Coffee is a staple in the American working world. People enjoy coffee for the taste, the energy boost, and the social connotations it comes with. In fact, coffee shops rake in $12 billion in combined sales annually; that shows that it comes as no surprise how much United States residents love their coffee. However, the commuters who make a visit to their favorite coffee shop drive through do not realize the environmental impact they are making by using countless custom printed coffee bags or cups year after year. Loving coffee is no crime against the earth, but how can we get our morning fix without leaving such a huge carbon footprint?
There are quite a few ways you can get that professional barista effect you love without tossing out those plastic cups with lids. Here is how you can enjoy your daily brew and be environmentally friendly at the same time.
1. Ask your favorite coffee shop about a custom reusable cup, so you can skip the custom printed coffee bags or cups. Many shops offer patrons a thermos for purchase with that shop’s name or logo on it, so that you can save a handful of change every time you come through the drive through with your loyalty cup in hand. Not only will you be saving yourself some money, you will also lessening your presence in the landfill. Note that your coffee shop may fill a thermos that is not a loyalty thermos, but you probably will not get a discount.
2. Become a barista master yourself. The cost of a home coffee bar may be daunting at first, but you will save yourself money over time by making the craft coffee beverages you love at home rather than paying several dollars apiece for one every morning. The price tag on a home coffee bar can vary greatly depending on brand, model, and number of functions, but most will provide you with the milk-foaming, espresso-based drinks that you love. The coffee bar may come with tutorials on how to make these drinks, or you may be able to find them online.
3. Don’t want a coffee bar at home? Make a plea to your work. If your place of employment doesn’t have a coffee bar setup, you might be able to make a pretty strong case to your employers as long as you gather enough information. Talk to your colleagues about how they would feel about the installation of an office coffee bar, and research models that you think would be in your employer’s price range. Make sure you talk plenty about the increases of productivity that coffee in the workplace will bring.
4. Rev up your drip coffee. Drip coffee may not be no whole milk caramel macchiato with extra drizzle and light whip, but it can still be a pretty dang good substitute when you want to save a little money and be kind to your planet. Research coffee clubs that deliver the finest whole beans to your door, and invest in a whole bean grinder, which can greatly change your views on drip coffee. Did you know that coffee loses 40% of its flavor potency and freshness within ten minutes of being ground? Some freshly ground, artisan drip coffee with a fabulously flavored creamer of your choice can give a coffee shop a run for its money. For a more barista-esque taste to your drip coffee, skip the heavily sweetened creamers, toggle that drip coffee maker over to strong, and use pure heavy cream with a dash of flavoring syrup to truly embody the flavor of homemade drip coffee. Once you’ve mastered your grinder, creamer, and drip coffee maker, buy yourself a couple of fashionable, high quality to go mugs, ditch your custom printed coffee bags or cups, and you’re all set!
5. Become an activist. If you are lucky, you might be able to convince your coffee shop to ditch their custom printed coffee bags or cups for a biodegradable option! Come with statistics!
Coffee is a delicious, wonderful gift to us, but the custom packaging they come in often aren’t. Check coffee bag labels and packaging design for eco-friendly signage.