Most of us are loyal daily coffee drinkers, but the environmental impact of the industry from transportation emissions to disposable coffee cups can tarnish your daily cup ‘o joe. Over the past couple of weeks, we shared stories about coffee grounds being used for sustainable clothing dye and biodegradable coffee pods. Today we bring you 9 more ways to be a conscientious coffee consumer.

  1. Buy local and small: Buy locally sourced, small-batch beans and talk to your roaster about their environmental practices.
  2. Invest in a to-go cup: This one is old but still gold. Less waste and hotter coffee are a win-win!
  3. Take 10 minutes to enjoy your coffee in the cafe: Enjoy the sights and save a disposable cup.
  4. Use your strength: Hand powered grinders give you electricity-free grinds and a good arm workout.
  5. Use a manual brew system too: French press, pour-over, or cold brew yield delicious coffee with minimal energy use
  6. Mind plastic waste: Avoiding straws is good, but also consider buying in bulk and using cloth coffee filters to truly minimize waste.
  7. Say no to stirrers: A trusty spoon will do the trick waste-free. Don’t be afraid to ask for one at your local coffee shop or encourage them to provide them in lieu of stirrers.
  8. Upcycle your grounds: If you don’t have composting, simply sprinkle them over your garden for added nutrients or even make an exfoliating body scrub out of them.
  9. Drink your coffee black: It can be tough, but the dairy industry has an enormous carbon footprint. Opt for dairy-free alternative milk, or just enjoy the bold flavor of your roast without milk.

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