6 Tips for Making Your Morning Coffee Sustainable

Are you a coffee lover? I am too! But there are some things we should be thinking about when it comes to coffee… Try to remember these things next time you’re about to buy coffee: Buy fair-trade. Fair-trade coffee is more likely going to ensure that coffee producers are getting their fair share in profit and healthy working conditions. It can be more expensive, but remember that there is a story behind your coffee. You are making a vote each time you buy a product.

1. Avoid Keurig Cups.

K-cups can’t be recycled because they are made with specific plastic material that doesn’t melt under the hot temperatures of the Keurig machine. And since their production, K-cups have been overflowing in landfills. If you already have a Keurig machine, try to buy ones that are recyclable. They are less common but they are there!

2. Bring reusable straws everywhere!

Okay, it’s kind of coffee-related. But you should still be thinking about the environment when you buy your coffee on-the-go. It doesn’t hurt to bring your own cup or mug, too.

3. Buy shade-grown coffee

Deforestation is a huge problem with coffee production today. It’s destroying biodiversity and hurting our atmosphere. But shade-grown coffee allows trees and all the inhabitants of the forest to live happily (ever after). Look out for this label on coffee packages for the best coffee to buy.

4. Let’s talk about climate change.

Right now, coffee seems abundant and somewhat normally priced. But that could change in the near future. Coffee rust is impacting more and more coffee farms because of weather variability. It all comes back to climate change. Keeping the environment in mind when shopping can help save our future.

5. Coffee is a political commodity.

Again, think about the story behind your coffee. Look into the brand you’re buying from and make sure they’re caring for their workers.

“The disparity between coffee producers and consumers is the inheritance of colonialism.”

We often don’t realize how much power we have when choosing coffee brands; but we’re either supporting harmful worker regulations or providing someone with more opportunities and proper conditions. The whole “you have the power to choose” saying may seem outdated but it’s true! You’re buying more than a cup of coffee.  


“The Rise of Yuppie Coffees and Reimagination of Class in the United States.” William Roseberry. American Anthropologist. New Series, Vol. 98, No. 4. (Dec., 1996).