We are all creatures of habit and, let’s face it, not all of our habits are all that great. Most of us rock up to a cafe for a takeaway cup of our favourite brew without considering the ramifications of our daily routine. Small changes can make a huge impact on our world if we all get on the bandwagon. So how sustainable is your cup of coffee? Read on and assess!

Choose Organic

For us organic has always been more than a clever marketing strategy. Sacred Grounds was born out of a desire to create amazing coffee while making a positive impact on the world and choosing organic farmers and producers is a huge way we can achieve our vision.

Coffee farming techniques have a far greater impact on the environment than anything else. Organic farms tend to use more traditional methods, favouring Arabica beans which grow best in the shade. Most coffee plantations can be found in rainforests so protecting this precious ecosystem is a must. In these locations, coffee plants grow happily beside native plants so there’s very little impact on the natural environment. No bulldozing or clearing is required and less fertilizers and water are used and nutrients are retained.

The only problem with this technique is a smaller yield which is why farmers start clearing land, favouring the sun-loving variety of coffee plants. These bad boys use pesticides like they’re going out of style (which they should be), they require a lot more water and, unfortunately, clear land = destruction of native forest. These farms leach chemicals into water sources and the land itself, significantly effecting the sustainability of the surrounding environment.

So what to do? Don’t go for the ‘popular’ coffee brand, don’t fall for the clever marketing, look closer at where the beans are sourced. Choose organic! It’s not just a buzz word but a healthier option for our environment and yourself. Look for organic certifications like Australian Certified Organic or Rainforest Alliance.

Processing Techniques

Once beans have been grown and picked, then they’re ready to be processed and the method chosen can have a huge impact on your coffee’s sustainability levels. There are a few different techniques we’ve investigated in a previous post, Coffee Processing Techniques, including the Dry/Natural Process and the Wet/Washed Process. As with anything in this world, the less water and machinery you use, the better for the world but efficiency seems to rule the roost so unfortunately many coffee producers choose the easier less earth-friendly options.

Litter Less

This one is a no-brainer, really! Pretty easy to change your ways with littering. But also consider rejecting take away cups and embrace a keep cup or, better yet, stay at your local cafe, hang out and enjoy your caffeine hit with others. Sure the coffee industry has tried to tackle the whole take away cup issue with more sustainable options like Recyclable, Compostable or Biodegradable but nothing beats Reusable! There’s still no proof that the options above are actually good for our world, so why not just keep a funky reusable coffee cup in your car or, dare I say, handbag? It’s a change of habit that is needed to send a strong message to cafes and the coffee industry itself that take away cups are a thing of the past.

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Emma Watson

From creating her own ‘Ozzie Mozzie Editorial’ newspaper when she was 10 to writing for ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’, Emma has always loved to write. She spends her time looking after her two kids and tapping away at the keyboard blogging at filmandfood.com.au, writing for Howards Storage World and of course, for Sacred Grounds Organic. Her love of a good small cappuccino (with one sugar!) and social justice makes this a match made in heaven. Emma loves a good book, travelling and hanging at the beach with her little crew.

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