25th of April 2018
Whether you plan to own your own coffee shop or if you already do, here are a few things you can do—some obvious and some are not—to make your café eco-friendly.
- 100% Recyclable Cups. Paper cups are a crucial part of a coffee business and can play a big role in making it environmentally friendly. In places like New York and Los Angeles for instance, notorious for their rushed, to-go culture, paper cups are the norm. Even though most people are familiar with the common white paper cup, not many know that despite being made of paper, most are lined with a polyethene coating. This makes them able to sustain liquid but also makes them unable to be completely recycled. 100% Recyclable paper cups are a basic must for anyone who takes recycling seriously. Ideally, you’d want to use recycled paper cups and compostable lids, but any paper cup that can be completely recycled is better than the common polyethene cup. Some businesses provide biodegradable cups and some even offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup for them to re-use that is far more cost-effective and reduces a significant amount of unnecessary waste.
- Energy-Saving Espresso Machines. We all know espresso machines can take-up a lot of energy. That’s why energy-saving machines are the best choice, like the new VISION by Iberital, which has a multi-boiler system that allows optimizing energy use and has energy-saving modes to choose from. So before you invest in a machine, do some research and find out which ones are designed to be more energy-efficient and sustainable.
- Buy Locally! By acquiring your coffee from a local roaster and your milk from local farms, you’re not just supporting your local economy, but you’re also reducing your product’s carbon footprint. This goes for all your consumable products, avoiding shipping through cargo planes is extremely important. As you know, planes emit a significant amount of CO2 which is detrimental to the environment. Where you get your coffee and where you get your milk are two of the most important decisions you can make for your business and can also be the most eco-conscious choices you can make.
- Fair Trade. Each country has their own certified standard but fair trade is more than just a certification, it’s a market-based system that aims to benefit the farmer who, in exchange for their product gets paid a fair price. This way of doing business doesn’t just provide living wages and better working environment for farmworkers, it is also a more environmentally moral way of doing business. By avoiding the mass-production market, you can avoid a system that has been and continues to be terribly harmful to the environment and one of the biggest contributors to global warming.
- This may seem like a small detail but it is still very important. Many businesses already do this; if you provide drinking tap water for customers along with glasses, you discourage them from buying plastic bottled water or other bottled drinks, therefore reducing unnecessary plastic consumption. It’s not just a nice gesture for your customers, but it also discourages people from buying bottles of water.
As a coffee shop owner, your needs to provide your customers with best quality coffee doesn’t have to get in the way of keeping your business an environmentally friendly space. Keeping these five tips in mind, not only you’ll provide your customers with top-notch coffee, you’ll also encourage, inspire and incentivize others to follow your lead, go green and help keep this earth clean and safe.