If you are anything like me, you love coffee. I start out every morning with a cup of black coffee before I leave the house. Once I’m in the office, I usually have a second cup of whatever is in the breakroom. After lunch, I try to beat the afternoon snooze with a hot café latte. And that’s just the weekdays!
Unfortunately, all those cups of coffee can lead to a lot of waste if I’m not careful. At a minimum, that’s one dirty mug at home, a paper cup for the office, and another paper cup with a plastic lid at the coffee shop. When you consider that many coffee drinkers also fall into the same wasteful habits, you understand that this is not the most sustainable way to quaff your favorite beverage.
Below are three suggestions to make your coffee consumption eco-friendlier.
Choose a Dedicated Coffee Canteen
If you always need a coffee in hand, it’s better to invest in a dedicated coffee canteen. This will prevent you from using plastic or paper cups.
Now, there is no such thing as a perfect coffee cup since we all have different preferences. Personally, I only drink hot coffee, so I prefer a microwavable coffee tumbler. If you exclusively enjoy iced coffee, an insulated metal canteen might work better for your needs.
Nix the Machine
Another great way to make your coffee consumption for earth-friendly is to ditch your coffee machine. Now, I know what you are thinking. How could I possibly suggest that? Your coffee machine is your best friend. How else will you enjoy luxury coffee?
The truth of the matter is that coffee is better without a machine. Not only do brew machines use electricity and create waste in the form of grounds, they actually degrade the taste of your coffee. Even worse, coffee machines often harbor harmful bacteria including E. coli! That’s because machines often allow coffee oils to go rancid, thus creating a yucky (and potentially unsafe) cup of Joe. This means that every time you drink coffee from your drip machine at home, in the office, or from a coffee shop espresso machine, you could be dosing yourself with disgusting germs.
Instead, it’s much better to switch to machine-free options like pour overs, French presses or coffee capsules. All three operate under the same rules – just add hot water to your coffee. Personally, I think the French press does a better job of coaxing out the delicate flavors in coffee than a pour over. Plus, you don’t need coffee filters, which is nice.
However, coffee capsules are even more versatile than a French press because you can make espresso drinks, hot or cold coffees, cocktails and recipes, and so much more with ease. The flavors are unparalleled and it’s perhaps the simplest way of making coffee yet conceived.
Buy Recyclable & Eco-Friendly Coffee Capsules
Speaking of coffee capsules, there’s a big difference between machine-free coffee capsules and wasteful coffee pods. Brands like Keurig and Nespresso are known for their ease of use. But unfortunately, these still require machines (which we already covered). But what we haven’t covered is the amount of waste they generate.
K-cups and similar products cannot be recycled due to the coffee grounds trapped inside, and the grounds cannot be composted because of the plastic and foil. It’s a big problem since these pods create waste at a level unprecedented in the world of coffee. Espresso and drip coffee machines, while not great, are at least not as hard on the environment as these little villains.
It’s much better to go with machine-free coffee capsules, which are 100 percent recyclable and leave no grounds for the consumer to dispose of.
Follow these tips to keep your mood high and your waste low. Ready to enjoy your next cup of Joe?