The month of January seems to be going on forever and I feel like I’m getting through each day fueled by caffeine! For me it is the form of cup of tea as my husband is the coffee fan in our house. He has recently upgraded his coffee machine to a Nespresso machine and he admitted last week to making a cup of coffee forgetting to put the coffee pod in the machine and therefore confirming the need for coffee!
The question to ask is is it possible to have both good coffee and be eco-conscious too? Without compromising on the quality and taste? When purchasing the Nespresso machine there was an option to sign up to Nespresso and pay monthly for the machine. On the face of it it seemed like a good cost saving option but it would mean for the next 18 months you would be tied into using the Nespresso brand coffee pods. They are recyclable it’s just down to if you like the coffee. We then started to look into alternatives for pods from smaller companies.
There are different options out there, both recyclable and biodegradable. The biodegradable pods from companies like Grind offer pods stored in a reusabale tin. This is an easy eco option as the pods can be put straight onto a home compost. Made from bioplastic with a paper lid they take about 12 weeks to completely degrade at home or quicker in industrial places. The pods need to be kept in the tin away from direct sunlight to ensure they stay intact and I do wonder how fresh they if not used right away? Arguably it could be a compromise on the quality that is not worth it.
Alternatively, there are many companies making recyclable pods made from aluminum like these Nespresso machine compatible from Pact Coffee. Aluminum is a great recyclable material choice as it holds in the freshness of the coffee. After each use the coffee needs to be scooped out and the foil capsules can then be collected together. When they are about the size of a coke can they can be squeezed together to put in the recycling bin. This is so that they are big enough to be picked out by the magnet in the recycling process. We’ve set up a little pot to collect them in and its not difficult to do for a good cup of coffee.
Whatever coffee you choose, it is also good to research the ethics of the company. For example, Pact Coffee are a small coffee company and work with the coffee farmers directly. They are not certified as FairTrade with the logo but have the same working relationships and guarantees on fair prices and conditions for the farmer. Information about the coffee can be found on websites in a statement of sustainability. For more information about buying FairTrade from supermarkets then you can check out my previous post on ground coffee which can help with making some every day eco swaps.
If you are looking to buy a gift for someone who likes coffee then a subscription to one of these small coffee enterprises is supporting a business with good ethics and great tasting coffee!