The smell of coffee is often the best alarm clock. Many of us start our mornings with a cup of coffee. Essentially, life begins after coffee. Do you know that our coffee habits present us with the perfect opportunity to engage in responsible consumption even before we start our day? Consider the following tips to make your coffee habits more sustainable and, in effect, set you up for a successful day.
THE MUG-NIFICENCE OF BYOM
Unfortunately, sixteen billion coffee cups are used and disposed each year, most of which are unrecyclable. Many of us do not know us that single-use paper cups, like their plastic counterparts, cannot be recycled. Because paper cups are coated with a thin layer of plastic to laminate and waterproof the inside, the paper-plastic combination of these cups makes them difficult to recycle. The next time you go to a café, make sure to BYOM – bring your own mug, or a reusable cup. Most coffee shops, including Starbucks, will give you a discount for bringing your own mug. Lower-priced coffee that’s low waste too? That smells pretty good.
DON’T GIVE A FRAPPE ABOUT UNSUSTAINABLE CAPS
Many of us rely on a single-cup brewing machine to get our caffeine fix. These machines typically depend on unrecyclable capsules and pods. Not all hope is lost, however. Nespresso, one of our favorite coffee pioneers, makes their capsules with aluminum, which is 100% recyclable. Moreover, you can ship your capsules back to Nespresso recycling facilities free of charge or drop them off at participating stores. From there, the aluminum is processed and turned into pens, pikes, and even new capsules.
When you brew your own coffee, you can avoid single-use plastic –– by using your own mug, spoons as stirrers, and recyclable straws–– all the while radiating peak hipster barista vibes. If you’re looking to buy a coffee machine, opt for ones that don’t have plastic, like a French Press, percolator and ceramic pour-over filter cone. Many coffee machines with plastic contain PVC, which is the most toxic of plastics.
If you’re buying coffee beans to brew at home, look for ethical certifications (like Rainforest Alliance) that show producers have complied with sustainable criteria. Sustainably sourced coffee beans are not only better for the environment, better for farmers (who are paid fairer prices), but also better for your health. New studies have found that sustainable coffee beans are grown free of pesticides and artificial fertilizer, boasting a higher content in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than beans that aren’t sustainably sourced.
MAKE YOUR BEANS COME TRUE
The next time you meet up with a friend, or a love interest, consider having a coffee at MANA on Star Street in SoHo. MANA serves Impact Berry, an ethical, eco-friendly and organic premium coffee brand. Impact Berry sources its beans from Asian regions, which reduces the carbon footprint that comes with transporting coffee by 98%. An added perk is that MANA serves its coffee in fully compostable cups and lids.