Zero Waste Coffee Done Correctly

Coffee is an essential aspect of many people’s day-to-day life. Most of us have more than one cup a day.  That being said, we would love to show you how to make a great Zero Waste Coffee. 

Firstly, let’s take a look at what you will need. 

We love using a typical French Press for any pot of coffee we make.  A French Press is a device used for brewing coffee; we love them because they minimize the total use of electricity in making your coffee. 

And, you get a very natural good tasting coffee without having to spend a fortune on a regular coffee machine. 

That being said, we also have a manual coffee grinder.  Also quite inexpensive, with just some necessary arm power, you can grind your coffee beans to perfection. 

In terms of your coffee beans,  feel free to get your favorites. 

However, if you want to have a Zero Waste Coffee, you may want to remember that it is about making sure that your beans were sourced in a sustainably ethical way(Fair Trade Coffee).  

Namely, what this means is that the beans(or coffee grounds if that is what you purchase) were produced in specific standards that end up contributing to sustainable development. 

Moreover, you should get plastic free coffee beans in bulk with your reusable containers, to avoid unnecessary packaging. Remember, we are trying to avoid using as much plastic as possible. 

Materials to make Zero Waste Coffee
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Using your French Press and coffee grinder to your liking, we use the following method to make our coffee: 

  1. Boil water using your preferred tool. 
  2. Grind your coffee beans with your grinder(while you boil water).
  3. Pour the coffee grounds into your empty french press.
  4. Add one tablespoon of ground coffee per each cup of water you plan on using. 
  5. Pour the boiling water into the french press to mix with the coffee ground. 
  6. Stir gently with a spoon.
  7. Seal off the press with the glass lid and wait for 3-4 minutes.
  8. Push the plunger down slowly to remove the used coffee grounds and enjoy a cup. 

Important Zero Waste Facts on Coffee

That being said.  There are a few things we may want to consider that go hand in hand with our Zero Waste Principles.

Firstly, we understand that not everybody may have the time to make coffee at home. Therefore, you naturally get your coffee on the go.  As you may or may not know,  reusable cups of coffee is not the current way of working in coffee shops. 

According to the BBC, in 2011, there were an estimated 2.5 billion coffee cups thrown away every year. Fast forward to the present, and, we have noticed some attempts at improvements.  

We are sure all you Starbucks lovers have noticed that Starbucks has all but gotten rid of straws. Instead, they redesigned their cup lids not to require any straw.  

The goal here is to eliminate single-use straws across all their locations. 

Nevertheless, in 2017 Starbucks used almost 4 Billion paper cups! Far away from a Zero Waste solution. 

Of course, most of these cups are not recycled. Therefore, you can see the problem with getting your coffee cup on the go. 

Paper cups are quite useful for several reasons. Firstly, they do not alter the taste of the coffee, and they are quite easy to mass-produce. 

However, recycling them is difficult as they have a plastic lining that is quite cumbersome to take out. 

This plastic lining is the main reason why the plastic cup of your coffee can hold the liquid without leaks or spillage anywhere.  

Additionally, recycling paper is not made for every neighborhood. Many small towns cannot recycle or turn them into reusable products. 

Coffee Beans in Mason Jar
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So What can you do? For starters, as we showed you above, making coffee at home is quite feasible and does not take much time. 

From an economic point of view, you can save a lot of money as well.  Depending on where you live, a cup of coffee can cost you anywhere from 1 to 7 USD a day. 

Also, for those who love espresso, there are plenty of espresso machines available to help you cut back on years of plastic waste.  Basically, there are a ton of options to satisfy your coffee needs at home. 

If you prefer to purchase your coffee in shops, then try to make sure it is in recyclable packaging. 

Another feasible solution is to bring your mug or thermal. Places like Starbucks allow you to bring your travel mug to any of their locations. 

While the idea of asking them to pour your coffee into your mug might seem bizarre at first, you’ll quickly realize it is no big deal at all. 

As long as you know more or less how much your mug can handle, you’ll be making the barista’s life a lot easier and avoid sending more trash to a landfill. 

We recommend getting a stainless steel mug if you decide to take this route(which is suitable for tea as well). Otherwise, you can always have the coffee to stay in a real mug. 

Also, if you work in an office or a space that is not home, make sure to have your own coffee mug. In this regard, you avoid using the plastic cups provided by the company.  

A lot of employees at big firms already do this, so transitioning into doing the same should not be so difficult. 

Final Thoughts

We all enjoy a good coffee.  Making Zero Waste Coffee at home is ideal for many reasons.  

You control what goes into your coffee, via your coffee grounds or seeds, and save money in the process. 

We can all take a little bit of extra time to avoid contributing to the waste and use of plastic. Making coffee at home is a quick exercise and can be a fun process. 

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter. 

Materials to make Zero Waste Coffee
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