How to make coffee zero waste is pretty new to me even though I have always loved coffee.
Are you a coffee lover just like me? I love everything about coffee: its smell, the ritual of preparing it in the morning, its taste and its effect. Gathering around a cup of coffee was a sacred routine when I was living with my parents. We would sit at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee after work and discuss our days.
However, when I moved out and started preparing my own coffee using a coffee machine that required filters I started questioning how sustainable that was. Was it ok to throw away one filter full of coffee residue per day?
The worst experience I had was with capsules coffee machines. When I was working in Malaysia, I was in charge of the digital marketing strategy of Nespresso B2B. While they were all about sustainability, it felt wrong. Using one capsule per coffee (5 times a day in my case and yes I know it was bad) and throwing it away cannot be eco-friendly.
I then looked at data:
According to the BBC: “In 2011 it was estimated that 2.5 billion coffee cups were thrown away each year and that figure is likely to be higher now. And the vast majority of them (more than 99.75%) don’t get recycled.”
If you are now wondering: “How To Make Coffee Zero Waste?”, I got your back! In this article, I share some tips and tricks that are gonna make your coffee guilt-free.
How To Make Coffee Zero Waste with A French Press?
This is by far my favourite zero waste coffee maker and I can’t really explain why. I believe it is sentimental because I started using it while living in Singapore and really putting my morning routine together.
It is super easy to use: add coffee in the press, boil water in a saucepan, add water in the press. Close it but do not press yet. Wait about 5 minutes and then press. Tadaaaaa
Make your coffee the italian way
That method is pretty new to me and I must admit I am not great at it. I struggle to find the good dosage but when you do it’s delicious. The coffee is stronger and perfect if you like espressos.
Turc and mexican metods
Turkish coffee and café oalla (saucepan coffee) are similar. You boil water, add the coffee in the water and wait for 5 minutes while on the heat. Once it’s ready, wait couple of minutes for the coffee to fall at the bottom of the sauce pan. From all the options, it is the easiest and less expensive as there is nothing to buy to prepare it but it is my least favourite. I always end up with coffee grounf in my mouth.
Reusable coffee capsules
If you bought a Nespresso machine before your transition towards a green lifestyle, do not worry, you will not have to throw it away. Just stop buying traditional capsules and find reusable ones that are compatibe with your machine instead.
Make your coffee vegan
Ok that will not directly reduce your waste but it will reduce your environmental impact for sure. If you are not vegan, it’s ok. You could explore plant based milk alternatives at your own pace. Maybe start with 3 vegan lattes a week.
Avoid single use cups
I love having my coffee at home as it allows me to start my day slowly and to put myself in the right mindset. Having it in a coffeshop (in a real cup) is a great alternative if you look for some journaling time or having a chat with friends.
If you really insist on having it on the go (we all have crazy morning rushes), make sure to bring your own reusable coffee cup.
Dispose of your coffee ground properly
Like any organic waste, it is going to decompose and generate methane if not disposed of properly. Think about composting and even reusing it. I love using it as a face scrub.
So tell me, was that useful? Are you ready to prepare your coffee zero waste?