We’ve got bad news about your coffee: that delicious drink you enjoy each morning might be responsible for some pretty hefty carbon emissions.
According to a study carried out by the Natural Resources Institute Finland, coffee farming is responsible for most of coffee’s carbon footprint. Still, other factors, like shipping and brewing methods, stand to increase your favorite coffee’s environmental impact.
Don’t worry, though - there IS a way to reduce the carbon footprint of your coffee consumption: switch to pour over.
This blog will break down the factors that make pour over such an environmentally-friendly option and how it differs from other brewing methods.
Let’s dive in.
Coffee Production and Carbon Footprint
Conventional coffee production consumes vast amounts of water, land, and energy, thanks mainly to the long, complex supply chain required to grow and prepare beans and then transport them to market.
According to one study, the carbon footprint for conventional coffee production in Vietnam and Brazil was 12.99 and 111.56 kg CO2e kg–1, respectively, from farm level to a storage location in Bristol, UK.
After production, though, the most significant contributor to coffee’s carbon footprint is consumption. Depending on HOW you brew and prepare your coffee, the preparation of your favorite brew may account for nearly a third of its total carbon emissions.
If you walk into a coffee shop, for example, and order an espresso shot, the shop is emitting CO2 from its lighting, heating, air conditioning, dishwashers, and even its espresso machines! According to some studies, this kind of “big operation” coffee production can double the coffee’s total carbon footprint! And that doesn’t even consider the packaging and single-use plastics in your to-go cup, sugar packets, stir sticks, and other accouterments.
Pour Over to the Rescue: How Home Brewing Decreases Carbon Footprint
Feeling a little bummed about your morning brew? Don’t worry - you don’t have to abandon coffee for good. While coffee production and consumption CAN create a pretty hefty carbon footprint, there are many ways to make your morning cup more eco-friendly.
And one of the best is also one of the easiest: switch to home brew.
Home brewing tends to be significantly less impactful to the environment than purchasing your morning cup at a coffee shop or even using an electric drip machine.
Here’s something to chew on:
Using an automatic drip coffee machine generates about 60.27 g CO2e per cup of coffee, while a reusable dripper like the one offered by Just Pour creates only 10.04g per cup.
As you can see, just switching to pour-over can seriously reduce your coffee’s carbon footprint. If you want to take it a step further, here are some to-dos:
- Look for coffee suppliers that embrace sustainable practices. Large-scale commercial coffee farming can be harmful to communities and the environment. Instead, look for a coffee producer that works with small farms that embrace sustainable practices. Just Pour is proud to work with small farmers worldwide to harvest sustainable coffee and uplift communities.
- Ditch single-use anything. The coffee industry is full of single-use plastics and waste products. To make your coffee consumption a little greener, focus on kicking these single-use products to the curb. Our reusable dripper is an excellent alternative to coffee pods that just wind up in the trash. Plus, it fits on your favorite mug, which means there’s no need for a disposable to-go cup. Our filters are entirely biodegradable, which means they can go in the compost rather than the trash can, and our packaging is all recyclable. The result? A very low-impact cup of Joe.
- Spread the word. Compared to commercial meat production, gas-guzzling cars, and airline travel, coffee seems like a small consideration for carbon emissions, but that’s mainly because people don’t know how much of an impact their commercially-produced coffee could be having. Help spread the word about coffee suppliers embracing sustainable practices and promoting carbon-neutral coffee.
Just Pour: Here to do Good - for you and Your Morning Cup!
We love coffee, and we believe sourcing, producing, and drinking it shouldn’t harm the environment. That’s why we’ve committed ourselves to sustainable, eco-friendly practices and supporting small farmers worldwide. The result is delicious, fresh, responsible coffee you can feel good about drinking.Ready to learn more? Want to check out our reusable dripper or composable filters for yourself? Shop now.