by Laura McIlwaine October 29, 2018 1 Comment

If you’re keen to eco-fy your coffee habit, read on!

In this post I’ll share three simple ways to enjoy your daily dose of coffee, sustainably.

Here’s something you may not have expected…..

I don’t like coffee.

I never have and doubt I ever will. It’s tea all the way for me.

But I know I’m in the minority here, because it seems A LOT of people really like their coffee!!

Take Americans for example. They consume around 400 million cups of coffee per day, making United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world!

Men enjoy coffee just as much as women, and both typically consume 3.2 cups of coffee per day (source).

Nepresso® or no Nepresso® , it looks like our addiction to the daily brew isn’t going anywhere, so let’s take a look at three ways you can make your coffee habit more sustainable.

1. Use a Reusable Cup

Such a simple change can make such a big difference!

It’s estimated that Australians use over 1 billion disposable coffee cups per year. That’s approximately 2,700,000 single-use coffee cups thrown out each day!

While it looks like many of these cups are made from paper, most have a plastic lining and are therefore not recyclable.

The greenest choice is to carry your own reusable coffee cup, and the bonus is that many coffee outlets will offer you a discount off your coffee.

If you have a café in your local area that’s signed up to Responsible Cafes, you can typically save 50c off your brew.

Click HERE to view the range of reusable coffee cups.


2. Choose a Smarter Coffee Pod

When Nepresso® partnered with George Clooney, it was a match made in heaven...for Nepresso®.

It wasn't a match made in heaven for the environment though.....

Over 1.1 million Nepresso® coffee machines have now been sold in Australia and over 3,000,000 single-use coffee pods are consumed in Australia alone every. single. day.

95% of these pods are made from non-recyclable composite plastic, which takes more than 500 years to break down in landfill. 

Whilst some of these pods are recycled, it is suggested that the recycling rate could be as low as 5%.

Thankfully reusable capsules give you the freedom to brew fresh coffee from your favourite coffee beans AND to do so without the plastic waste.

WayCap Stainless Steel Refillable Coffee Capsules are compatible with Nespresso®* capsule machines and enable you to save $$$ and waste with every cup you brew.

Available in store now!

3. Choose an Ethical Brew

Not all coffee was created equal.

Like any drug (and coffee is no doubt a drug given by the number of coffee addicts in the world!), there’s a darker side to the humble coffee bean. Child labour, poor working conditions, low pay and environmental / land degradation have all been associated with the coffee industry.

To ensure your brew contributes positively to our world, choose a Fairtrade coffee (organic if possible).

When consumers purchase products with the Fairtrade Mark, they are supporting farmers and workers as they work to improve their livelihoods and provide better support to their communities. The Fairtrade Mark shows that the Fairtrade ingredients in the product have been produced by small-scale farmer organisations or plantations that meet internationally agreed Fairtrade social, economic and environmental standards.

The standards include protection of workers’ rights and the protection of children, the preservation of the environment, payment of the Fairtrade Minimum Price an additional Fairtrade Premium to invest in initiatives to support local communities or business development.

Sounds like a fair enough choice, right? 

Final Thoughts

An ethical and sustainable cup of coffee is possible! By switching to a reusable cup, reusable coffee pods and an organic, Fairtrade brew you’ll save money, waste and contribute to a cleaner, greener and fairer future for us all. Now that’s almost enough to make me want to start drinking coffee! ;-)

Over To You!

What’s your best sustainable coffee tips? Share in the comments below!



To kick-start your plastic free life, click HERE to join our 5-day Plastic Free Challenge (it's FREE!).

 Plastic Free Challenge


About the Author:

Laura Trotta is an experienced environmental engineer, award-winning sustainable living educator and the founder of Sustainahome. She’s dedicated over two decades of her life to the sustainability cause and her personal mission in life is to make green mainstream.

A passionate believer in addressing the small things to achieve big change, and protecting the planet in practical ways, Laura lives with her husband and two sons in Adelaide, South Australia.

Laura McIlwaine
Laura McIlwaine

1 Response

Jenny Penfold
Jenny Penfold

November 07, 2018

When possible I return to my favourite coffee shop in the afternoon with a bucket to collect their day’s coffee grinds for my compost and garden. The owners love it because it means less landfill they have to pay for. I love it because it provides goodness for my garden. The worms and plants love it also!

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