Making a More Eco-Friendly Morning Cup of Joe: Tips for Sustainable Coffee

Sustainable coffee

As the Canadian weather starts to cool and the pumpkin spice lattes (PSL) begin to make an appearance, it seems like the perfect time to discuss making your favourite morning drink more sustainable.

Sustainable coffee might seem like it’s low on the list of green changes to make around the house. But this small act is the beginning of most of our days, so why not start out with an eco-friendly choice?

There’s no perfectly green cup of coffee, but there are ways that you can make the overall experience more sustainable. If you want to make your next cup of coffee eco-friendly, here are a few tips you need to know:

1. Make your coffee at home

Having a sustainable coffee experience starts at home.

It might not be as trendy as heading to the coffee shop (though shouldn’t it be), but it’s a whole lot greener. Making your own coffee means saving yourself time and money, while reducing its impact on the environment by saving energy and creating less waste.

While you’re at it, you want to make sure that the coffee you’re drinking is sustainable. Fair trade coffee supports small and local farmers, and beans that are organic are grown without herbicides and pesticides — everything tastes better

2. Skip single serving cups or pods

One thing that doesn’t make your at-home experience more sustainable is using coffee pods.

Coffee pods are convenient and easy, but unfortunately most aren’t recyclable. There are companies out there working towards a more sustainable future for pods, but at this time the majority of them are a bit of a hassle to recycle as they need to go to a specialized plant.

Here are a few tools that can help you build a better at-home eco-friendly coffee routine:

  • Self-grinding (a manual grinder is the most green)
  • A French press or manual coffee maker
  • Reusable coffee filters

3. Repurpose coffee grounds 

Creating an eco-friendly cup of coffee doesn’t end when your favourite mug is filled with steaming hot liquid. You can reduce your coffee waste even further by reusing the grounds.

Coffee grinds make excellent fertilizer, which means you can grow a healthier garden and continue to compost all year long.

4. Bring a reusable cup

If you absolutely have to buy your morning coffee because no one does it better, try bringing along a reusable cup. Not only can a good cup help you keep your coffee warmer, but it avoids unnecessary waste, and might even save you money if your shop offers a discount (some do). Single-use plastic or paper cups are hard to recycle and tend to end up taking up space in the local landfill, so avoiding them altogether is your best bet!

5. Support local

Everyone loves a good Starbucks PSL, but it’s not the most sustainable choice of drink.

If you’re looking for a more sustainable coffee outing, buying local is your best bet. Every dollar you spend at a local place (versus a chain brand) gets pumped back into the community. Thriving small businesses both stimulate the local economy, and support other local businesses and suppliers. Some websites, like Th3rdwave, help you easily find a local coffee shop near you.

Living greener one small change at a time

Making eco-friendly choices with your future cups of coffee is one small step you can take towards a greener life. These small sustainable practices might seem as simple as figuring out an eco-friendly alternative to your morning cup of delicious coffee. But they can go a long way towards living a greener life.

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next small change towards living greener, download the GarbageDay app and have them delivered right to your device.

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Never miss your local waste and recycling collection day again! GarbageDay helps keep you up-to-date on your city's collection schedule with timely reminders letting you know which bin to take out as well as tips and tricks to enjoy a more sustainable and eco-friendly home.

This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by RBC Ventures Inc. or its affiliates.

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