coffee: Avoid Using Single Use Coffee Cups 

Coffee Products That Are Bad For The Environment And Their Eco-Friendly Alternatives

In Green & Ethical Living by eva.katona@yahoo.comLeave a Comment

This is a collaborative post.

Coffee is the most consumed beverage around the world. The vast use of coffee-related products has an impact on the environment. As a consumer of coffee, you should be very careful in using the products that are harmful to the environment and instead use their eco-friendly alternatives. You can find ethically sourced, responsibly packaged and carefully selected coffee in the UK, with a subscription so regular deliveries will save you time.

Coffee Products That Are Bad For The Environment And Their Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Paper cups are bad for the environment

Many people think, that paper cups can be recycled, but they often cannot be. It takes a lot of trees to produce paper cups. Trees produce oxygen and absorb harmful carbon dioxide, each time we cut down trees, we lose oxygen, and that buffer trees offer against pollution. The loss of trees is a double tragedy, as the transportation of a single paper cup is estimated to produce 0.11 kilograms of CO2, and trees absorb CO2. Moreover, paper cups cannot be recycled, as most paper cups are coated with low-density polyethylene, which cannot be recycled. According to experts, paper cups can take up to 30 years to decay, which makes them not an eco-friendly option.

The alternative

Paper cups that are 100% recyclable are a must if you consider recycling seriously. Ideally, it would be best if you went for recycled paper cups and compostable lids, but any paper cup that can be completely recycled is better than the common polyethylene cup. Some businesses provide biodegradable cup, and some even offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup for them to re-use that is far more cost-effective and reduces a significant amount of unnecessary waste. The best option for you is to use a reusable cup, whether that’s a purpose-made travel mug or a repurposed cup from home. There are many eco-friendly cups on the market, but choose products that are durable, and that can be recycled once they reach the end of use.

K-cups and the problem with them

Even the manufacturer of k-cups regrets his invention, as k-cups are not decomposable and pose a serious threat to the environment. One major reason for their popularity is the fact that they make the brewing process of coffee faster and simpler, thus suit our convenience culture. It is usually written on their packaging that these are disposable, but this a misconception. They are made of plastic and aluminium, which makes them highly non-disposable. Furthermore, an average of 6g of coffee in 3g of packaging is a really poor ratio – especially for something that is used for mere seconds and then tossed in the trash. Do you ever think that if these k-cups are not biodegradable, where do they go? Well, it is estimated that 95% of them go to landfill and sit there for up to 500 years! As neither plastic nor metal is biodegradable. They also end up in forests, rivers, and oceans and kill marine life. They also release harmful chemicals that are ingested by animals and eventually make their way back into our bodies through the food chain.

Eco-friendly alternatives

After reading the above-mentioned harms that k-cups and coffee pods cause to the environment, you must be thinking of an alternative. Well, one of the ways can be that you brew coffee the traditional way from coffee grounds. If you don’t have time and you are looking for convenience, then go for coffee pads. A coffee pad is coffee grounds packed in its own filter paper, which is easily biodegradable. Coffee pads are specific to one brand or one brewing machine, and you can use a coffee pad of any company in any coffee machine you have. 

coffee beans

Chlorine filter papers are harmful

Filter papers are also a part of the harmful coffee products cause to the environment as most of the filter papers are bleached with chlorine and oxygen, adding to the chemical waste in the environment. To adopt a more eco-friendly option, you should use reusable filter papers that can be washed easily and used for the next brew. 

Energy-saving espresso machine

Espresso machines can take up a lot of energy. That’s why energy-saving machines are the best choice, there are many options available in the market from which you can choose, and they have a multi-boiler system that allows optimising energy use and has energy-saving modes to choose from. You can do some research to find the best energy efficient espresso machine. 

Reduce carbon footprint

Try to buy your coffee and milk (or alternative milk) locally, this way, you will not only support the local economy, but you will also reduce the carbon footprint of your product. Avoiding shipping through cargo planes is very crucial because you know, planes emit a significant amount of CO2, which is harmful to the environment.    

By making the right choices, you can save the environment from further deterioration and continue enjoying your beloved coffee.

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