With Glaciers melting, sea levels rising and wildlife depleting at an astonishing pace, the need for everyone to live eco-consciously is more important than ever. But learning to live sustainably is definitely easier said than done. While general recycling fits easily into everyday life, taking your eco-friendly behavior one step further can mean drastic lifestyle changes. However, although it can mean cutting down on cars or your luxurious trips to far off countries, there are also many smaller (but just as effective!) drastic changes you can make at home.
In fact, if everyone makes small changes, the overall environmental benefits may even be higher than just that one person choosing not to go on a cruise in the Caribbean. Reducing power consumption, choosing natural soaps, and cutting down your meat intake are all obvious ways to lessen your carbon footprint, but people often forget about their drinking habits. With a standard cup of coffee using about 140 liters of water, thinking about your coffee consumption may be vital in ensuring you live as sustainably as possible.
But don’t worry, this doesn’t have to mean cutting out coffee altogether! These 6 simple tips will help you live more eco-consciously, and get that much-needed coffee fix.
Although there are many different certifications to help you choose eco-friendly products, Fairtrade coffee is by far the most trusted. This mark indicates that the company supports small farmers by ensuring a minimum price for their crops and promoting sustainable solutions. As a result, it’s always a good idea to check for this certification when buying your coffee. This is a hassle-free way of ensuring you can still enjoy your coffee, while also working towards a more environmentally friendly future.
This certificate can be found on a number of types of coffee and can also be purchased in capsule form, meaning that you can be sustainable with minimum effort. If you already have a capsule coffee maker or are thinking of buying one, you can easily substitute capsules for your Fairtrade coffee.
Create a Coffee Compost
While many people understand that growing coffee can put a strain on the environment, they don’t tend to know that this also occurs after growth and usage. Coffee grounds that end up in landfills create methane, a greenhouse gas that is extremely detrimental to the ozone layer.
In fact, methane has even been shown to be more harmful than other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. So, to help reduce methane levels, it’s important to reduce your coffee ground waste. One way to do this is to dispose of it naturally in your garden. Plants love coffee, as the natural acidity in coffee grounds helps keep away insects and balances out PH levels.
Additionally, you can get creative with your coffee waste. Coffee has a great texture and smell which can be used in a number of different ways. Many people use the grounds for cleaning pans, as the rough texture is great for removing dirt and any oil residue.
The midday slump is a familiar feeling to most. And sometimes, the only way to combat it is a tall, strong americano. While buying coffee outside the house should be avoided, we understand that this is usually not a feasible option for a lot of people. So, instead, we suggest investing in a good eco-friendly takeaway cup. This way, you can enjoy your coffee without having to buy an un-eco plastic cup which usually goes straight to landfill. Additionally, make sure you invest in a thermal cup, as this means that you can enjoy your coffee for longer and stops you from buying endless refills.
Many cafés also offer reduced prices for those with reusable cups. So, not only are you protecting the environment, but also your hard-earned money!
Buy in Bulk
The packaging is the worst, especially when it turns out that what you thought was a jumbo pack, actually turned out to be only half full. Like with most food products, it’s important to buy your coffee in bulk. This way, you can reduce the amount of plastic waste in your household. Additionally, choosing bigger packets can also mean fewer trips to the supermarket. Many people may avoid buying large packages due to limited space; however, you can always buy a jar to store your coffee and keep the big bag hidden away. While many supermarkets may not stock big bags of coffee, you can always purchase these online. Before buying, make sure you check for that all-important Fairtrade certificate!
Choosing locally sourced coffee is also a great way of reducing your carbon footprint. As the majority of shop-bought coffee comes from Ethiopia, transportation alone contributes massively to greenhouse gases. If you prefer non-capsule coffee, it’s always a good idea to check out locally sourced products. If you are having trouble finding these, it may be a good idea to check online or attend local markets. Additionally, if buying from a big supermarket, you may want to check the back of the packet to find out where the coffee is from. While these may be slightly more expensive, this also helps support local businesses and contribute to your local economy which is vital during the current circumstances.
Reduce Your Consumption
While this is the most effective tip, it’s also the one that people hate the most. But, at the end of the day, the best way to reduce your carbon footprint is to stop drinking so much coffee! This doesn’t have to mean completely cutting it out, but limiting the number of cups a day may be beneficial. For example, instead of drinking 5 a day, you limit yourself to 2. One way to help this transition is to substitute your coffee with another hot drink.
Making lifestyle changes can be extremely difficult. But, if everyone takes the time and effort to make small changes, we can easily reduce greenhouse gases and work towards an eco-friendlier future. So, switch out your coffee, invest in an eco-cup, and spread the word!