5 Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Coffee Drinking Habits To Have In Your Life

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world, among water and tea. The potent drink is so popular that some people are unable to function without a strong cup of joe before they start their day.

If you’re an avid coffee enthusiast, there are things you can do to make the experience even more satisfying. There’s nothing more rewarding than enjoying your morning brew with the knowledge that you aren’t doing any more harm to the environment.

You can help save the world by adopting these sustainable and eco-friendly coffee drinking habits:

  1. Brew Your Own Coffee

Convenience is the capitalists’ game nowadays. The hustle and bustle of urban living have pushed people into putting their needs first without consideration of their action’s environmental impact.

Coffee chains are so popular because they make your coffee in just a few minutes. However, the carbon emissions that some of these companies emit take a toll on Mother Nature. Fortunately, it’s not too late to be more eco-conscious. Start by making your own coffee at home.

It may sound daunting, but brewing your own coffee offers the benefits of producing an infusion that suits your tastes perfectly. You have full control over the darkness or lightness of the drink while saving money and the environment simultaneously.

The pour-over method has recently been catapulted to mainstream popularity. This straightforward coffee-brewing process involves drenching freshly-ground coffee beans with hot water, which dissolves the solubles in the beans.

Here are three simple things you’ll need for your home coffee pour-over:

  • Manual GrinderChoose manual over electric grinders to reduce your energy usage. Also, always purchase high-quality products that will last a long time to avoid sending more waste to landfills. This item is crucial in achieving the proper texture of the coffee beans.
  • Pour-Over Brewers – You’ll also need a specialized cup that will serve as a container for your coffee beans as you pour hot water over it. This brewer has holes at the bottom to allow the magical potion to drip into your ceramic cup.
  • Reusable Filter – Filters contribute to the waste that entails coffee production. Plus, most paper filters are bleached with chlorine or oxygen, adding to the chemical waste in the environment. Avoid these issues by investing in reusable filters that you can just wash and use again for your next brew.

If you think that the process is time-consuming, the best thing about this brewing method is that you can make a huge batch that’s good for a few days and just store it in your fridge. It’s all about planning your week to eliminate the pressure that goes with busy weekday mornings.

  1. Bring Reusable Cups

Another convenience factor that significantly harms the environment are single-use coffee cups, especially plastic ones. If you really can’t help but go to your favorite coffee shop, you should, at least, bring a travel cup or tumbler with you to avoid using disposable containers.

Single-use cups are detrimental to the status of our world today. Did you know that today’s generation produces 300 million tons of plastic waste annually? Be an eco-friendly consumer and bring a reusable cup with you on your next coffee run so that you can enjoy a guilt-free cup of joe.

  1. Buy Fair Trade Products

Support local companies that care about their craft as well as the environment as much as you do. Organizations that join the fair-trade movement put the planet and their customers before profits.

Do your research and find ethical coffee suppliers in your area. Aside from ensuring that they source their coffee correctly and with regard to the environment, you’ll also recognize products from these companies because of their sustainable packaging like paper and biodegradable plastics.

  1. Go for Composting

Composting is a natural way of recycling organic waste like your ground coffee beans. You can turn the waste from your manual coffee-brewing process into mulch and use it to fertilize your garden.

These are the steps on composting your ground coffee beans:

  • Find a Place for Your Pit – For those who have a backyard, you can easily dig out space for your compost pit. Nonetheless, apartment residents can also dispose of their biodegradable waste through this method by buying a large container. Poke some holes on the base for ventilation and place the vessel above a tray to catch the drainage. Pour some soil and worms to aid the decomposition process.
  • Add Materials Layer by Layer – Place twigs and straw first to create tiny spaces at the bottom of your compost pit. This feature allows the air to circulate within the pile. Then, make sure to alternate moist and dry materials to help the waste break down quickly.
  • Moisten Your Compost Regularly – Water your compost pit regularly during the summer months when rain is scarce. Moisture is a decisive factor of the decomposition process.
  • Cover to Retain Heat – Aside from moisture, heat also facilitates the breaking down of organic waste. Cover your pit with wood, carpet scraps, or plastic sheeting to help keep the heat inside your pile.
  • Aerate the Pile Every Few Weeks – Oxygen is another crucial component in decomposition. That’s why you have to schedule a time to aerate your compost pit every few weeks to bring in oxygen into the pile.
  1. Avoid Buying Lots of Coffee

While buying in bulk allows you to minimize the packaging, having extra coffee beans may lead you to brew more than you need for a day or week. Estimate how much you need for the month and avoid grinding more than how much you need for one brewing session.

Conclusion

You don’t have to choose between having your coffee fix and saving the environment. You can do both by opting to brew your own coffee at home using manual grinders, a pour-over brewer, and reusable filters.

Of course, you should have already made a habit of skipping single-serve cups in favor of reusable mugs or tumblers. Remember to support companies that aim for sustainable products as well. Lastly, try your hand at composting to dispose of your organic waste naturally and avoid buying more coffee than you need.

About Salman Zafar

Salman Zafar is the Founder of EcoMENA, and an international consultant, advisor, ecopreneur and journalist with expertise in waste management, waste-to-energy, renewable energy, environment protection and sustainable development. His geographical areas of focus include Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe. Salman has successfully accomplished a wide range of projects in the areas of biomass energy, biogas, waste-to-energy, recycling and waste management. He has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as chairman, session chair, keynote speaker and panelist. Salman is the Editor-in-Chief of EcoMENA, and is a professional environmental writer with more than 300 popular articles to his credit. He is proactively engaged in creating mass awareness on renewable energy, waste management and environmental sustainability in different parts of the world. Salman Zafar can be reached at salman@ecomena.org or salman@bioenergyconsult.com
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