Whether you crave cappuccinos, love lattes or go mad for mochas, coffee is an important part of a lot of our daily routines. But a new warning has said the damaging effects of climate change could impact coffee production in a very bad way. So much so that the everyday hot beverage could become a rare, luxury item in years to come. Factors such as extreme temperatures, increased humidity and pests are all having a negative impact on the Arabica bean grown in Peru, warns Fairtrade. Catherine David, head of commercial partnerships at Fairtrade, has said that if more isn’t done to help coffee farmers then the quality of the coffee will fall, lowering production numbers and potentially prompting prices to increase. What’s more, due to limited terrain, experts have predicted that up to half the land currently used to grow coffee will become unusable by 2050 -if changes are not made. With coffee being an integral part of most people’s lives, it’s time to start thinking about how to make the habit more sustainable. There are a number of ways that consumers can help reduce their coffee carbon footprint, by focusing on areas such as usage and wastage. Buy a reusable cup This is the most obvious way to make your coffee routine instantly more sustainable. Investing in a reusable container will save hundreds, maybe even thousands, of throwaway paper cups. There are a plethora of different models on the market, ranging in size and design. Overall, it’s best to opt for a product that is durable and one that can be recycled when it comes to the end of its life. Despite the UK government rejecting a 25p ‘latte levy’ on single-use cups in 2018, lots of cafes now offer a discount for those who bring their own. Switch from one-time-use capsules We’ve all seen the devastating images of plastic floating in the oceans, often trapping or tangling marine life. The coffee industry uses a lot of plastic and we as consumers need to do our bit to change that by reducing the demand. Buying sustainable, plastic-free products should be top of the agenda. Coffee capsules are made of plastic but what’s more, they are one-time-use. These pods are often non-recyclable, or very difficult to recycle. For those finding it difficult to make the switch, there are some sustainable products on the market, such as Gourmesso’s compostable pods, which are certified by the Rainforest Alliance and work in most standard single-serve machines.
Compost used coffee Composting is an organic way of recycling food waste and, when carried out correctly, can stop the production of harmful greenhouse gases such as methane. Surprisingly, coffee can actually offer many benefits to green-fingered enthusiasts. Not only do coffee grounds add nitrogen to soil but they can also act as a barrier to keep slugs and snails away from plants. Ditch the dairy Scientists have said that ditching meat and dairy is the single biggest way to reduce your environmental impact on the planet. Plant-based alternatives to milk have proved popular over the past few years with many coffee shops offering almond, oat, cashew and soy milk and more. Just be aware that many still do have a carbon footprint due to the fact that nuts and other products are flown from across the world. In terms of going green, ordering a black coffee is probably the safest bet.
Get a reusable filter Not only do paper coffee filters create a waste problem but they are often bleached with chlorine or oxygen ? which is bad news for the environment. Why not upgrade to a device which has a reusable filter built in? Or invest in a product designed to trap the solids without a filter. Genius. When buying coffee, look for sustainability certifications As a consumer, choosing Fairtrade coffee means you are supporting farmers with any challenges they may face. These coffees ensure a fair living wage, which means farmers can build a better quality of life for their family and community but also they can invest in growing better quality beans. It’s also worth keeping in mind that organic coffee is produced without any artificial chemical substances ? meaning it’s far better for the planet, too.