Coffee is the world’s favourite drink, and for good reason. Not only is it rich and satisfying, it possesses a seemingly magical ability to keep us awake. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the UK runs on coffee. We drink 95 million cups a day, creating 210,00 jobs and adding £9.1 billion a year to the country’s economy.
It’s not all good news though. As coffee drinking has become a worldwide craze, the environmental impacts of coffee production have also become clear. The massive global supply chain behind every cup of coffee causes pollution, deforestation and global warming to a large degree. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make your coffee habit more eco friendly.
1. Drink less coffee
This will probably not be a popular option, but it is worth mentioning. By drinking less coffee you will reduce the global demand and therefore lessen the environmental impacts of the coffee industry. However, since most of us couldn’t imagine life without coffee, we should probably consider some less extreme options.
2. Change your brewing method
Not all brewing methods are equal in terms of environmental impact. A good rule of thumb is the lower tech the better. Consider switching from an electric coffee maker to one of the simpler options such as a French press or an AeroPress. If you are craving an espresso, switch to a manual machine that uses a hand-operated lever. You could also experiment with a cold brew, thereby saving the energy needed to boil a kettle.
3. Avoid disposable cups
Single-use coffee cups are one of the most damaging aspects of the coffee industry. In 2018, UK coffee drinkers threw away 4.1 billion takeaway cups and lids. Paper cups have a plastic liner to keep them watertight, which means that they are very difficult to recycle. The printing and transportation of takeaway cups also contribute to pollution. The chemicals used in printing ink can pollute lakes and rivers, while transporting cups by road or air leads to significant CO2 emissions. By buying your own reusable mug, you can help to reduce this impact. You will also save money, as many coffee shops now offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup.
If you have no choice but to use a disposable cup, there are still eco-friendly options available. Companies such as Vegmare make plant-based disposable cups that are fully compostable.
4. Buy local coffee
The high carbon footprint of the coffee industry is mostly due to the long distances the product has to travel. Although the majority of the world’s coffee is still grown in South America, it may be possible to find coffee that has been grown closer to home. Even if the beans come from far away, choosing a local roaster will reduce the total distance the product has travelled to reach you.
5. Recycle your coffee grounds
Most of us throw our coffee grounds away, but they can be easily recycled. Adding them to your compost heap will reduce waste, and can also create a useful fertiliser for your garden. Coffee grounds also make an effective pest repellent. Sprinkling them on soil will deter ants and cats from your garden without the need for harsh chemicals.
6. Use compostable coffee pods
Coffee pods have got a bad reputation. Many people blame the rise of Nespresso and similar pod-based coffee machines for a huge increase in the drink’s environmental impact. The problem with these machines is that the pods are not biodegradable, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
Thanks to the fully biodegradable coffee pods from Halo Coffee, you can enjoy guilt-free Nespresso coffee in seconds. We believe in bringing you the world’s best coffees in a way that is best for the environment. We have scoured the globe for the finest coffees and have chosen only the richest, most unique flavours for our Halo range. Every coffee pod is ethically sourced, environmentally friendly and fully home-compostable. Halo pods will degrade completely in just four weeks, and can then be used as a nitrate-rich fertiliser for your garden. It’s not just the pods either – every part of our packaging from our boxes to our labels is fully biodegradable.
With free delivery on orders over £35, and the option to have delicious coffee delivered straight to your door with our subscription service, there’s never been a better time to discover the eco-friendly future of coffee.