Table of Contents
8 tips for environmentally friendly coffee enjoyment
Below are some tips on how to enjoy your favorite coffee while helping to reduce the amount of waste generated during the preparation process.
Try not to use disposable coffee pods
The capsules used with Nespresso or Lavazza coffee machines are a quick way to get delicious coffee in a short time.
The problem is that these capsules pose a serious environmental problem because not only are they made of plastic (one of the biggest pollutants), aluminum or other materials, but they are also intended for single use only, creating an absurd amount of waste.
It is estimated that of the 100% of capsules consumed every minute in the world, ie about 39,000 capsules, 74.3% or 29,000 capsules end up in the world’s landfills.
For example, aluminum capsules can last up to 500 years before completely decomposing, not to mention plastic, which can last much longer without decomposing.
And although manufacturers like Nescafé claim that the capsules can be recycled, this is not the case. It has been found that in order to recycle these capsules, the organic residue, ie the coffee left inside, has to be cleaned, which entails higher costs for the recycling process.
Also, not all recycling plants have the technology to perform this cleaning process, so most of these capsules are not recycled but replaced with new ones. In other words, more and more of them are being made.
And as if that weren’t enough, those who use them rarely clean them or simply toss them in the compost bin rather than the plastic or metal bin, which only makes the problem worse.
Brew your coffee manually
Try making your coffee without electric machines. Remember how polluting coffee capsules are and the filters that some coffee machines use.
That’s why we show you these 2 ways to prepare your coffee manually.
Moka coffee machine
With a Moka coffee machine you can prepare your coffee in an environmentally friendly way, because apart from the organic waste that you can use for composting, you will not generate any waste in the long term.
This moka coffee maker is a pot that brews coffee by forcing pressurized water with steam through the coffee grounds and into the top.
The great thing about this pot is that it is easy to use and uses little energy, especially when used on a gas stove.
French press coffee maker
These manual coffee makers do not use electricity or gas and generate no permanent waste. One thing must be said, however: the resulting coffee is not to everyone’s taste.
We tell you this because the coffee brewed with this machine has little or no crema. It’s also somewhat watery and can be less flavorful compared to other brewing methods.
Do not heat more water than necessary
Manual coffee preparation requires gas or electricity to heat the water. So, to save energy, you should only boil as much water as you need to make your coffee.
Remember that less water in the pot takes less time to boil and therefore uses less energy. Also remember to measure the amount of water before you turn on the stove. This saves you time and energy and also helps the environment.
Brew your coffee cold
If you’re a coffee drinker who doesn’t mind reheating your coffee, this might be an option for you. Some people even say that coffee tastes better cold or warmed up, and although this depends on each individual’s taste, by consuming this way you are helping to protect the environment.
If you choose to do this, there are manual machines designed to do the job. These are very similar to a kettle, except that there is a strainer inside.
So, you need to do the following:
- Put the coffee in the machine and add cold water.
- After that, you put the device in the fridge and that’s it.
Now you can enjoy your coffee whenever you want and the best part is that you use practically no energy and the coffee keeps its taste.
Compost your coffee waste
Composting uses organic waste to create compost, a substance that helps fertilize plants. So, you can make compost from eggshells, apple seeds, fruit and vegetable peelings.
But did you know that you can also use coffee grounds for this purpose?
In case you didn’t know, maybe now is the time to put your coffee waste to good use, with 6 million tons of coffee waste generated worldwide every year.
So, when you choose to compost this waste, you not only generate less waste, but you also help your plants grow vigorously and healthily.
After all, coffee waste contains a large amount of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are components of natural fertilizers.
Use your own coffee mug
Although it may seem impractical, by using your own coffee mug you will help reduce the consumption of single-use mugs, which, as already mentioned, are a highly polluting element.
Also consider that around 5% of single-use cups are made of polyurethane, which does not degrade and can be harmful to the environment for centuries. Unfortunately, the situation is not much different with paper or cardboard coffee containers, as they are rarely recycled, which means that more trees have to be felled to produce new cups.
So, if you care about the environment, we assure you that with your cup or other container to drink your coffee in, you are doing more than you think.
In some countries, e.g. For example, in the UK, there are even cafes that offer a discount if you bring your own mug or thermos to encourage this eco-friendly practice.
Use reusable coffee filters
If you prefer filter coffee, consider using reusable filters, especially since disposable filters are made out of paper. And did you notice that some of these filters are exceptionally white? Well, they are because they’re treated with chlorine.
When they’re then used and disposed of, they end up in landfills, where they often release the chemicals they’ve been treated with into water sources such as rivers, lakes, or dams. From there, the contaminated water can enter the drinking water network, making it unfit for consumption by humans, other animals, and even plants.
If you still decide to use paper filters, try to use ones that do not contain chlorine, because at least you can use them for composting.
Buy sustainable coffee brands
The term “Fair Trade” is a certification given to companies that pay farmers in developing countries a fair price for their crops. This should make the range of coffee more sustainable and transparent. The idea is that farming practices are environmentally friendly.
You can also learn about the practices of the major coffee merchants so you know how the process of reusing and recycling the harvest is managed. Also remember that the origin of the coffee you consume is just as important as the other practices already mentioned.
Coffee farmers also benefit
Also remember that coffee is a very volatile commodity, which means that its price varies greatly from year to year.
This poses a great risk for coffee farmers as their survival in the market depends on their ability to make a good profit margin.
This is why it is so important to choose brands that are committed to environmental ethics, as this will ensure that coffee production and distribution will continue for many years to come.
We need to change our consumption habits
Approximately 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world every day, and a large proportion of these single-use cups end up in the world’s landfills. These landfills are a serious problem for our planet as they slowly pollute water sources like rivers, lakes and the sea and eventually destroy ecosystems.
So, the first thing we need to do is change our consumption habits, and one way to start is to reduce the use of single-use cups as much as possible. While it’s true that more and more coffee mugs are becoming biodegradable, the reality is that they can take up to 20 years to disappear.
While that may not be a long time relatively speaking, imagine billions of these cups sitting in landfills and polluting the environment for decades. Since you certainly know how to consume your coffee in a more environmentally friendly way, do not hesitate to put these additional tips into practice; with every cup of coffee you enjoy, you help our planet.