Minimize your morning Joe’s toll on the planet Like much of modern trade, the coffee industry has a complicated record when it comes to environmental impacts. Coffee’s journey from the trees of Ethiopia or Brazil to your local cafe is long and undeniably polluting, from the cargo ships that transport the green beans to our shores, to the gas and electricity used to roast, grind, and brew your favorite drink, to the huge amount of landfill waste generated by the average coffee shop. At the same time, coffee does some tangible good. Coffee trees and their shade crops provide protection for migrating birds and serve as carbon sinks . Oftentimes, schools and hospitals are built with proceeds from green coffee sales. And coffee shops have become important community assets—as meeting halls, organizing spaces, and art galleries. So what’s a coffee-loving consumer to do? Enormous conglomerates are the main eco-culprits. You can’t personally control the intricacies of the global coffee trade. Still, there are a few simple ways to mitigate your own contribution and feel a bit better about that morning buzz. 1. Buy local, buy small, ask questions. If you’re a home coffee brewer, this is one of the […]

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