Coffee. MMMMM. I must say it again. Coffee. MMMMM.
You know, I really didn't drink coffee until I began freelancing, but the late nights that I spent meeting deadlines early on in my career became fueled with coffee. And I probably fit everyone's stereotype as a writer because I often hang out in local coffee houses and work. Sometimes I've just got to stop staring at my office walls.
But for the most part, my coffee comes from my good 'ol Mr. Coffee maker in my kitchen. That wasn't always the case though. Both my husband and I work from home and for quite a while we were making at least one coffee run through the drive thru at Dunkin Donuts (yes, my friend Suitably Despairing in Scotland, we have drive-thru coffee here!) or running to the local mini-mart.
Not cheap and not green.
So we started making our own coffee at home and started saving money and lessening our impact on the environment. It's obvious how it saved us money, but how much did it really lessen our environmental impact. Think about this:
- Every take out cup of coffee we got came in a disposable cup - sometimes a styrofoam cup. Making our coffee at home saved at least two disposable cups a day (now when I do get coffee to go, I almost always have my travel mug with me).
- We used up a lot of gas and created a lot of pollution driving to and from our coffee destinations. And when we went through the drive thru, our car would idle for quite a while, too. Now we just walk to the kitchen.
- At home, I can be certain that the coffee I am brewing is Fair Trade and Organic. The majority of coffee grown around the world is grown in such away that it harms the environment and it harms those who pick the coffee beans. Fair Trade, organic coffee is better for the earth and the workers. I also use organic milk and sugar in the coffee, something that isn't available at take out joints.
- Additionally, less stir sticks*, individual paper packets of sugar or sweetener, and little paper coffee sleeves are used when we brew our own coffee.
So for a small investment of a couple of travel mugs and some good Fair Trade, organic coffee (which isn't all that more expensive than regular coffee), you can save quite a bit of money and tread more lightly on the earth at the same time.
*If you're ever next to me at a take out coffee place, I'll probably hand you my stir stick and say something like "I hate throwing these things out after only one use. Wanna use mine?" I've never had a person say no, but I have gotten some very strange looks while being told yes.