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4 Ways to Zero-Waste Your Coffee Routine

It’s easy to feel like the actions we take are too small to make an impact on the world. It’s a common felling that everyone experiences, but it’s a lie. Small changes come together to form big changes over a lifetime. Even minor daily adjustment to make our coffee more sustainable can make a significant impact over years and decades.

Landfills are a major problem in the US. They slowly pollute our watersheds, destroy habitats, and make large areas of land useless - all unnecessarily. We love our disposable products, because we don’t see what they create when we’re finished with them. 

But the planet’s not our dump bin, and it deserves our love and care. At Joe Cup, we care about the environment and want you to join in on our mission to embrace small changes to produce sustainable habits.

Here are five ways we can make our coffee adapt our coffee routines more environmentally friendly. 


1. No Excuse for Single-Use Coffee Cups

Single-use coffee cups, pods and plastic straws, are poison to the environment. The convenience of K-Cups and Nespresso pods has dirty consequences.
In 2017, Green Mountain Coffee Co (Keurig) produced 10 billion (10,000,000,000) K-Cups. If you set them next to each other in a straight line, they would wrap around the globe 11 times. Single serve pods are an environmental nightmare. The plastic they’re made from takes decades to degrade. Please, avoid disposable coffee pods at all cost. Here are some alternatives.


2. Get A Reusable Filter

The most compelling reason to avoid paper filters is that most are chlorine-bleached and end up in landfills. These filters then seep trace amounts of dioxins.
If you still want disposable filters, you should be looking for the TCF (total chlorine-free) or PCF (processed chlorine-free) variation. However, reusable filters eliminate waste entirely. Here are some recommendations.


3. Use Your Own Reusable Coffee Cup

A super easy way to reduce unnecessary waste is to use a reusable cup. This method doesn’t contribute to landfill crowding with paper cups, and makes you feel right at home.
For many years, Starbucks promised to make a recyclable cup, but has failed to do so. It takes about 20 years for the standard Starbucks cup to degrade. That may not sound like such a long time, but when you consider that the USA goes through 60 billion of those cups per year, the problem becomes a lot bigger.
Do the world a favor and start taking your own mugs and tumblers to coffee shops. Here’s a recommended reusable coffee cup.


4. Brew Manually

Manual coffee brewers stand in defiance against another one of the great challenges to eco-friendly coffee: auto drip coffee makers.
If you take a stroll to your neighborhood supermarket and look at the coffeemakers, you’ll realize a couple things. Firstly, they are cheaply priced. Secondly, they are cheaply made.
These coffee pots are plastic-guzzlers that are built to break, requiring the manufacturing of more and more of them. It’s an endless cycle of wasteful manufacturing.
Manual coffee brewers, on the other hand, are simply constructed and built to last. They are made of few parts (often just one), rarely require replacing, and can serve you for decades. Here are some recommendations.
Small steps make up every journey. Pick one of these ways to make your coffee more eco-friendly and stick with it. Maybe add another way or two later on.

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