How Green is Your Coffee?

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As many of you probably know, or already learned from MNP, coffee isn’t exactly the most sustainable crop – not only are workers/farmers typically underpaid [to say the least], but the plants themselves are very often farmed on lands that are clear cut – destroying natural environments and habitats to feed our caffeine addictions. On top of all that, once the coffee gets to the stores we use paper/plastic/styrofoam cups to drink it, cardboard sheaths to protect our hands from the heat, and wooden stirrers to add milk + sugar – all combining to make our coffee consumption a needlessly wasteful habit.

What can you do? Well here are a few ideas:

-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 [via FitSugar – Healthy, happy you]

For more information on coffees impact, and what you can do, go watch Black Gold – or at least visit the website and it’s coffee calculator.

And if you’re looking for fair trade, shade grown, organic coffees in the Boston area [or want to order some online] – go check out FLAT BLACK [in Dorchester and downtown].

::article via Reuters::

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