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How Green Is Your Coffee?

Let me just start by saying this is not a misplaced St. Patty's day post. By "green" I mean environmentally conscious. Do you buy a cup of joe every morning on your way to work? Well there are a few ways to make your daily dose of caffeine have a smaller carbon foot print.

  • Mug Shot: Bring your own "travel" mug that you can use over and over and over again, instead of adding a paper cup and plastic lid into landfill (or recycling bins, but most lids are made from #6 plastic, a risky plastic health wise too).
  • Mix Au Naturelle: Skip the plastic or wooden stirrer and allow the milk and coffee to mix on their own. All those skinny pieces of plastic add up! If you use sugar in your coffee (which I must say adds calories to your coffee beverage!) same deal. Add the sugar before the milk so the hot coffee helps dissolve the (unnecessary) sugar.
  • Triple Threat: Be a green superstar and opt for coffee that is organic, fair trade and shade grown. Organic coffee is grown without pesticides. Fair Trade means the coffee growers are paid fairly for their crops. Shade Grown means the coffee is grown on farms with trees, so the natural environment is preserved which benefits migratory birds.

No matter how you take your coffee, you can make it greener!!! Now that you know how to make your coffee better for the environment, here's a little coffee round up on the health benefits of java!


Join The Conversation
lala788 lala788 9 years
thanks for the tips, i do all of this thing all ready so, i'm helping the environment and enjoying a cup of coffee, it's like i'm eating my cake and save her at the same time!
cheersdahlin cheersdahlin 9 years
also if you don't have a travel mug and you do get a cup remember to SAVE IT! You can keep them a get a " re-fill " at starbucks for any type of ice tea/iced coffee and regular brewed coffee for only 50 cents! I work at starbucks and most people don't know that! For those who come to starbucks more than once a day they save alot of money over time! So save your cup! Whether its hot or cold! 50 cents isn't a bad deal for a refill!
allisonblue allisonblue 9 years
Great advice! Most coffeeshops offer a pretty substantial discount for bringing your own cup. Need more motivation? Imagine you buy coffee five times a week, just one for each business day -- that's 260 paper cups and plastic lids per year, from one person, rotting in a landfill somewhere. GROSS! NoCaf4Me, I have to have my coffee or I'm completely useless, but I try to make up for it by drinking at least four servings from my 32 oz. water bottle per day. I was a barista for a while after college, and I served a lot of decaf lattes and mochas to pregnant women, so it must be at least somewhat common knowledge that caffeine is a no-go when you're expecting ...
workofiction workofiction 9 years
Sorry NoCaf4Me, while I love that you've found a cause you are so passionate about, you and I are going to have to agree to disagree. I love my java and believe it actually has health benefits, like antioxidants, and that it does not cause cavities, however, I do agree with the yellowing of teeth. Bummer.
total total 9 years
I just want to reiterate syako's comment! I have two travel mugs (in case one is being washed). You'll often get a discount, and I find they're cozier in your hands. Also, there are a lot of different makes and functional designs (some are even stylish). My fav is a tall porcelain mug with a fitted plastic lid. Thanks for posting fit!
syako syako 9 years
Of course there are ten or more reasons to drink coffee... so it's funny she didn't post those too.
gumdrops334 gumdrops334 9 years
To those top 10 reasons not to drink coffee---if it gets me learning in my classes everyday, as opposed to sleeping in class everyday (and yes i get 8+ hrs of sleep a night, i still get bored and sleepy in class) then I think it's worth it. I need to pay attention in class, and for some reason coffee makes me enjoy my classes as opposed to sleep through them.
chatnoir chatnoir 9 years
Most places now post if they are fair trade so if they don't post it, ask. They should be. Starbucks should make a reusable cup that looks exactly like their paper cups. Part of the fun of Starbucks is having that cup. I LOVVVVE Starbucks!
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i guess i do the triple threat. i use brown sugar in my coffee and usually let it sit or use a reusable spoon to mix my coffee. i always bring my own mug. the organic/natural store on campus in UBC has coffee for 5o cents if you bring your own mug! it is organic, fair trade, shade grown
syako syako 9 years
Thanks for posting this fit. I buy coffee every morning before work (drives the husband mad!) but I never even thought about how it was wasting paper and plastic each and every day until I read a comment somewhere on a blog from a barista at Starbucks who talked about how mad it made her when the same people came in every morning and didn't bring their own mugs! That hit me right in the face, and from that point on I bring my own travel mug. I also use a real spoon to stir. And at my coffee shop (cc's coffee in new orleans area) they give you a 10% discount for bringing your own mug!
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