How can we work together to make local coffee shops more sustainable?
If you have read our other posts, you know that protecting the environment is very important to us. Needmore Coffee Roasters only works with coffee producers who are as committed to preserving the natural world as we are. The small farms where we source our beans work with nature instead of against it. We also regularly collaborate with environmental foundations to extend their preservation efforts. Yet, we also need to make sure that our shop is as sustainable as the coffee we source.
The environmental impact of coffee shop trash
Coffee shop trash is a big problem for sustainability. Conventionally, each disposable coffee cup is made of trees and petroleum products. Each cup is responsible for 0.24 lbs of carbon (C02) greenhouse gas emissions. Because of their plastic liners and coffee contamination, they are also not recyclable. For this reason, the vast majority of disposable cups and lids end up in the landfill. According to Recycling Advocates, if a person purchases coffee in a disposable cup every day, this creates about 23 pounds of waste per year.
Making the switch to compostables
In an effort to reduce the trash produced by takeaway coffee drinks and beans, we encourage you to bring your own to-go cups. We offer a 25 cent discount to people who bring their own cups, but If you do forget, fear not because we recently made the switch to compostable straws and to-go cups!
We source our sustainable EarthPro to-go cups from Acorn Distributors in Indianapolis. These coffee cups are made from annually renewable sugarcane and lined with polylactic acid instead of conventional plastic. The lids are also constructed of polylactic acid (PLA), which is made from starchy plants like corn. PLA is made by processing starch from corn kernels into a biopolymer that looks, acts, and performs like petroleum-based plastics. Unlike plastic, however, PLA is both renewable and biodegradable.
Similarly, our Biotre coffee bags are made from 60% renewable plant-based materials, which break down into healthy compost. Our paper straws, made by Indiana company Aardvark, are not only compostable but also reef and ocean-friendly. Plastic straws remain in the ocean and are liable to be ingested by marine organisms. These paper straws only last as long as you need them to. They stay strong while you enjoy your cold brew, but break down easily once you are finished.
We can all work together to make the coffee shop more sustainable. Though it is always best to bring your own containers, now you can feel confident that when you need the convenience of a to-go cup or straw, you can be good to yourself and the environment.