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A Cup of Carbon — Is drinking coffee bad for the planet?

July 21, 2021

We received an interesting question on LinkedIn, and it speared us on to share some more information about coffee & the impact it has on the environment.

68% of people in the UK drink coffee daily; therefore, the coffee business is big business! However, as we transition into becoming more & more aware of the impacts our purchasing can have on our carbon footprint, we need to ask ourselves some important questions like:

Does drinking coffee harm the environment?

What can we do to make better purchasing decisions?

What are the key things to look out for?

A ‘not so’ eco-friendly cup of coffee

Unfortunately, for every single one of these cups of coffee, around one square inch of rainforest is destroyed. Sadly the damage doesn’t just stop there & goes as far as leading to chemical runoffs in local rivers, a loss in biodiversity & soil erosion.

Another vital thing to note is that many farmers are pushing to grow more and more coffee plants due to the high demand. Unfortunately, they often focus on growing one species in the open sun which puts that entire crop at risk of falling to diseases.

A cup of carbon neutrality

We want to live in a world that is compensating people fairly for their time and their efforts. We want to live in a world that is proud of its natural resources & doesn’t abuse what is available. In order to drive towards this utopia, we have to review our purchasing decisions & put our money towards companies /brands that mirror these moral stances.

Here are a couple of things that you can do:

Keep your cuppa carbon neutral

The more climate change happens, the more negative the impact it has on the coffee plant itself. The changes can make the plants fragile, weak and, in turn, could ruin an entire crop of coffee.

Fair Trade Certification

Fairtrade coffee farmers invest a minimum of 25% of their premium into improving productivity & the quality of the coffee. As a result, the farmers are able to build a much better life for their families and their communities. When you choose fairtrade coffee, you also choose to support farmers through unprecedented challenges like climate change & unpredictable incomes.

Buy Organic Coffee

If you don’t like pesticides & herbicides along with your morning coffee, then make sure you buy organic coffee. The chemicals are very damaging to humans & they have a horrible impact on the environment, causing things like soil erosion.

Shade Grown Coffee is best

Asides from the coffee being rich in flavour than those grown in direct sunlight, shade-grown coffee encourages biodiversity to return to certain areas, that have experienced environmental degradation. These shaded coffee farms provide a lovely habitat for several species, including ants, bats, butterflies & birds!

We can’t forget the positive impact they have on reducing CO2; the carbon is stored in the tree trunks, limbs leaves instead of it being released into the air and contributing to climate change.

If you love coffee, you must love the planet & in order to keep getting your daily fix, we need to make the right decisions. If you spend your money wisely & invest in organically grown coffee with a low carbon footprint, you are guaranteed top-quality coffee that doesn’t leave a horrible mark on the planet.

Here’s to taking pride in our eco-friendly cups of coffee with a splash of loving the planet to go with it.

Thank you Ninnie for your questions!

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