The Family Home Blog

How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Morning Coffee

Sep 25, 2015
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Diane Hoffmaster

A morning cup of coffee is a tradition that millions of Americans happily participate in. The drive-thru lines to coffee shops and fast food restaurants are long as people wait for their morning shot of caffeine. Coffee is certainly a delicious and enjoyable way to wake up in the morning, however, many factors affect the environmental impact of our cup of coffee. If you love your coffee but still want to tread lightly on our planet, here are a few tips on how you can live green and still enjoy your morning cup of Joe. 

How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Morning Coffee 

1.    Drink your coffee at home. Making a cup of coffee at the house before you leave for work is a much greener choice than hitting the drive-thru line and idling there for ten minutes. Invest in a high-quality coffee pot with a programmable timer so that your coffee is ready when you wake up.

2.    Bring a reusable mug if you do buy your coffee on the go. Disposable cups are a huge source of trash in our landfills. Bring a stainless steel reusable mug to fill up instead. Some places will even offer you a discount on your bill for bringing your own cup.

3.    Choose your coffee wisely. There are a lot of coffee terms thrown out lately and sometimes you need a dictionary to understand them. Generally, look for words like organic, shade grown, rainforest certified, or fair trade if you want to reduce your carbon footprint. Learn more about what these terms mean here.

4.    Rethink your add-ins. Processed creamers and individually packaged artificial sweeteners are not the best choices for flavoring your coffee. Organic milk, raw sugar, or homemade flavored sweeteners are better options. Check out my Maple Cinnamon Coffee Creamer Recipe if you want to try making your own creamer from scratch!

5.    Don't throw away those coffee grounds. Coffee grounds are incredibly useful and shouldn't be thrown in the trash can when you are finished with your cup of coffee. There are many different ways to recycle your coffee grounds. For example, you could compost them or turn them into a fun craft by making coffee ground fossils with your kids!

How do YOU reduce the carbon footprint of your coffee habit?

Photo courtesy of Diane Hoffmaster.

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