Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 27 of our Green Year: Drinking Coffee The Green Way

With coffee, I am an addict. I will drink one to two pots per day and I simply love everything about coffee. However, despite this I am going green with it, as Layla is with her tea. How do you go green with coffee? Well, it is actually quite easy.

First of all, you want to buy local brews. These are brews that are roasted and made in your area. Talk to your local coffee shop to find out if they brew it locally and roast it locally. If they don't, try and find one that does.
Second, instead of going into Starbucks, with their oddly named cup sizes, to get a coffee, why don't you go in with a reusable mug. When you think about the waste that is generated by those mugs, it is quite amazing. You have the lid, container and safety wrap (keeps your hands from burning), which all contribute to waste.
Third, try and get organically grown and fair-trade grown coffee. We have decided to do that here by buying coffee from Kicking Horse Coffee Company, which is located in B.C., so we can kill three birds with one stone on that one.
Lastly, you want to compost your coffee grounds, as well as get a reusable coffee filter. There is no need to constantly buy coffee filters when you do not need to, and coffee grounds make a great compost material for the garden.

Also, in terms of coffee grounds, here are some great uses for it:
  1. You can use it as plant food for rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreens and camellias that like acidic soil.
  2. If you are having a problem with ants in the yard or house, then sprinkle some of the grounds in the areas you do not want them and they will not go anywhere near the grounds.
  3. If you would like to make your own paper (an upcoming blog ;) ), then you can use coffee grounds as brown dye for paper, as well as fabric and Easter eggs.
  4. Cats hate coffee grounds, so mix it with some orange peels and put it around your plants.
  5. Mix some of the coffee grounds with some shampoo when you are giving your dog a bath, it will not only get rid of fleas, but it will make the dog's hair feel softer.

I would also like to give a shout out to a new affiliate of our blog, Eco-Libris. The people here are an environmental leader in that they will plant a tree for every book that you buy through them. As a book lover and a writer, this provides a wonderful solution to me as the books I buy end up costing a tree its life. Check out their website at:

Here is a list of coffee companies that practice the principles of fair trade and organically grown, courtesy of

Birds and Beans
Blue Smoke Coffee
Cafe Bis
Cameron's Coffee
Global Exchange Fair Trade Online Store
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
The Groovy Mind
Grounds For Change
Kicking Horse Coffee
Merchants of Green Coffee
Newman's Own Organics
Simple Coffee
Solar Roast Coffee
Sweetwater Organic Coffee Roasters
Today Was Fun
Oso Negro