One of our lovely readers emailed recently with some suggestions on how to make your coffee habit eco friendly. I’m a caffeine monster, and I’m sure lots of you are, too. So I thought I’d share the great ideas our reader had!
Go Fairtrade and Organic
Look for Fairtrade and organic coffee where possible.
The idea behind Fairtrade is that growers and producers get a fair price. Prices are set by the Fair Trade Labelling Organisation, which means that you pay a fair price, and growers don’t get ripped off. Fairtrade helps small scale farmers band together to give them better bargaining power.
Fairtrade supports growers’ local communities. You help workers get a living wage, which leads to better living standards for the whole of the community.
Faitrade supports environmental sustainability. Many Fairtrade brands grow organic coffee, which limits the amount of pesticides and fertilisers used. Fairtrade also supports sustainable production methods even if they’re not organic. And as coffee is one of the products with the highest amount of pesticides, it makes sense to go organic.
I don’t want to drink my morning coffee knowing it’s been picked and grown by slaves. I’m aiming for conscious consumption, so I choose fairtrade and organic where possible.
That’s not to say that Fairtrade doesn’t have issues. As an alternative, why not seek out Australian grown coffee? There’s great coffee being grown in Queensland now. I called in to CoffeeWorks in Cairns a while back, and they grow coffee and post anywhere in Australia.
Coffee pods are convenient, but they’re an environmental disaster. Australians consume millions of them every day, and most of them end up in landfill.
There are companies that are recycling the pods, like TerraCycle. And Nespresso have their own recycling collection, but it’s not clear how many are actually recycled.
But there are alternatives for eco friendly coffee. There are now biodegradable coffee pods available, like the ones from the Ethical Coffee Company.
There’s also a great solution from a company called My Coffee Star. This Swiss company has come up with a reusable, refillable stainless steel coffee pod. It works with all Nespresso machines. They won the prestigious Red Dot international design award in 2015, and they ship worldwide.
Reusable takeaway coffee cups
Of course, not all of use have a pod machine. Maybe you get your coffee to go? You can go eco on the go, too. There are lots of great options for reusable takeaway coffee cups. I wrote a roundup of the best ones a few years back in this article.
And recently, a reader pointed me in the direction of the Stojo coffee cup. It’s a collapsible, reusable cup that packs down neatly to fit into your handbag. Genius!
They’re currently only available in the US, but if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll see if I can get them in store at Hello Charlie.
Tell us your ideas for making your coffee habit eco friendly! Share in the comments below.