9 Ways to Be a More Eco-Friendly Coffee Drinker

In celebration of the 51st anniversary of Earth Day, let’s take small steps toward becoming a more sustainable coffee drinker to ensure our coffee cup stays full well into the future.

Here are 9 easy ways to get started:

Support Responsible Growers

Take a closer look at the label on your coffee beans as it tells you all you need to know about its origins.

If you want peace of mind knowing that your coffee beans were sustainably grown or ethically sourced, look for certifications such as Fair Trade Certified, USDA Organic, and Rainforest Alliance.

Purchasing coffee beans like these help enterprises dedicated to supporting sustainable agriculture and fair working conditions.

By choosing organic coffee, for instance, you are consuming chemical-free coffee that’s made by farmers who focus on the use of renewable resources.

Go Local

Delicious artisan brews, a homely atmosphere, and an economic boost for the local community – there are plenty of great reasons to support your local independent coffee shop.

Think of the environmental impact of your regular coffee spot, too. After all, a small local business like a coffee shop is likely to have a smaller carbon footprint than larger chains.

So check out your local roasters for a true feel-good experience. If you live in Singapore or Malaysia, here’s a few undiscovered specialty roasters that promise a great cup of coffee.

Use Reusable Coffee Cups

a blue coloured reusable coffee cup
Featuring the world’s first shatterproof ceramic reusable cup in a limited-edition Distinctively Blue. Photo from De’Longhi.

While disposable cups can make our lives easy, they’re not so easy-going on the planet. So avoid single-serve cups!

When you’re taking your coffee to-go, use a reusable cup. The spill-proof De’Longhi X Sttoke Cup – the World’s First Shatterproof Ceramic Reusable Cup – gives you an environmentally-friendly option packed with style and practicality.

Get your De’Longhi X Sttoke Cup today for SGD 45.90 or MYR 129!

Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds

plants growing
Used coffee grounds add organic material to soil and act as a natural fertiliser. Photo from Markus Spiske.

If you’re a gardener, don’t trash those spent coffee grounds!

They can be composted or incorporated straight-up into the garden, where they impart all sorts of benefits: they add nitrogen to soil or compost, act as a barrier to keep garden pests away from your plant, and are great food for a worm bin.

Don’t have your own garden? Donate your used coffee grounds to a green-fingered neighbour or local Community Garden group.

Don’t Use Single Serve Coffee

Single-serve pod and capsule systems are not eco-friendly because many of these are either non-recyclable or difficult to recycle and reuse.

Although some pods are recyclable, they need to be taken to special collection points. Only purchase reusable filters or coffee pods, and read the label for collection points near you to reduce waste.

Use Plant-based Milk

The dairy industry is known to have a large carbon footprint. Unfortunately, all those cows producing milk are believed to have a considerable effect on climate change due to emissions of greenhouse gases such as methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide.

The best solution to overcome the impact? Take this quiz to find out your coffee profile and learn to elevate your coffee!

But if that’s too much of a change for your taste buds, consider adding a plant-based dairy substitute, such as soy, oat, or almond milk. Don’t give up if you find the flavour a little strange, simply try some of the alternatives until you find one that satisfies your taste buds.

Find out which plant-based dairy alternatives are best suited for coffee.

Clean Up Thoughtfully

descaling solution
Use an eco-friendly descaling solution to clean your coffee machine and accessories. Featuring the De’Longhi EcoDecalk. Photo from De’Longhi.

This is an area often overlooked when thinking about an eco-friendly coffee experience.

Cleaning out your coffee mug or coffee brewing device in a “greener” way starts with choosing environmentally-friendly dishwashing liquids or tablets.

If you use a coffee machine, ensure that you descale it once every 3 to 4 months to prevent pesky limescale buildup, so that your brew stays fresh and intense. Most importantly, use an eco-friendly descaler like this, which makes it safe and gentle to use for your coffee machine.

Invest in a Bean-to-Cup Coffee Machine

Not only are bean-to-cup coffee machines cost-effective in the long run, they are also a sustainable option.

For example, only the exact volume of beans are ground depending on the drink recipe chosen – this ensures that there is little or no coffee wastage.

It also eliminates the use of paper filters and coffee pods which can accumulate over time and end up as waste if you don’t recycle them.

Spread the Word

Saving planet earth is a collective effort. By spreading word about how we can reduce, reuse, and recycle, we will see a clearer path toward a more sustainable future.

With that said, download and share the infographic below with your family and friends! Here’s to being more eco-friendly coffee drinkers.

an infographic about being a more eco-friendly coffee drinker