffee per day would really help the environment.

Drink Local Coffee - Buy coffee which has traveled the shortest distance to reach you to help lower the impact of shipping fuel on the environment.

Buy A Cool Mug - Purchase a really cool mug that you will want to again and again; eliminating the need for styrofoam cups, plastic sippy tops, java jackets, cup holders, etc.

Do Without A Coffee Stirrer - Rather than mixing sugar and cream into your coffee, try adding it in the empty cup. Then gently pour your hot coffee on top, and let the heat naturally dissolve the sugar.

Compost The Coffee Grounds - Instead of just throwing out your used coffee grounds, create a compost heap and toss your used coffee grounds in. The nitrogen rich coffee will make a potent fertilizer. You can also spread it on top of your plant's soil if you do not have a compost heap.

Purchase Organic Coffee - Organic coffee is grown without toxic chemicals, and is grown in such a way that protects delicate ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them.

Buy Fair Trade Coffee - TransFair and Rainforest Alliance coffees not only guarantee fair living wages for coffee farmers, they take into account environmental standards in their certification process.

Select A Good Filter - To minimize unnecessary paper consumption, consider buying a reusable gold coffee filter; not only will it help the environment, it makes your coffee taste better. You should look for unbleached, biodegradable ones.

Keep Unwanted Away - Rather than spraying chemicals in your garden to drive away unwanted pests like ants and neighborhood cats, sprinkle coffee grounds instead. The nitrogen in the coffee burns ants' legs and is much better than using harmful chemicals. - 31805

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