Just about every single person I know drinks something cup-worthy each morning. For most, that’s coffee. For some, that’s tea. I even have a handful of odd ball fruit loop friends who choose to drink something caffeine free! Why would you do that to yourself?
But jokes aside, an easy daily practice that we all seem to partake in is our daily morning cuppa, so how can we make more sustainable choices? Here are a few suggestions to take on board if you’re considering converting to a less-waste option.
The most environmentally friendly coffee-brewing option at home is to use a barista-style machine if it’s in your budget or a French press/plunger, stovetop moka pot or percolator. These options require just coffee beans and unlike instant coffee, is the least processed form of coffee and has less packaging, especially if you buy your coffee beans in bulk. We are lucky enough to live in a coffee-growing region of Australia and there are organic locally-grown farms just 20 minutes down the road from us in Byron Bay. Sourcing locally grown and not just locally roasted (which often uses imported beans) is easy for us. But if you don’t live in a coffee-growing area then try and source coffee at least grown on your same continent.
Pod-style coffee machines are probably the biggest culprit in their environmental impact with all that single-use packaging. But don’t toss out your Nespresso machine just yet, converting to stainless steel, reusable coffee pods not only save you a fortune but will reduce what you send to landfill drastically. It also allows you to choose your own coffee, hopefully a more sustainable or at the very least, fairtrade brand. You can then compost the coffee grounds after each cup which is an awesome addition to your compost heap. Win win!
Did you know that most tea bags are made from synthetic fibres, even the paper-style unbleached options are still sealed with plastic-based glue. So adding them into your compost heap isn’t ideal not to mention that all that plastic over time being steeped in boiling water isn’t exactly great for your health. Changing to loose-leaf tea is not only touted by tea connoisseurs as the best way to enjoy your cup properly, it’s also a drastically less-waste option for tea lovers.
Trying loose tea in herbal varieties is often a game-changer in terms of taste and quality. If you’re a herbal tea drinker then you’re definitely in running for being the least waste producing cup sipper. Especially if you grow your own herbs and dry them to make your own herbal blends. These days seeds are available in your local garden centre for just about every kind of herb. So why not give it a bash growing the 10 different varieties of mint, chamomile, lemon balm and even echinacea for a virtually zero waste cup of tea that cost next to nothing.