How To Make: Zero Waste Coffee

Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you… drink? Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year. That’s a lot of beans! Whether you’re making your coffee at home, or taking it to go, chances are you are creating waste somewhere in the process. With this many cups being consumed daily, it seems this is an area of concern we need to tackle. So here are my recommendations for reducing the waste associated with your morning (or mid-day) ritual.

1.) Buy Your Beans In Bulk

The majority of grocery stores are hopping on board with this trend of bulk coffee beans. Not only is it a great opportunity to try new flavors, but it’s also a great opportunity to reduce your waste. A simple swap like bringing your own reusable bulk bags can save you from hundreds, if not thousands, of plastic bags over time. Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 7.54.40 PM

2.) Grind Your Own Beans

If you are able to find your beans pre-ground in a container that is compostable (or able to be purchased in a reusable) go for it! However, I have not been so lucky. This hand held bean grinder is a simple kitchen gadget that can help you avoid the weird big box store packaging that typical coffee grounds come in. Some crazy person decided packaging that can’t even be recycled was a good idea. Yeesh. Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 7.59.39 PM

3.) Reusable Coffee Filter

Luckily for us eco-warriors, there are several reusable coffee filters becoming available. This one is simple to use, easy to store, and requires no electricity. Not only is it the perfect options for those of us on the go, but it’s also a great option for your camping Cup-Of-Joe. Snag yourself a FLTRgo here.Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 8.05.26 PM

4.) Reusable Coffee Cup

This may be the most simple, but essential, swap of all! A reusable cup can cut down your waste whether you’re making your coffee at home, or grabbing it on the go. This swap can reduce your solid waste footprint by a ton (literally)! I use a small KeepCup, but they have these cute little cups in different sizes and colors. Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 8.13.18 PM

That’s all I have for now! These swaps are simple, but can save you from a lot of waste. I think I’ll start writing more blog posts if you like this one. Let me know. Feel free to check out my YouTube video about these products.



1 Comment

  1. Hi there! What about the coffee grounds themselves once you’ve used them? Think of all those coffees you make every day… that mounts up to a ton of waste over the years!

    I work for a company in the UK called bio-bean, and we’ve been looking at exactly this problem… There’s so much value and energy left in coffee grounds after they’ve been used for making coffee, and most of them end up in landfill, producing tonnes of CO2 emissions, methane, etc. We’ve started collecting these grounds from cafes, offices, railway stations – anywhere coffee is made in quantity – and are recycling them in a range of bio-products. Our main products so far are biomass pellets to fuel industrial boilers, and Coffee Logs, our eco-briquette for burning in domestic wood burning stoves, but we are exploring all sorts of other uses for the oils we can extract from the grounds too. We’ve calculated that grounds which are recycled and burned as Coffee Logs produce over 80% less CO2 emissions than if they had gone to landfill, so not only is it a great re-use of a waste product, but it’s helping reduce emissions too.

    We’re not operating in the US yet…. but hopefully one day! Keep up the great sustainable work Shelbi!

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